Gun control debate sparked by second anniversary of Sandy Hook massacre

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Today marks the second anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut.

There have been more than 75 mass shootings since Sandy Hook and the outspoken father of a victim in one of those subsequent shootings is traveling the country demanding action on guns.

Richard Martinez became well known in the aftermath of the Isla Vista shooting back in May of 2014 when he demanded action on gun control from what he called "craven politicians."

Martinez spoke with FOX6 News in Fox Point at a meeting of the local chapter of the group "Mom's Demand Action."

Martinez lost his son in a California shooting after Sandy Hook.

FOX6 News' Mike Lowe asked what the tragedy meant to Martinez:

"My son was killed in Isla Vista, California this past year. He was in his second year at UC Santa Barbara. It was a Friday night, and he walked from his apartment to a deli just a few blocks from where he lived. The last picture I've seen of my son was a picture of him opening up a door for other kids. He was struck by a bullet on his left side, it penetrated his heart and he fell right to the ground," Martinez said.

It was back in May of this year that 22-year-old Elliot Rodger killed six people during that rampage -- claiming he had suffered a lifetime of quote "social and sexual isolation."

"The world remembers the names Dylan Kliebold and Eric Harris, Adam Lanza, and Eliot Rodger. No one remembers the name of Christopher Martinez. If we don't talk about Chris, then all they're going to talk about is the shooter. You need to talk about Christopher, so people will know what we lost," said Martinez.

Martinez gave a speech in front of the sheriff's substation in Santa Barbara the day after his son was killed.

"When will we stop this madness? We don't have to live like this! Too many have died! We should say to ourselves, not one more," said Martinez.

FOX6 News' Mike Lowe asks: "That was really an angry and emotional denunciation of our leaders in congress and the NRA. And, as I'm sure you're aware there were those, including those in the NRA, who said you were simply exploiting a tragedy for political gain. What do you have to say to those critics?"

Martinez said, "I would say that it's a fallacy to say just because a speech is emotional doesn't make it irrational."

As a parent who has gone through such a terrible loss, FOX6 News asked what message he'd want to get out as we all remember what happened at Sandy Hook.

"I had 20 years with my son. Those parents at Sandy Hook -- we're talking little kids. How is it that 20 little kids get massacred in their school, and nothing happened? I mean, can you picture it? All those little kids huddled, lying dead in their own blood on the floor in an elementary school? What kind of a country are we living in that that doesn't spark some kind of action? It's friggin ridiculous," said Martinez.

Martinez toured 9 states but said Wisconsin was special to him because his son was a Green Bay Packers fan.