Mark Barden, whose 7-year-old son was killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook shootings, has a message for the heartbroken father of one of the University of California, Santa Barbara, shooting victims: “You are not alone.”
Richard Martinez’s 20-year-old son Christopher was one of the six killed by Elliot Rodger in Friday’s massacre in Isla Vista, Calif. The grieving father told reporters that he blamed his son’s death on the NRA and politicians who failed to act in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre in Newtown, Conn., that left 26 dead.
“Dear Richard Martinez,” Mr. Barden wrote on the Facebook page for Sandy Hook Promise, a group dedicated to preventing gun violence, Yahoo News reported. “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,” Mr. Barden continues. “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 [week’s] 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,” he writes. “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.”
The letter comes after Mr. Martinez appeared on CNN Monday and raged against Congress’ inaction on gun control.
“My kid died because nobody responded to what occurred at Sandy Hook,” he said, Yahoo reported. “Those parents lost little kids. It’s bad enough that I lost my 20-year-old, but I had 20 years with my son. That’s all I will ever have, but those people lost their children at 6 and 7 years old. How do you think they feel? And who’s talking to them now? Who’s doing anything for them now?”