The father of the Virginia reporter shot to death on live television said Thursday he won’t rest until the country finds a way to keep guns out of the hands of people with mental illness.
Andy Parker, the father of Alison Parker, said his grief has turned to anger “because how many times are we going to see an incident like this happen? You know, Newtown, Charleston, the movie theaters, you name it. It’s got to stop. It has got to stop.”
“We’ve got to find a way to keep crazy people from getting guns, mentally unstable people,” he told NBC News. “The people that do this are mentally unstable, and somehow they’re able to get guns.”
His daughter was conducting a live interview on WDBJ from a shopping center on Wednesday when Vester Flanagan, who was fired from the station in 2013, shot her and a cameraman to death.
Flanagan’s former employers and coworkers have since described a pattern of anger and racial grievances. When he was fired from WDBJ, according to the station’s files, he threw a cap at another worker, and police were called to remove him from the building.
“I know it’s not an exact science,” the father said, “but somebody’s got to be able to identify: Hey, this guy’s got some problems. He’s got some anger issues. He shouldn’t be buying a gun.”
Parker told NBC News that he is not pushing for the police to go door to door confiscating guns. But he vowed to fight the National Rifle Association and politicians who resist sensible gun restrictions.
He said he would not rest even after media attention to his daughter’s killing wanes.
“I know how this stuff works,” he said. “This is going to be a hot story for two or three days, typically, and then it just goes away: ‘OK, next. Let’s see what Trump is doing.’ That can’t happen. That can’t happen. I’m not going to let it happen.”
Of the gunman, the father said: “He is a coward. He was a sick bastard and a coward. And, you know, if there is a hell, I hope he’s down there enjoying all the benefits.”