When John Walsh's son, Adam, was kidnapped and brutally murdered in 1981, he became a highly successful advocate for victims' rights, leading to the formation of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the birth of the television program "America's Most Wanted," which, during its run, played a key role in helping to capture over 1,000 fugitives.
In contrast, when White House Press Secretary James Brady was shot by John Hinckley in 1981, he and his wife Sarah responded to his horrific circumstances by blaming an inanimate object, becoming the modern era’s most notable gun control advocates and helping to pass some feel-good but almost entirely worthless legislation.
Andy Parker, father to Alison Parker.
Enter Andy and Barbara Parker, parents of slain journalist Alison Parker and the left’s new poster children, currently being exploited by a mainstream media hellbent on ramming gun control down our throats. It seems like every time you turn on the TV these days there they are, talking about how they are going to ensure Alison's death wasn't in vain by taking on the NRA and getting some more "common sense gun control legislation" on the books.
Because we all know that if more such legislation were on the books their daughter would still be alive, right?
Please don't misunderstand my intent. It is not to in any way minimize or marginalize the devastating loss they have suffered. I feel for them, truly. I have three daughters, and I can't imagine what it would be like to lose any of them, especially to something so evil and senseless. From the moment I heard about this tragedy they have been in my thoughts and prayers along with the other family members affected.
But that's the thing, isn't it? How much have we heard from those other family members, at least compared to the Parkers? I do remember hearing an interview snippet from Adam Ward's father. In it he acknowledged the obvious fact that more gun control wouldn't have prevented his son's murder.
I actually meant to link to the interview for this piece, but I couldn't find it amidst all the Andy Parker coverage (the closest thing I found was a reference to it in this Red State blog). And somehow, I doubt that CNN will be interviewing Mr. Ward anytime soon. His views apparently don’t fit he narrative they are looking for.
It's not that Alison's parents don't deserve an outlet. Their daughter was murdered on national TV, so I don't begrudge them the right to speak their minds.
The fact that the Parkers feel the need to disparage the NRA and Second Amendment supporters belies their contention that they just want to keep guns out of the hands of the “mentally ill.”
Alison Parker and Adam Ward. Source: NBC News
And how would this be determined exactly? Do we comb through psychiatric records? Do we ban anyone who has ever sought counseling of any kind from owning guns? Do we ban certain belief systems? How deep does this go? Might someone in need of help be hesitant to seek it for fear of losing their right to defend themselves?
You see, Mr. Parker, this whole thing is much more complicated than your run-of-the-mill Democrat talking points. It’s one thing to respond to a tragedy with workable solutions and common-sense, reasonable activism that could really make a difference. That’s what John Walsh did. That's what Becky Brown, the founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, did. It’s quite another to repeat the same tired, worn-out, pie-in-the-sky liberal rhetoric and expect us to believe it.
Maybe it would be smart to work WITH the NRA and Second Amendment supporters to see if there is a solution that would help. Maybe there is and maybe there isn’t, but I know one thing – the solution is NOT the disparaging, condescending tone you’re taking right now.
If I could ask Andy Parker one question, I would ask him what his public stance would have been if Vester Flanagan had used a knife instead of a gun to murder his daughter. Would he be trying to enact “knife control?”
The thing is, not all tragedies can be prevented by passing laws. In fact, very few of them can. Why? Because, as Matt Walsh eloquently wrote about in this recent viral piece, we live in a fallen world and man’s heart is wickedly evil, particularly in this spiritually decadent day and age.
Parker, who has never owned a gun but admits that he probably will buy one now (apparently to protect himself from right-wing types who take umbrage at his gun control stand), stated, “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.”
You can't base public policy on emotion. You just can't. Every parent rightly wants to make some sense out of their tragedy. They want to help ensure that it never happens to another person, ever again. It's human. It's understandable. Problem is, trying to pass legislation based on emotion instead of common sense not only isn't logical or effective, it can often result in unintended consequences which result in more people being harmed in different ways.
In an interview right after the shooting, Mr. Parker echoed what any rational human would feel in a similar situation by stating “If there is a hell, I hope he’s down there enjoying all the benefits.”
Except that most people with a Christian worldview might recognize that there most certainly IS a hell and, while we live in a sinful, fallen world, a just God will deal with Mr. Flanagan exactly as He should.
Andy Parker wants to be the "John Walsh of gun control."
With respect, maybe Andy Parker will find a way to contribute something to the debate besides useless liberal rhetoric. Until then, he is certainly no John Walsh.
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