May 28, 2014Following the shooting rampage in Santa Barbara that took the lives of seven people including the shooter, the group New Yorkers Against Gun Violence is calling for federal laws modeled on New York's own gun control measure, The SAFE Act.
On Friday May 23, 22 year-old Elliot Rodger killed six students in the California city of Santa Barbara, citing a lifetime of rejection and loneliness. His victims included his two roommates and their visiting friend, two sorority girls, and a male student inside a deli. He also injured 13 others.
The father of Chris Martinez, the 20 year-old killed inside a local deli, issued a statement blaming "craven irresponsible politicians and the National Rifle Association" for the death of his son and others. (Watch the video below).
Leah Gunn Barrett, executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, said his anguish is palpable and reflects emotions felt around the country, urging the federal government for stronger gun control laws.
"Sadly it's another example of the weak federal gun laws," Barrett said. "There are three parts to this incident: the need for universal background checks, gun violence against women, and the use of high capacity magazines. Nobody needs to have a magazine that shoots 30 rounds."
Barrett took a moment to defend the SAFE Act, passed by the New York legislature in early 2013 following the Sandy Hook shooting, which claimed the lives of 20 school children and six teachers.
"We think the provisions passed in the New York SAFE Act need to be passed federally," Barrett said. "We have background checks; men with a history of domestic violence can't have guns; and you can't have magazines with more than 10 rounds."
After stabbing his three roommates to death, Rodgers carried out a drive-by style shooting spree with three legally obtained semi-automatic handguns, before killing himself. Before the shooting, Rodger emailed a 140-page manifesto to his family and several mental health professionals in which he outlined the reasons for his rage. The manifesto was filled with misogynistic rants as to why women had not "fulfilled him with the pleasure he rightly deserved."
Family members had originally alerted police after watching YouTube videos of Rodger where he planned a "Day of Retribution."
The shooting at Santa Barbara was the most recent of a series of high profile shootings throughout the country. Federal lawmakers have failed to reach an agreement regarding how to proceed with gun control legislation.
Richard Martinez went on to say in other statements that America has become too accepting of the gun violence displayed during Sandy Hook and the attack that killed his son. Barrett agreed.
"We need to be as loud as the 'pro-guns' and match their passion because the second amendment doesn't trump safety," Barrett said.