Interview with Richard Martinez, Everytown for Gun Safety Supporter

What do you say to a man who’s only son was randomly murdered by a mentally-deranged sociopath?

“Sorry for your loss,” just seems inadequate. Nevertheless, that’s what I told Richard Martinez when I met him Saturday at an Everytown for Gun Safety rally at Riverfront Park in downtown Nashville.

Martinez’s 20-year-old son Christopher, a college student at the University of California Santa Barbara, was shot and killed during the Isla Vista spree Killing in May of last year.

Immediately following the tragedy, Martinez lashed out at the nation’s gun lobby while talking to reporters.

“Why did Chris die? Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the N.R.A.,” said Martinez, fighting back tears. “They talk about gun rights. What about Chris’s right to live? When will this insanity stop? When will enough people say, ‘Stop this madness; we don’t have to live like this?’ Too many have died. We should say to ourselves: not one more.”

Not long after Martinez joined up with Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, and Michael Bloomberg, the co-founder of Mayors Against Illegal Guns and their joint gun-control organization Everytown for Gun Safety to advocate for tougher gun laws.

I wanted to give Martinez an opportunity to speak directly to the gun community. I wanted to see if there was something that perhaps we could agree on. And there is, we all want to reduce gun violence. But how we go about doing it remains an issue of debate, which is often contentious and vitriolic.

I think what I learned in talking to Martinez is that while I’m not going to change his mind on the Second Amendment and he is not going to change my mind, perhaps we can be a little more civil in how we address one another. It’s easy to hate gun control advocates you don’t know and disagree with. But hate gets us nowhere. It only retards our mission to win over more hearts and minds.

I’ll continue to extend a hand to those on the other side of the gun divide. Why? Because I believe that we’re all human and we’re all entitled to believe what we want to believe. And who knows, if I continue to offer the olive branch, I may just end up getting more people to see the light.

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Brian S. April 13, 2015, 11:48 pm

    This man lost his son to a deranged lunatic in CA who killed 5 other innocent people, and wounded many more. Half of the people that were killed were killed with a knife, but as yet, no one has come forward to call for more knife control or for background checks on knife purchasers.

    Now I feel sorry for his loss, but will not allow that to be an excuse for his idiocy.

    Please notice that during this short interview, he makes the statements that in the 50’s and 60’s, we didn’t have the kind of “gun violence” that we have today. He also states that the NRA in the 50’s and 60’s was a civic minded organization that taught hunter education, conservation, and firearms safety to children.

    He claims that he isn’t anti-gun. Yet his actions are speaking far louder than his words.

    Oh how I wish I could have been the one doing the interview. I would have asked him, “You seem to long for the relative peace of the 50’s and 60’s. Do you realize that during that time, anyone, and I mane ANYONE could buy a gun through the mail and have it delivered directly to their home? No Federal forms. No age restrictions. No registration, except in certain areas. No background checks. If there was soo much less “gun violence” back then, when there were far fewer restrictions on the ownership of firearms, what makes you think that more restrictions are the answer? Logic would dictate that something other than a lack of restrictions on firearms is the cause of the increase in violence.”

    “Further; The reason that the NRA is not teaching firearms safety, hunter education, Etc. in schools anymore is not that they decided to just drop the programs. Groups much like the one with which you are associating have seen to it that they can’t. Ask your buddy, Shannon Watts, to back allowing the Eddie Eagle program into middle and high schools and see how she reacts. I would bet a year’s salary that she asks, “What’s wrong with you?””

  • Russ April 13, 2015, 6:38 pm

    What a joke.
    I see pandering by a guy who’s being pandered by anti gunners, that’s all.
    People die and get killed all the time, it’s nothing new.
    Good people get armed, stop the violence.
    Guns save countless more people than they do murdering.
    Guns are no more violent than anything else in this world.
    Lame ass categorization. “Gun Violence”
    What a time waster.
    Liberal minds were not changed.
    This bullshit sure as hell doesn’t sway us gun enthusiasts in the least.

    ———————————>This has been a S.H. BLANNELBERRY Special<—————————————

  • Damon April 13, 2015, 4:50 pm

    I’m sorry for your loss. I’m also sorry you never taught your son to exercise his natural rights as protected by the Constitution and encouraged him to have the means at hand to provide his own defense. You know, in case he ever needed to defend his life against a psychopath. Mostly, I’m just sorry you’re allowing political activists to capitalize on and polarize your child’s victimhood.

