In a conference call yesterday, Andy and Barbara Parker – the parents of murdered Roanoke TV journalist Alison Parker – ripped Virginia legislators like Del. Scott Lingamfelter (R) as “gutless cowards” who are in the “pockets of the gun lobby.” The Parkers urged voters to elect Democrat Sara Townsend on November 3. Here’s a partial transcript of the Parkers’ powerful remarks.
Andy Parker: …After my daughter Alison was murdered on live television, I pledged to do whatever it takes to reduce gun violence in this country and in the Commonwealth. And that includes electing political leaders who will support commonsense gun legislation. And that’s why Barbara and I support Sara Townsend; she’s not afraid to take on the gun lobby and save lives. And another thing I’m sure you’ve seen, over the past few weeks I’ve [called out] several politicians for being gutless cowards. Unfortunately, the General Assembly has more than its share, but I think that Scott Lingamfelter is in a league of his own. In fact, I think you’ll find his picture next to the definition of ‘coward’ in the dictionary. By preventing these [life-saving?] bills from even reachiung the main body for a vote as he does time and again just shows how deeply he is in the pockets of the gun lobby. He puts NRA money ahead of the safety of families and law enforcement in the Commonwealth, and for us that’s unconscionable and it just doesn’t cut it. And that’s why we want to do whatever we can do to get Sara [Townsend] elected.
Barbara Parker: …I believe that our legislators are elected to serve and protect us. Del. Lingamfelter is Chairman of the House Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee. To me, that says ‘serve and protect,’ and he’s doing neither. He’s been an opponent of any gun violence prevention legislation as long as he’s been there. [Linfamgfelter] recently said he opposes laws to disarm domestic abusers, saying there’s always the potential that someone could file a restraining order out of harassment and these people are vindictive. So he’s accusing these women who are victims of domestic abuse of lying in order to be vindictive. And women are killed with guns by intimate partners 21% higher than the national average here in Virginia. And for him to say that – these women are just trying to get away and protect their children and protect themselves – it’s just unconscionable. We have learned so much in the past two months about the state of affairs in the legislature in Virginia, and I find it frankly condescending and horrifying that they can say these things and that people accept it. I don’t accept that.
Andy Parker: Another thing I found is that guys like Lingamfelter…they run from it, they don’t even acknowledge that we’re here. We never even got any kind of message from any of the legislators here, other than Robert Hurt. They know that they have blood on their hands, that they’re taking blood money from the NRA, and they don’t even have the decency to reach out to us or look us in the eye. And I guarantee you if Lingamfelter, if he were here, he’d be running just like the rest of these cowards.