Father blames Congress for death of son in shootings

Christopher Michaels-Martinez was one of six students killed by Elliot Rodger in California

Richard Martinez:  “These things are going to continue until somebody does something, so where the hell is the leadership?” Photograph: Jae C Hong/AP

Richard Martinez: “These things are going to continue until somebody does something, so where the hell is the leadership?” Photograph: Jae C Hong/AP

 

The father of one of six college students killed by a 22-year-old in California on Friday blamed Congress for his son’s death yesterday, saying the inability to pass effective gun control legislation pointed to a failure of leadership.

“Have we learned nothing?” asked Richard Martinez, whose son, Christopher Michaels-Martinez (20), was killed by Elliot Rodger in the beachside community of Isla Vista. “These things are going to continue until somebody does something, so where the hell is the leadership?”

Mr Martinez also condemned America’s powerful gun lobbies for standing in the way of change, after police removed three semi-automatic handguns and more than 400 rounds of ammunition from Rodger’s Black BMW. He had purchased all the weapons legally in California, the state considered to have the strongest gun laws in the country, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

13 injured Rodger, who was born in Britain, died after apparently shooting himself in the head. Thirteen people were injured in the attack.

Mr Martinez said his son died because of Congress’s failure to pass substantial gun legislation in the wake of multiple mass shootings, including the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook elementary that left 26 people dead. “We’re all proud to be Americans,” Mr Martinez said. “But what kind of message does it send to the world when we have such a rudderless bunch of idiots in government?” – (Guardian service)