Live and in the homes of residents of Roanoke, VA, a television reporter for WDNJ, and her cameraman were gunned down by an ex-employee of the station Wednesday. Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were conducting an interview about local tourism when hit by a barrage of bullets. According to multiple sources, the gunman, Bryce Williams which was the stage name for Vester Flanagan, shot video of his actions then posted to social media. Flanagan took his own life while on the run from authorities. As the story developed and the senselessness of the murders of these two people, conversations started about the inevitable, could a better set of gun control laws saved the lives that Flanagan had taken?
As family members and coworkers tried to understand why this had happened, reports came that Flanagan was dismissed from his position as due to troubles with his colleagues. Sheriff Bill Overton though stated at a later news conference, “This gentleman was disturbed in some way” and that “The way things transpired, at some point in his life, it looks like some things were spiraling out of control.” The murders have brought out both supporters for a more rigid gun control policy then you have those who believe that any compromise on gun control is a revocation of their rights under the Second Amendment. Within hours of the shooting, candidates for President were adding their opinion on the matter.
Donald Trump, the leader in the Republican campaign said on Thursday that “This isn’t a gun problem, this is a mental problem,” and that “It’s not a question of the laws, it’s really the people. Trump has not issued any ideas of how the nation could stop the issuance of guns to those who fall in the mentally unsound category. Donald Trump In earlier statements when asked about gun control stated that he was a card carrying member of the N.R.A and that “I certainly stand by my opposition to Gun Control when it comes to taking guns from law-abiding citizens.” He has also stated that any gun control legislation won’t work, because “Gun control does not reduce crime.”
Meanwhile, on the Democratic ticket Hillary Clinton stated that, “We have got to do something about gun violence in America. And I will take it on,” and she went on to say, “But I believe we are smart enough, we are compassionate enough, to figure out how to balance the legitimate Second Amendment rights.” Meanwhile, as the candidates were giving us their opinions one of the victim’s father spoke out. Andy Parker the father of Alison Parker in a televised interview stated, though tears that “”We have got to do something about crazy people getting guns.” Parker went on to say that he will fight for stricter gun control laws. He finished his interview with, “So, this is not the last you have heard of me—this is something that is Alison’s legacy that I want to make happen.”