The shooting of reporter Allison Parker and her cameraman Adam Ward in August shook her Virginia community and the nation. No matter what your position is on the gun control issue, senseless murder is always a horrible tragedy. Every tragic shooting leaves behind grieving family members, and more often than not, those family members become spokespersons for the gun control lobby. In the case of the shooting of Allison Parker and Adam Ward, that person is Allison’s father, Andy Parker. Last week, Parker met with Virginia Congressman Representative Bob Goodlatte to ask him to consider new gun legislation.
The meeting brought together two foes on guns: the grieving father of a reporter killed on live television and the powerful chairman of the House Judiciary Committee who has backed the NRA for two decades.
Andy Parker hoped he could appeal to Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s heart. The Republican represents the Virginia district where his daughter, Alison Parker, was killed along with her cameraman, Adam Ward, in August.
The 12-term congressman had offered his condolences and prayers to Parker shortly after his daughter was killed, saying he had worked with her and that she and her colleague would be “dearly missed.”
After brief introductions, Parker urged Goodlatte to hold a hearing on legislation to reduce gun violence. Dozens of proposed gun bills have been held up in Goodlatte’s Judiciary Committee.
But the meeting didn’t go as Parker had hoped. “He followed the typical line of: Enforce the existing gun laws,” Parker told CNN. “I didn’t get the sense that there was going to be any action on any of my requests.”
Parker said the congressman told him he only holds hearings on bills that have a chance of being passed — and that he didn’t think the proposed gun legislation did. “He’s a coward,” Parker said.
Goodlatte’s negative response to Parker was not what he was hoping for. Goodlatte did not give in to the plea of this grieving father because he knows that more gun control legislation is not what will save lives.
Like many family members of gun violence victims before him, Andy Parker has turned his grief for his daughter into a crusade for more gun control legislation. It is obvious that gun control does not keep those who want to use a gun to commit murder and other crimes from getting them. Gun control legislation keeps law-abiding citizens from having a means to protect themselves in a variety of dangerous situations.