Two dads on two different coasts have found themselves with something very unfortunate in common: They both lost their sons in acts of gun violence.
Richard Martinez, whose son Christopher was killed this past weekend in the shooting at the University of California, Santa Barbara, angrily spoke out Tuesday afternoon, saying he "wants members of Congress and others to stop calling him to offer condolences for his son's death. He wants them to do something about it."
Reaching out to him now is Mark Barden, whose 7-year-old son Daniel was one of the 26 killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut in December 2012.
Barden posted the following statement for Martinez on the Sandy Hook Promise 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,
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