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Father of shooting victim brings message to Valley

PHOENIX — The man who has been very vocal in demanding Congress make tighten gun laws comes to the Valley less than one month after his only son was gunned down in the Santa Barbara rampage back in May.

“I grew up in the ’50s and ’60s and it never happened; it doesn’t happen in other countries,” said Richard Martinez, father of 20-year-old Christopher Ross Michael-Martinez who was shot and killed by a mentally unstable gunman. “I find it impossible to believe that we have to live like this.”

Three gun violence survivors, including Martinez, arrived at the Phoenix office of Sen. Jeff Flake on Friday and dropped off 9,750 postcards from people wanting better restrictions on firearms. The postcards also read, “Not One More,” which is part of the message Martinez gave political leaders during his first trip to Washington, D.C.: “Not one more American should be killed by senseless gun violence.”

The Arizona chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense organized the local event, but similar events took place across the nation. Members picked lawmakers who voted against legislation to implement universal gun laws. Over two million postcards were delivered on Friday.

“I grew up on a farm. I’m a veteran, I was a military policeman, and I understand a gun is a tool,” Martinez said. “If you have a legitimate purpose for having a gun, I don’t have a problem with it, but you don’t need 10 guns; you don’t need an assault rifle.”