We should stand with Andy Parker in his fight for gun laws that will make it harder for people to be shot down like his TV reporter daughter and her cameraman.
Andy Parker, grieving his daughter’s death last week, said, “This is my life’s work.” That mission is to take on the National Rifle Association and make it less likely someone else’s child will be shot to death.
We know how this usually plays out. A whole bunch of folks will be with him, for a few weeks anyway, until other things catch our attention. But the gun guys, they won’t tire, and they won’t relent in their protection of the right of every American to wrap his hand around a deadly weapon.
Last Monday, the NRA and two other gun groups filed suit against the city of Seattle to stop the city from taxing gun and ammunition sales.
American gun culture resists erosion like a granite block, but given time and persistence, even granite can be worn away.
Most Read Local Stories
- A tour inside the West Seattle Bridge reveals 'banjo tight' repairs
- 'We are at war': So much for the GOP general election pivot to the middle
- Washington will elect non-Republican as secretary of state for the first time since 1960
- Families of 4 killed in Alaska floatplane crash sue Holland America, alleging cruise company pressures excursion operators
- Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler concedes primary defeat to Trump-endorsed challenger Joe Kent
I decided to write again about the need to get out from under the spell of gun love, because I saw a long article that said fighting against the NRA is a lost cause. It said all the facts, all reason, are on the side of more gun control, but none of that can fight gun mythology.
Yet, a steady stream of water can wash away stone. You never know when the breakthrough moment will come, but it won’t come if reasonable people give up.
Parker seems like a reasonable person. And he joins the many others who ask only that our laws do a little more to keep guns out of the hands of people who might do what the man who shot his daughter did.
I don’t want to use his name because notoriety was one of his goals.
The gunman shot and killed Alison Parker, a television reporter, and Adam Ward, a cameraman, last Wednesday in Roanoke, Va. The attack was televised and spread online by the shooter. And, as with previous high-profile shootings, it got some politicians talking about gun control, and the opposition talking about all the other factors besides the gun that contributed to the tragedy.
This particular gunman ranted about being discriminated against because he is black and gay. Each mass shooting, each individual shooting has its own set of contributory factors, often including possible mental illness.
It’s reasonable to look at all of the factors to try to address them, but it is not reasonable to exclude the most common denominator, the availability of guns, the easy access to guns, that makes this country stand out in the world.
If you want one, you can get one. That’s the major reason why the U.S. stands in a category of its own when it comes to mass shootings, why we see so many gun deaths of all kinds, in the commission of other crimes, in suicides, in domestic violence.
It’s too easy to buy guns, and just about as easy to steal them from the homes and cars of people who think they’ve purchased protection. Millions of dollars worth of guns are stolen in Washington state every year.
Just pick up a newspaper, and you’re likely to see something about gunfire. Sometimes it becomes a big story, as in the shooting death of International District fixture Donnie Chin, who was killed in his car last month. He was driving to the scene of another shooting at the time.
Often the shootings get a smaller mention because no one happened to be in the path of a bullet. And you won’t hear about the suicides at all, but they constitute the majority of gun deaths in King County.
There were several recent shootings locally that police said involved members of gangs, but that weren’t about gang warfare. They involved disputes over money or women, but if one or both parties has a gun, well you use what’s at hand.
Alison Parker’s father said he’s going after politicians who fear to act on gun control. He told The New York Times, “I’m going to shame them, and embarrass them. My mission here is not to let this go away.”
That’s how you crack a block, but that work will go quicker if more Americans held onto their frustration and used it at the ballot box. Make sensible gun policy one of the criteria you use to judge the people you elect to represent you.