Father's Plea Spurs Online Campaign for Gun Control

Ralphie Aversa
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A father's passionate plea to lawmakers has turned into an online rallying cry for gun control advocates.

Richard Martinez's son, Christopher, was one of the six University of California, Santa Barbara students murdered in Isla Vista, Calif., last Friday by Elliot Rodger. In a number of public speeches and media interviews since, Martinez has called government leaders to reform gun laws.

"How many other people are going to have to die in this situation before something is done?" Martinez asked a crowd of more than 18,000 at a rally Tuesday. "Life doesn't have to be like this. It is just intolerable."

Later, Martinez led the crowd in a chant of "Not One More" and asked the students to begin tweeting it. He also encouraged everyone to reach out to local, state, and national officials.

"Today, I'm going to ask every person I can find to send a postcard to every politician they can think of with three words on it: Not One More," he said. "People are looking for something to do. I'm asking people to stand up for something. Enough is enough."

The hashtag #NotOneMore has made over 9 million impressions since. A number of organizations, including Everytown for Gun Safety, have adopted the slogan and are offering forms to fill out and send postcards. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider have taken part in the campaign.

Martinez, 61, and his movement are also finding support from parents who lost their children in the December 2012 shootings in Sandy Hook, Conn. Mark Barden, whose son was killed, wrote an open letter to Martinez.

"My heart breaks for you because I know just a little about the long road ahead of you," Barden wrote. "We have reached out to you privately but publicly we wanted to say to you and those feeling the sorrow, anger and frustration of this weeks' shooting, you are not alone."

As of press time, the NRA did not respond to a request for comment. On Wednesday, the organization's official Twitter account posted a link to a story that claimed the gun bill that failed to pass in the Senate would not have stopped the shooter from obtaining the guns he used.