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Dad of California killing spree victim meets with father of perpetrator

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The University of California, Santa Barbara holds a memorial service on Tuesday, May 27, 2014, for the victims killed by Elliot Rodger Friday, May 23. Richard Martinez, the father of victim Christopher Martinez, makes remarks. (Credit: CNN)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Two grieving fathers, who each lost a son in the recent killing spree in Santa Barbara, Calif., met for the first time Sunday.

Peter Rodger, the father of killer Elliot Rodger, met with Richard Martinez, whose son Christopher was killed by the younger Rodger in the deadly rampage through the college town of Isla Vista just over a week ago.

The meeting was private, and no media or cameras were allowed.

“I have met with Peter Rodger and we plan to work together so other families such as ours will not suffer as ours have,” Martinez toldĀ  KEYT. “This was a private conversation between grieving fathers who’ve reached common ground.”

An emotional Martinez has been an outspoken critic of the nation’s gun laws in the days since his 20-year-old son, a junior at the University of California at Santa Barbara, was gunned down by Rodger inside a deli on campus the night of the rampage.

Police say Rodger killed six people between the ages of 19 and 22 the night of May 23 after years of rejection and jealousy. He was later found dead in his car from a gunshot wound to the head.

His family had tried to get help for him in the weeks leading up to the massacre, even calling police to conduct a welfare check, but all attempts at helping the troubled 22-year-old college student failed.

Richard Martinez has been so grief-stricken by his son’s death that he reached out to the father of his son’s killer. Peter Rodger agreed to a private meeting Sunday.

No other details of the meeting were available.

3 comments

  • Dale Gross

    Forget this Martinez guy. He is simply not able to handle his grief and wants to blame everyone. It’s understandable to be upset, but it is not acceptable to go around blaming everyone.

    • 13tweeter13

      I agree with you, but it seems that Rodger’s father is also trying to blame everyone. From articles, Rodger had extreme temper tantrums when his demands weren’t met and his family always gave in to him which is the equivalent of giving him silent permission for his behavior. If they didn’t seek treatment for him as a minor child, they still could have attempted to have him legally declared incompetent in court or pushed to have him placed on mental health holds, long term certifications, etc. At the juvenile level, there are programs available under the court system for children whose behavior is out-of-control. The gun control laws currently proposed won’t do anything to prevent mentally ill people from getting firearms as mental health care is not subjected to disclosure to law enforcement or other government entities, and if it were, it is more likely that people would reject mental health treatment more than they already do. Gun control would do nothing to prevent entitled, spoiled, narcissistic people like Rodger from violent acts. Just about anything can be used as a weapon — cars, baseball bats, chainsaws, axes, chains, shoelaces, kitchen knives, hunting knives, household chemicals and cleaning products, etc. The targets of Rodger were unarmed and unable to fight back (as has been the case in the vast majority of mass casualties perpetrated by “troubled” people). I can’t say that had one good guy with a gun been present, the number of victims of Rodger would have been fewer (ditto for Ft. Hood, Columbine, Newtown, Paducah, KY, Virginia Tech, the Aurora, CO Movie Theater, etc.) because none of his victims were armed, but we do know what the result of the attack was with nobody present, except the gunman, being armed (ditto for the above-mentioned attacks). I can point to Arapahoe (CO) High School which despite having a gunman who was armed and had multiple rounds of ammunition, had only 1 victim of the rampage (along with the perpetrator who shot himself when he heard a Deputy Sheriff’s Officer coming down the hall) because of one armed good guy intent on protecting the innocent, unarmed people in the area. Gun control only protects criminals from encountering armed resistance. Criminals don’t obey laws, they haven’t obeyed any laws designed to keep guns out of their hands, and they aren’t going to obey a new bunch of gun control laws.

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