  • Second A. Carry April 13, 2015, 3:32 pm

    Sorry for your loss. Now, what if those seven men had a right to carry concealed at the time of the shooting. Do you honestly think they would let that pyscho shoot them? No, they would have stopped that madman where he stood and you’d still have your son alive today. It’s sad, but that’s how it is. They could have DEFENDED themselves if only they were allowed to carry.

  • Don Kaufman April 13, 2015, 12:25 pm

    You sound like Neville Chamberlain. Give the anti-gunners an inch and they’ll try to take a mile. This is like trying to make nice with a crocodile.

  • BHP Shooter April 13, 2015, 11:10 am

    Senor Martinez,

    Do you know what Seung-Hui Cho, Jared Loughner and James Holmes have in common? – They all passed background checks.

    Thanks for playing, now go away.

  • BHP Shooter April 13, 2015, 11:10 am

    Senor Martinez,

    Do you know what Seung-Hui Cho, Jared Loughner and James Holmes have in common? – They all passed background checks.

    Thanks for playing, now go away.

  • Chris April 13, 2015, 10:59 am

    Really? That’s all you asked him? Why does nobody ever ask the difficult (for them) questions? Like why did background checks not stop the Isla Vista shooter? Why registration, the APPS program, bans on many different types of guns, magazine capacity limits and so on didn’t stop the shooter? I would LOVE to hear his explanation for that.

    On top of that, Oklahoma is far from the only example of a state which liberalized its gun laws and experienced a drop in crime, hasn’t every single state in the country experienced this?

    And to shed some light on his assertion that the NRA has been appealing more to the “extremists” in the gun rights community, that’s only because they came under attack in the 70s and 80s from radical anti-gun groups and refused to just roll over and take it like they have in the past. When you’re confronted by a man with a gun and you don’t have a gun yourself, the first thing you do is call someone who does have a gun, so yes the answer to a bad guy with a gun is more guns, sorry reality doesn’t agree with you.

    But I’m preaching to the choir here, just about everybody on this website gets it so my breath really is wasted…

  • Harold Greenleaf April 13, 2015, 9:36 am

    I believe the NRA believes that adjudicated mentally ill people should not have access to guns.
    They also shouldn’t have access to knives, hammers, 2×4’s.
    All current gun control only attacks law abiding citizens.

  • Joe Bob April 13, 2015, 9:00 am

    Hate and intolerance seems to largely flow from the left – I’m afraid there’s not much we who support liberty can do there.

  • Abner T Yokum April 13, 2015, 7:52 am

    Wow. Nothing but pity for this guy. Not only for the loss of his kid, but also because of his real beliefs that all of his sound bites are the gospel…

  • Martin Bury April 13, 2015, 7:47 am

    The NRA is still “civic-minded” and teaches all those “values” they did back in the 50’s and 60’s. Unfortunately, left-wing politicians have attacked law-abiding gun owners, which has necessitated the appropriate political response from the NRA.

    • JT April 13, 2015, 9:25 am


  • chris cliff April 13, 2015, 7:16 am

    shut the hell up asshole. background checks CAN NOT and WILL NOT stop a criminal period.

    • Joe April 13, 2015, 9:45 pm

      Although I feel bad for this guy, there is much more to it than gun control. The sociopath that killed his some and some other people was an annouced ticking time bomb, whose parents were irresponsible enough to not give him atttention on time. He also used a car to kill some people . Is this guy all for banning the use of cars altogether ? No. What about knives? What about pools and even doctors??Yes, they kill statistically more people a year than guns do and no one is doing nothing to ban them. As always is not about guns, its about control. And when something like this happens to someone who has already been brainwashed by the left side, their madness is still worst. In their perfect world , banning guns from law abiding citizens would somehow make criminals and gun crime dissapear. They forget that 100% of gun crime is done by criminals and not LAC. He would not be the last. Maybe a properly armed law abiding citizen could have stopped the killing spree on time before police arrived. But no, California is one of the most retarded states concerning gun laws and dont give the citizens the opportunity to defend their lives or others. Only the all miraculous and angelic police can have guns in California because somehow they are not humans but better than humans. So sad they minutes away when seconds count.

      • dink winkerson April 21, 2015, 12:44 pm

        They should possibly ban the anti-psychotics that were found in his system during autopsy.

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