Richard Martinez, father of Christopher Michaels-Martinez, a victim of the recent Santa Barbara tragedy, made his first visit to Washington, DC today since his son was killed to carry forward his message that “Not One More” American should be killed by senseless gun violence. Martinez was joined at the National Press Club by survivors of Newtown, Aurora, Tucson and Virginia Tech shootings and survivors of everyday gun violence who echoed his call.
“This is a country that prides itself on solutions,” said Richard Martinez, father of a victim of the recent tragedy in Isla Vista, California. “What could be more important than taking care of our kids? It’s obscene, it’s intolerable, and I will fight every day for the rest of my life to hold the people we send to Congress accountable because if it could happen to my family, it could happen to anyone’s.”
Upon hearing Martinez’s call to action, Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America launched a postcard campaign that makes it easy to automatically send postcards to elected officials. More than 600,000 Americans signed up and for each one of them, Everytown will deliver postcards to each individual’s U.S. House representative, two U.S. Senators and governor – this means that more than 2.4 million postcards will be delivered to demand that political leaders take action to end gun violence. Everytown and Moms Demand Action will begin delivering these postcards to elected officials including to Senators Ayotte, Heitkamp, Flake, Pryor, Chambliss, Isakson, Coats and Representatives Rigell and Coffman later this week. Martinez will participate in the postcard delivery to Arizona Senator Jeff Flake in Phoenix on Friday.
“The outcry from hundreds of thousands of Americans shows this movement is not going away,” said Erica Lafferty, daughter of Newtown shooting victim Dawn Hochsprung and Everytown Outreach Associate. “Those of us who have had our lives devastated by gun violence are not going away. If you don’t vote to save lives from gun violence you are going to hear from us.”
“18 months ago our daughter Hadiya marched in Washington as part of President Obama’s inauguration,” said Cleopatra and Nathaniel Pendleton, parents of Chicago gun violence victim and Everytown Advisory Board Members. “But a month later our smart, motivated, and beautiful daughter was shot and murdered on Chicago’s South Side. Not one more family should have to feel the pain we felt when Hadiya was killed.”
“We know there are common-sense solutions like expanding background checks that will save lives,” said Sandy and Lonnie Phillips, parents of Aurora theater shooting victim Jessica Ghawi and Campaign Managers for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “It’s up to all of us – gun violence survivors, mothers, fathers, and children – to hold our leaders in Washington accountable over the wishes of the corporate gun lobby out just to sell more guns. We join Richard Martinez in his call to action: Not one more.”
“I stand here today while Richard Martinez adds his voice to the chorus of mothers and fathers like me,” said Tom Sullivan, whose son Alex died in the Aurora theater shooting. “We all ask, when will this insanity of gun violence come to an end? What does it take for Senators and Congressmen to stand with us and have the courage to see something change?”