Gun control debate sparked by second anniversary of Sandy Hook massacre

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Today marks the second anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut.

There have been more than 75 mass shootings since Sandy Hook and the outspoken father of a victim in one of those subsequent shootings is traveling the country demanding action on guns.

Richard Martinez became well known in the aftermath of the Isla Vista shooting back in May of 2014 when he demanded action on gun control from what he called "craven politicians."

Martinez spoke with FOX6 News in Fox Point at a meeting of the local chapter of the group "Mom's Demand Action."

Martinez lost his son in a California shooting after Sandy Hook.

FOX6 News' Mike Lowe asked what the tragedy meant to Martinez:

"My son was killed in Isla Vista, California this past year. He was in his second year at UC Santa Barbara. It was a Friday night, and he walked from his apartment to a deli just a few blocks from where he lived. The last picture I've seen of my son was a picture of him opening up a door for other kids. He was struck by a bullet on his left side, it penetrated his heart and he fell right to the ground," Martinez said.

It was back in May of this year that 22-year-old Elliot Rodger killed six people during that rampage -- claiming he had suffered a lifetime of quote "social and sexual isolation."

"The world remembers the names Dylan Kliebold and Eric Harris, Adam Lanza, and Eliot Rodger. No one remembers the name of Christopher Martinez. If we don't talk about Chris, then all they're going to talk about is the shooter. You need to talk about Christopher, so people will know what we lost," said Martinez.

Martinez gave a speech in front of the sheriff's substation in Santa Barbara the day after his son was killed.

"When will we stop this madness? We don't have to live like this! Too many have died! We should say to ourselves, not one more," said Martinez.

FOX6 News' Mike Lowe asks: "That was really an angry and emotional denunciation of our leaders in congress and the NRA. And, as I'm sure you're aware there were those, including those in the NRA, who said you were simply exploiting a tragedy for political gain. What do you have to say to those critics?"

Martinez said, "I would say that it's a fallacy to say just because a speech is emotional doesn't make it irrational."

As a parent who has gone through such a terrible loss, FOX6 News asked what message he'd want to get out as we all remember what happened at Sandy Hook.

"I had 20 years with my son. Those parents at Sandy Hook -- we're talking little kids. How is it that 20 little kids get massacred in their school, and nothing happened? I mean, can you picture it? All those little kids huddled, lying dead in their own blood on the floor in an elementary school? What kind of a country are we living in that that doesn't spark some kind of action? It's friggin ridiculous," said Martinez.

Martinez toured 9 states but said Wisconsin was special to him because his son was a Green Bay Packers fan.

10 comments

  • 2ECOND

    his son was killed in komifornia, how is this possible considering that they have some of the strictest gun controls in the country, and yet, there are still deaths due to someone that shouldn’t have had a gun. even if guns were completely outlawed you are STILL going to have murders. until we start getting serious about putting those that commit serious crimes against others to death, there wont be any changes.

  • glsnj

    “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms…disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one.” as quoted by Thomas Jefferson in his “Legal Commonplace Book.”

  • educated one

    Instead of placing blame lets hear his solution .You liberals need to put your ideas out there to solve these problems without trampling on our individual rights protected by Bill of Rights. Its like blaming the FORK that made Rosie O’Donnell FAT…

    NRA has the best solution but generates the most uproar. Just saying…

  • Liz

    Richard Martinez, you are such a brave man and a wonderful father to your son, Chris. I’ll remember Chris and all the others we’ve lost to gun violence and will work to bring about change. The changes that Mr. Martinez and so many others are calling for are COMMON SENSE, and they do NOT harm law-abiding gun owners. If you would prioritize unrestricted, unregulated access to guns over the lives of Chris and others, shame on you.

  • Vincent

    I find it funny how everyone makes statements that “we don’t need weapons”. I will also come out and say it now as well that I am not affiliated with any political entity, because if people disagree with your statement their intellectual cop out is to label you a certain radical party member. I feel both parties give the illusion of a choice and this country has been bought and sold a long time ago. You have no real choice in voting and in the decisions of this country. The media controls public opinion, which controls voting and policies, and the elite of this country own the media (think about it objectively and logically people). I worked in Psychological Operations in the Army, the way we manipulate people overseas is no different than it is here people. So back to my point, as long as ANY human in this world owns a weapon and I do not, I am at a tactical disadvantage. Why should I forfeit my life, because others still have the right to bear arms, but I do not? The point is even if you banned weapons, the government would still have the right to own them. Without weapons how can we defend ourselves against a potential tyrannical government? Most people here have never seen war or a truly corrupt government real time; I have during my time overseas and specialized in counter-insurgency operations. I have seen firsthand the oppressive nature of mankind and how a government entity not checked can oppress its citizens. In a perfect world I would love to see ZERO weapons, that means every human being to include the government would forfeit all weapons and at that time I could care less about owning a weapon. Until that day happens, you guys are ignorant if you think you will be safer without weapons. It is called the illusion of safety and most people are willing to sacrifice rights in order to achieve the “feeling of safety” by pushing for legislation that has no real measure of effectiveness towards the root cause of the problem. People who wish to commit malicious acts will do so. If someone wants a weapon it can be bought on the black market or stolen. Banning citizen’s weapons only leaves the average person defenseless. Also banning weapons is not going to the root cause of the problem. Guns are just a stemming issue of mankind; the root cause of all the deaths is a much deeper social dynamic issue at play. Mankind is the issue, you can take away the guns, but not the will to commit violence and oppress others for your own malicious agendas. People can still make explosives for example out of everyday items which if properly implemented would make even the most deadly assault weapon seem like childs play and cause a high measure of effectiveness if executed with a properly formulated plan. I applaud people’s desire to live in a free world without weapons and violence. However most people do not have the real world experience and wisdom it takes to articulate an accurate analysis about the situation in order to formulate realistic courses of actions to solve these issues. 

  • Curious and Questioning

    EVERYONE needs to download and watch the new documentary “We Need to Talk About Sandy Hook”. If you REALLY care about our children and the future of American you need to watch and share. It will get you thinking about this event and many others ….

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