Excerpts from Richard Martinez’s interview with The Washington Post

May 27

Richard Martinez, father of Santa Barbara shooting victim Chris Martinez, spoke to The Washington Post on Monday. Below are excerpts from that interview.

“No one should lose a child like this. Caryn [Chris’s mother] was 44 years old when she had Chris. She was in labor for 18 hours. She was on bed rest for four months because it was a high-risk pregnancy. Ask her what it feels like to lose her only child. No one should go through this.”

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Richard Martinez, the father of 20-year-old Christopher Martinez, one of six killed in the Isla Vista, California shooting rampage, spoke to the media Saturday. Martinez expressed his frustration with “irresponsible politicans and the NRA” on gun control laws. (Reuters)

“Chris was really into basketball. He would practice for hours. He dropped every other sport to get good at it. His junior year, he was asked to try out for the varsity team. He didn’t. He was highly competitive and his friends were taking AP [Advanced Placement] classes and focusing on college. He turned his attention to that. He got a letter in AP English and wore it on his letterman’s jacket.”

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“I’m speaking out to make my son’s death and life mean something. I can’t walk away from this. I’m not going to stop until something changes.”

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“I understand this is a complicated problem. I have friends who are in the NRA. I grew up on a farm. I hunted. I killed animals. I understand guns. . . . But assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons? There is no need for those except in war. A young man living in an urban area does not need these guns.”

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“The problem is mental health, guns and violence against women.”

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“My family is very aware, Caryn is very aware that my son’s death was accidental. [Elliot Rodger’s] expressions of hatred and revenge were directed at young women.”

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“I’m pretty mad, and I’m going to be mad until something changes.”

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“People say that nothing can be done. That’s bulls---. Go to Canada. Go to Australia. Go to the rest of the world. That is bogus nonsense. Other countries don’t have this problem. Are we going to say we can’t solve this problem? We are the greatest nation in the world. We can fix this.”

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“I don’t blame law enforcement for it . I don’t blame the family for it. I have worked in those situations, representing parents. I’ve represented children as young as 15 who were accused of murder.”

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“I have been listening to a book about Steve Jobs. When people told him nothing could be done, he didn’t listen to them. He changed the world by insisting that problems can be solved when other people said they couldn’t. It hit me. That’s what I have to do.”

Kimberly Kindy is a government accountability reporter at The Washington Post.
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