The father of a 20-year-old student killed in a “mad man’s” rampage last weekend continued to rail against the National Rifle Association and “craven politicians” he blames for his son’s death.
Richard Martinez is the father of Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, the last of suspect Elliot Rodger’s victims in a rampage that left seven people, including Rodger, dead late Friday night.
Richard Martinez told The Washington Post on Monday 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.
“I don’t care about your sympathy. I don’t give a s — that you feel sorry for me,” Martinez told the Post. “Get to work and do something. I’ll tell the president the same thing if he calls me. Getting a call from a politician doesn’t impress me.”
Martinez became a face of the tragedy after he strode up to the microphones after a police briefing and delivered an 80-second statement prepared by him and his family. In the statement, he said his son had died because of “craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA.”
“They talk about gun rights. What about Chris’ right to live?! When will this insanity stop? When will enough people say, ‘Stop this madness?’ We don’t have to live like this! Too many have died. We should say to ourselves, ‘Not. One. More,'” Martinez said in the statement.
He continued his criticism of the NRA in the interview with the Post on Tuesday, saying they have worked to “normalize” mass shootings in the U.S. The NRA did not respond to requests for comment on this story.
“I’m angry with the leadership of the NRA who always want to characterise this as if it’s a lone madman. That it’s an act of nature we have to tolerate,” Martinez said. “I am angered by how they have worked to normalize this.”
Martinez told the Post he hopes to help lead a push for new gun laws to prevent future tragedies. He said he doesn’t blame Rodger’s parents and wants to meet with meet with Rodger’s father, Peter Rodger, about teaming up to enact change in the nation’s gun laws. Peter Rodger was an assistant director of “The Hunger Games,” and is a Hollywood director and photographer.
Some groups advocating for tighter gun laws have praised Martinez’s comments. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence issued a statement last weekend saying it “stands” with Martinez.
“Tragically, it becomes more essential every day that we Americans rise up and show the courage and rage that Mr. Martinez has shown, and call out the corporate gun lobby and the ‘craven’ politicians who do their bidding,” said Dan Gross, the president of the Brady Campaign.
“We at Brady are committed to making the voice of the American public heard, and preventing every act of gun violence until we make this the safer nation we all want.”
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.