Richard Martinez is one parent among the many families and friends grieving the loss of the six college students murdered last weekend in Isla Vista, California. And he is well aware of the stagnation that occurs after the initial outrage which follows mass shootings, writes Katie McDonough:
“He is currently shouldering the unimaginable grief of being yet another parent who has lost yet another child in yet another mass shooting. He has seen this happen before, he knows the political script that’s already playing out. He has listened as gun apologists — time and again — urge the nation not to ‘politicize’ a national tragedy out of respect for the families, and then watched them turn on these same families in order to protect our deadly —and immensely profitable— culture of guns. And he’s using it. All of it.”
The gun lobby has repeatedly silenced critics by claiming that an honest discussion about gun violence exploits the victims for political gain. Our country’s politicians have the power to bring about sensible reform. They just aren’t doing enough. And Martinez, like others who have lost loved ones to gun violence, seems to have a better grasp on the issue than most politicians:
“When you asked me about solutions, here’s what I’ve learned. This is a complicated issue, but there’s a certain commonality between these events. Typically, all of these incidents involved […] mental health issues, gun violence and violence against women. These three problems are almost always combined.”
We must stand with people like Mr. Martinez if we hope to successfully put public safety above special interests.