- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 29, 2015

Following his daughter’s death in a live broadcast shooting in Moneta Va. on Wednesday morning, Andy Parker, who vowed to campaign for stricter gun control laws, has said he will probably have to get a gun to defend himself.

In an interview with CNN on Thursday, the father of the slain 24-year-old WDBJ reporter said he would be “the John Walsh of gun control” and vowed not to rest “until I see something happen.”

But on Friday, Mr. Parker told reporters that he is “probably going to have to get a gun” to protect himself after raising the issue of gun control in the media. 

“When you’re in the media, as you know, and when you are taking on an issue like this, there are a lot of people who take exception to what you are saying, so I will probably have to do that,” Mr. Parker said, the Guardian reported

Mr. Parker said he does not currently own a gun but added “I don’t want to take any chances.” 

He told reporters it was up to the media to continue reporting on gun control and to keep the story of gun violence in America going. 

“How many times are we going to see a crazy person with a gun kill people?” Mr. Parker asked. 

“It’s you guys now. Crazy people are coming after journalists and that’s why you guys need to keep this story going. And I’m going to do everything I can now to make sure her life has meaning, that people remember her and that we don’t have another Newtown, that we don’t have another movie theater shooting, that we don’t have another Charleston,” he said. “The politicians have got to stand up to the NRA and close some of these loopholes so that crazy people don’t get guns.” 

Mr. Parker’s daughter Alison and a cameraman, 27-year-old Adam Ward, were shot and killed during a live broadcast from Bridgewater Plaza near Smith Mountain Lake Wednesday morning. Vicki Gardner, the executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce who was being interviewed on the broadcast was injured but is now in recovery. 

The alleged gunman, 41-year-old Vester Lee Flanagan shot himself and later died of his injuries in hospital. Mr. Flanagan was a former employee at WDBJ who went by the name Bryce Williams. 

• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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