Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher has a message for the families of the six victims killed during Elliot Rodger’s bloody rampage through Isla Vista, California: “Your dead kids don’t trump my constitutional rights.”
Mr. Wurzelbacher — a former Republican House candidate who became a mascot for the Republican Party during the 2008 presidential race after he confronted President Obama about small business taxes — penned an open letter on Memorial Day, which he posted on his “Joe For America” website, titled “To the parents of the victims murdered by Elliot Rodger.”
The father of two began his letter by saying he’s sorry to the families for their loss.
“I myself have a son and daughter and the one thing I never want to go through, is what you are going through now,” he writes. “But [a]s harsh as this sounds — your dead kids don’t trump my constitutional rights.”
“As a father, husband and a man, it is my responsibility to protect my family. I will stand up for that right vehemently. Please believe me, as a father I share your grief and I will pray for you and your family, as I do whenever I hear about senseless tragedies such as this,” he continued.
His comments come after Richard Martinez, father of one of the victims, told reporters on Sunday that he blamed politicians and the National Rifle Association for his son’s death. The murders have prompted calls from several Democrats, including Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Dianne Feinstein, for more gun control legislation.
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“We still have the Right to Bear Arms,” Mr. Wurzelbacher wrote, “and I intend to continue to speak out for that right and against those who would restrict it — even in the face of this horrible incident by this sad and insane individual. I almost said ‘Obama Voter’ but I’m waiting for it to be official.”
“In conclusion, I cannot begin to imagine the pain you are going through, having had your child taken away from you. However, any feelings you have toward my rights being taken away from me, lose those,” he said.
• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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