In the wake of tragedy, the parents of Sandy Hook Promise, a non-profit organization formed by parents and spouses who lost family members in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, have spoken out in support of Richard Martinez, who lost his 20-year-old son, Christopher, in Isla Vista.
Martinez has spoken publicly, through his devastation; he blames the NRA and "irresponsible politicians" for his son's tragic death.
"I can't tell you how angry I am, it's just awful and no parent should have to go through this... NO PARENT," Martinez said in an interview with CNN (which you can watch above). "To have a kid DIE, because in this kind of a situation, what has changed? Have we learned nothing? These things are going to continue until somebody does something, so where the HELL is the leadership? ... My kid died because NOBODY responded to what occurred in Sandy Hook."
For Mark Barden, who lost his 7-year-old son, Daniel, at Sandy Hook, those words were especially tragic. Last December, he told HuffPost that the shooting that took his son “is going to be looked back on as the moment of transformation."
Now, Barden has welcomed Martinez into "an extended family... born from the horrible circumstance of losing a child to gun violence," on behalf of the Sandy Hook parents, via their 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,
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Martinez and Barden -- and all the parents who will forever be grieving.