As It Happens

"If my son dies and this happens again, I'm going to feel like I just didn't do enough."

Richard Martinez lost his son, Christopher Michaels-Martinez, on Friday night to a mass killer. Now he has vowed there will be not one more. He tells guest host Laura Lynch, "I don't want anyone else to go through this. You don't know how bad it is when the last thing you see is your son laying on a table. That's...
Richard Martinez lost his son, Christopher Michaels-Martinez, on Friday night to a mass killer. Now he has vowed there will be not one more. He tells guest host Laura Lynch, "I don't want anyone else to go through this. You don't know how bad it is when the last thing you see is your son laying on a table. That's the last image that I'll have of him."

Christopher and six other university students were killed on Friday night by another young man. Just a few hours later, Richard Martinez spoke to the media for just over one minute, but his words have resonated: "You don't think it will happen to your child, until it does."

He tells Laura: "I refuse to accept that we have to continue to live with this problem." He wants politicians to stop talking and start acting to prevent further mass killings, including controlling access to guns, like the semi-automatic weapon the killer used.

He has little patience for politicians who have been calling him to express sympathy. He says, "I say, 'I'm not interested. I don't care that you're sorry. Don't waste my time. Don't waste your time."

Politicians vowed to make changes after 26 people were killed in the mass slaying at Sandy Hook in 2012. Little changed. But Mr. Martinez says he still has hope. "There has to be a tipping point. There has to be a point where enough is enough. In the United States we have come to accept this as a normal situation. Well, that's ridiculous."

christopher michaels-martinez feature.jpg

A photo of Christopher Michaels-Martinez at a makeshift memorial outside the deli where he was shot. (AP/Chris Carlson)

Of his son Christopher he says: "He was just a terrific kid. Sometimes people would say to me, 'You're a good father,' and I'd say, 'It's pretty easy. I've got a really good kid . . .  If I do everything I can and it makes a difference, then I'll feel that at least something good came out of it."

Click "Listen" to hear Richard Martinez's interview with Laura Lynch.


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