Father of WDBJ Victim Vows to Be John Walsh of Gun Control

Andy Parker, the father of slain WDBJ reporter Alison Parker, called on the media not to let the gun violence issue be put on the back burner after the WDBJ story has faded and said that if he had to be the "John Walsh" of gun control, he would be.

That was a reference to the father of the murdered Adam Walsh, now with CNN, who made his life's work getting kidnapped children returned and cold cases solved.

In an interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo, Parker said he wanted to make it harder for people with mental issues, like the WDBJ shooter, to get guns. "There has to be a mechanism," he said, and vowed not to rest until that mechanism is in place.

He called out political cowards in the pockets of gun lobbies who sidestep the issue or kick it down the road and said all he wanted were sensible laws "so that crazy people can't get guns."

Cuomo pointed out that Donald Trump had just talked about the issue and said it was not about access to guns.

Parker said he did not want to take away guns, but that it was not unreasonable to want legislators to take action.

He said he was appealing to journalists to take up that cause as well. "She was one of you guys. This has to hit home with journalists."

He also said that he had talked with Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe and told him his plan—to become a crusader for a mechanism for keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill—and said the governor had said "you go for it."

McAuliffe used the incident to call for stricter gun laws.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.