Tuesday 24 January 2017

Virginia shooting: 'If Alison had had an AK 47 it wouldn’t have made any difference' - Alison Parker's father calls for stricter gun control

Sasha Brady

Published 27/08/2015 | 19:21

Alison Parker and her father Andy Parker - who has called for stricter gun control in the US
Alison Parker and her father Andy Parker - who has called for stricter gun control in the US

Just over 24 hours after Alison Parker was shot to death on live television, her father Andy Parker spoke about the need for increased gun control laws in the United States.

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“We’re not talking about, you know, someone going to Syria and being in the cross hairs of ISIL,” he said to CNN.

“We’re talking about two young people that were doing a benign story about a Marina opening and someone, a crazy person with a gun shoots them. And I know the NRA (National Rifle Association) — I can hear it now. They’re going to say, ‘Oh gee, if they were carrying, this never would have happened.”

“[Well] if Alison or Adam had been carrying an AK 47 it wouldn’t have made any difference. They couldn’t have seen this thing coming.”

Read More: Virginia shooting: Colleagues describe the moment Melissa Ott saw her fiance Adam Ward shot on live TV

He added: “I’m challenging you the media, because again, this was one of your own, and I know how the business works.

"It’s a great story for a couple of days and then it goes to the back burner and nothing happens.

"But I can promise you and I can promise the American people I’m not going to rest until I see something get done here.”

Speaking to Washington DC's WTOP FM, Virginia governor, Terry McAuliffe, called for stricter background checks.

"There are too many guns in the hands of people that shouldn't have guns. There is too much gun violence in America."

Read More: Virginia shooting: Gunman was told to seek medical help by TV station

A picture of slain journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward at a memorial outside of the offices for WDBJ7 in Virginia Credit: REUTERS/Chris Keane
A picture of slain journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward at a memorial outside of the offices for WDBJ7 in Virginia Credit: REUTERS/Chris Keane

On Wednesday morning, Vester L. Flanagan shot dead former WDBJ7  co-workers Alison Parker (24) and cameraman Adam Ward (27) during a live broadcast on a breakfast show.

The former WDBJ7 presenter, who was fired from the station two years ago, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound later that evening after he was cornered by police following on high-speed chase – during which he posted a video of attack on Ms Parker and Mr Ward.

After the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2013 - when 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children - news coverage of gun control in the media surged. However, it quickly declined through 2013.

It was only executive action by US president Barack Obama and the US Senate debate over a background check bill that kept the story in the news.

Reporter Alison Parker, left, and cameraman Adam Ward Credit: WDBJ-TV
Reporter Alison Parker, left, and cameraman Adam Ward Credit: WDBJ-TV

When politicians in Washington stopped arguing over the bill, media coverage of the issue mostly disappeared.

Read More: Virginia shooting: Family of gunman expresses sorrow to his victims

At a presidential campaign event in Iowa this morning, Hilary Clinton said that something has to be done to prevent more "carnage" like the shooting in Virginia.

"I was just so stricken to think that these two young people doing the work that you guys do every single day would be murdered on live television," Clinton said.

"And I will extend my condolences and sympathies to their families … but I will also reiterate, we have got to do something about gun violence in America. And I will take it on."

President Obama also expressed concern over the gun culture in the US, saying, the number of people who die from gun-related incidents in the US "dwarfs" any deaths that happen through terrorism.

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