Democrats victory , two days after Texas church massacre left 26 dead, is hailed by gun control advocates as proof progress on gun violence is possible
A first-time politician who lost his girlfriend to gun violence has defeated the National Rifle Association-backed incumbent in a state house race in Virginia. Chris Hurst, a former television journalist, ran on a platform that included gun violence prevention.
Hursts victory, just two days after a mass shooting at a Texas church left 26 people dead, was hailed by gun control advocates as proof that it is possible to make progress on Americas gun violence crisis at the local level. Despite a series of increasingly frequent, deadly mass shootings, congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump continue to block any attempt at gun law reform in Washington.
Hursts girlfriend, 24-year-old journalist Alison Parker, was shot dead on live television during a routine morning broadcast in 2015, along with WDBJ7 cameraman Adam Ward. Parker had been quietly dating Hurst, another reporter at the station, and they had just moved in together. A reported 40,000 people watched the shooting live.
A year after Parkers death, Hurst was sent to cover a very similar workplace shooting, this one at a Roanoke rail car manufacturing company. Hurst covered the news, but he was shaken by the similarities between the two shootings, and said he decided to leave his job as a television journalist that day.
I would not be who I am right now if the person I love was not killed with a gun, he told the Guardian in February, the month he announced that he was running for state office in Virginias house of delegates.