Parents of TV reporter killed on air aim to change gun laws


Andy and Barbara Parker, parents of Alison Parker.

CBS News

Six months after WDBJ-TV correspondent Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were gunned down on live television, Parker's parents say they're on a mission to change gun laws, in an interview to be broadcast on CBS' "Sunday Morning" on March 13.

Alison Parker and Adam Ward CBS News

The interview is part of a special edition of "Sunday Morning," titled "Guns and America," which looks at the role of firearms in the country from a variety of historical, cultural, political and personal points of view.

Parker and Ward were killed by a former coworker as they were reporting live on the morning news in Roanoke, Va., last August. The man who shot them had passed a background check and legally bought the gun he used to kill the two reporters and seriously wound another person, before taking his own life.

Nonetheless, Parker's parents, Barbara and Andy, have turned their grief into motivation to require tougher background checks for gun purchases, and to close loopholes in gun purchase requirements, in spite of strong lobbying by gun rights proponents (such as the NRA) against such laws.

"We're on a mission. I don't think it's quixotic," Andy Parker told correspondent Erin Moriarty. "And I don't think we're going to fail."

"We've seen this become a national conversation," added Barbara Parker. "Whereas, even a couple of years ago, no one would talk about it. But now people are all discussing it, and telling us, 'What you're doing is important.'"

Moriarty talks with the Parkers about their lives after their daughter and Ward were killed. Moriarty also talks with Chris Hurst, Parker's boyfriend and an anchor at WDBJ-TV, a CBS affiliate.

Hurst hadn't tuned in the morning news that day because, he explains, Parker claimed she'd mess up if she knew he was watching. Hurst added that he lost everything that day.

Now, he watches the Parkers honor their daughter's spirit by fighting for change. That fight, however, comes with risks, as they have become "targets," he tells Moriarty: "But, we don't have any fear. We really feel like [Alison]'s guiding us, and we're just following her lead."

Click here for more with Hurst.

The Emmy Award-winning "Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood," is broadcast on CBS on Sundays beginning at 9:00 a.m. ET. Executive producer is Rand Morrison.

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