Alison Parker, 24, will never get married to the love of her life or fulfill her dream of being a news director. Adam Ward's fiancee will never wear the wedding dress that was delivered on the day of his murder. We need to stop easy access to any and all kinds of guns.
As of 6:45 AM on Aug. 26, Andy Parker will never hear from beloved daughter Alison ever again. "I talked to her every day," he tearily told CNN's Chris Cuomo, explaining that she would always call to get his feedback on her on-air reports. "I'm never going to hear that again. And I just, you know, it just crushes my soul." the grieving father shared. How could he not want to have his baby girl to talk to and hug every day? Every father's wish has now been denied to him because an angry man was able to buy a Glock 9 mm pistol and gun her down in cold blood.
Melissa Ott, the devoted fiancee and colleague of WDBJ cameraman Adam Ward, was spending her last day on the job in the TV station's control room when she saw the man she loved mowed down. She was about to leave for a new job, with her wedding in the works. Her wedding gown was delivered later that day -- how heartrendingly ironic. Amazingly, she had the strength later that same day to take to Facebook and movingly share her grief and love for Adam, the man whom she had planned to share the rest of her life with.
"Today, my entire world was flipped upside down. Starting new adventures with my fiance, new jobs, a new city. Getting married, buying a home. That's now taken. I'm not ok. And won't be for along time...Adam, I will never find a man so happy, selfless, protective, funny or charming like you. You were the one. You understood me. My soulmate. I will always love you..." she wrote on Facebook.
Chris Hurst, the man Alison longed to marry, has also spoken out about losing the love of his life. "The love we had was so rare," he wants the world to know. "She told me she loved me to the ends of the earth," he choked back.
These two beautiful, loving spirits -- Alison and Adam -- were snuffed out by a man filled with hate who had no problem getting a gun. And they are just two of 8,525 victims so far this year who died from gun violence. Just two who senselessly died.
We Can Have Stronger Gun Laws Without Harming Responsible Owners' Rights
Less than three months ago, we lost nine precious souls at prayer in a Charleston church to another angry man, who wanted to kill and had no problem acquiring a gun. Are you accepting the idea promoted by the NRA and members of Congress who insist that "guns don't kill, people kill"? No -- people easily kill with guns. Especially when they can kill even large groups of people in seconds thanks to semi-automatic weapons.
Tougher gun laws can be put on the books without curtailing the rights of responsible gun owners. Background checks on every gun purchase in every state, prohibitions on gun ownership for people with a history of mental illness, a history of criminal activity, and/or threats of domestic violence or who have been convicted of road rage or who have a record of stalking or making threats against other individuals.
How about waiting periods between the approval of a gun purchase and picking up a weapon? Or restrictions on the numbers of guns you can purchase at once or within a certain period of time? And come on, should anyone who isn't a law officer or member of the military really need to carry a concealed weapon into churches, movie theaters, college campuses or bars? Isn't this just asking for trouble?
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a gun owner himself, spoke out after the on-air shootings of Alison and Adam, demanding stricter gun control laws. "There are too many guns in the hands of people who should not have guns," he told local Virginia radio station WTOP. "This is why I've long advocated for background checks." The governor is right. Something can be done and must be done.
It Shouldn't Be So Easy To Legally Buy A Gun
In 2013, 33,169 deaths in the U.S. were the result of firearms -- 11,208 by murder and 21,175 by suicide. The U.S. has 5 percent of the world's population but 31 percent of the world's mass murders by firearms! In July 2012, 12 people were killed and 70 others were injured in the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. In Dec. 2012, 26 people -- 20 of them children -- were slaughtered at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, and 32 were murdered at Virginia Tech University in April 2007. All these deaths were at the hands of angry or disturbed men who easily bought guns.
Does it have to be sooo easy? Is it really such a huge inconvenience to responsible gun owners to have to undergo a background check? Wouldn't gun owners put up with a little inconvenience if it meant that Alison Parker could talk to her father every day and Adam Ward could walk down the aisle with his beloved, Melissa? Maybe, maybe if it was harder to get a gun, Vester Flanagan wouldn't have ended up with one in his hands.
Alison's father, Andy, vows to fight "until [he sees] something happen" on gun control. "There has to be a way to force politicians that are cowards and in the pockets of the NRA to come to grips and make sense; have sensible laws so that crazy people can't get guns." He is so right. But, FYI, the NRA has spent a record amount of money so far this year lobbying Congress to make guns even easier to get! And last year, they spent $3 million, which was a record in itself. Let's hope that Andy Parker can succeed in forcing change so that we don't keep senselessly losing bright, loving souls like Alison and Adam, who deserved to have long, happy lives.