On August 26, 2015, Alison Parker, 24, and Adam Ward, 27, were shot and killed on live television while filming a segment for WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia. Their assailant was an angry ex-employee of the television station and their attacks were broadcast as they happened before the gunman killed himself.
On Tuesday, Parker’s boyfriend of nine months, Chris Hurst, decided to leave his position at that same television station and announced his intention to run for office against Joseph Yost, an incumbent Republican lawmaker who’s been endorsed by the NRA. He hopes to win the Democratic nomination in the 12th House District with a different platform on gun control than that of most liberals. Instead of a sweeping ban on assault weapons, he’s going to focus on keeping guns out of civilians’ hands when they are most at risk of hurting people.
Hurst told The Guardian, “What I care about most is trying to reduce the number of people who die with a gun, whether it’s homicide or suicide.”
“We have a lot of work to do to cut out the BS when it comes to gun violence prevention,” Hurst explained. He’s interested in implementing a “gun violence restraining order” which would allow police or family to request a legal confiscation of weapons from someone who appears to be headed toward violence. “It would be effective. It would work,” Hurst said.
At first, Hurst worried that many may see him “as a single-issue candidate because my girlfriend was killed with a gun,” he told The Roanoke Times. However, he hopes that people may realize that his journalistic background helped forge him a future in government.
“This will certainly be one of the biggest House races this year, and maybe even bigger than the governor’s race,” Hurst’s opponent Yost told The Roanoke Times of the election.
Hurst’s story may provide a tragic ending with a refreshing new beginning.