Early last Wednesday, we watched in horror as a gunman turned a mundane local news report into the live-television murders of reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward. "In recent years we have witnessed similar tragedies unfold on TV," writes Parker's father, Andy Parker, today in a Washington Post op-ed: "The shooting of a congresswoman in Arizona, the massacre of schoolchildren in Connecticut and of churchgoers in South Carolina. We have to ask ourselves: What do we need to do to stop this insanity?" For Parker, who has been vocal about gun control in the wake of his daughter's murder, "the answer is: 'Whatever it takes.'" He writes, "I plan to devote all of my strength and resources to seeing that some good comes from this evil."
"I am entering this arena with open eyes. I realize the magnitude of the force that opposes sensible and reasonable safeguards on the purchase of devices that have a single purpose: to kill." He proceeds to name names: Virginia legislators who repeatedly refuse to implement "sensible gun reforms, such as expanded background checks," and Parker's own state senator, whose district includes Virginia Tech and who ought to be painfully aware of "how easy it is for dangerously mentally ill individuals to acquire guns in the commonwealth of Virginia." Parker knows that enhanced measures like the gun-violence restraining order California enacted after a shooting there aren't fool-proof, and may not have saved his daughter. But he recalls his last weekend with her, spent, as they often did, kayaking, as well as their mantra when faced with rapids: "Never stop paddling. You just have to paddle through." Click for Parker's full column.