Richard Martinez, whose 20-year-old son Christopher was killed Friday in the shooting at the University of California, Santa Barbara, spoke out following his son’s death blaming the NRA, Congress, and the U.S. government’s lack of action following the Sandy Hook school shooting for the tragedy.
Mark Barden, whose 7-year-old son Daniel was killed at Sandy Hook, responded to Martinez, posting the following statement on the Sandy Hook Promise Facebook page:
Dear Richard Martinez,
We have not met, but you are now part of our extended family. It is not a family we chose, but a family born from the horrible circumstance of losing a child to gun violence—one that’s only growing each day. My heart breaks for you because I know just a little about the long road ahead of you. We have reached out to you privately but publicly we wanted to say to you and those feeling the sorrow, anger and frustration of this weeks’ shooting, you are not alone. It has helped me, and some of the other family members who lost children and family at Sandy Hook Elementary, to come together and advocate for common sense solutions to expanding programs for mental wellness and gun safety solutions. You will find your own path down this difficult road. But know that we are here for you and all of you who have been touched by this tragedy. Together we can and will build a safer world for all our children.
With deepest sympathy,
“We’re part of this awful fraternity,” Barden told BuzzFeed, speaking on why he posted the open letter to Martinez. “I don’t even remember the first couple days after [Daniel was killed].”
Barden said he reached out privately to Martinez, but has not spoken to him.