Local Blogs

Inside East Side

By Martin Lamarque

E-mail Martin Lamarque

About this blog: I have lived in Belle Haven since 1997, and work as an interpreter in the emergency department of a county hospital. My main interest is to help improve society by way of giving families the support and information they need to ra...  (More)

View all posts from Martin Lamarque

The NRA might have found its match

Uploaded: May 28, 2014
Thanks to our collective cowardice, and the infinite corruption of the Republican Party, six more kids have seen their lives cut short by senseless violence. Brought to us by the most retrograde rules around the acquisition and ownership of weapons in the developed world.
As it is traditional after one of these tragedies, a few will voice outrage, most will just shrug their shoulders and change the channel to the next game or show in their eternal search for numbness, while too many will irrationally defend their right to impose a barbaric society on the rest of us and while at it, take advantage of one more opportunity to go buy more weapons and ammunition.
Have we no shame? Massacre after massacre we wake up the next morning to just expect the next one, likely very soon, and perhaps with a bigger number victims. When did we cross the threshold that allowed us to see 20 kids slaughtered like game, and in the following weeks just watch the politicians get more comfortable in the bed they share with the profiteers of this carnage?
But you never know. We might have just met the man whose pain for losing his 20 year old son in Isla Vista will finally force us to look in the mirror and ask ourselves what were we thinking when we allowed a fringe group like the NRA to have the grotesque influence to elect so many shameless and cruel politicians? Again, mostly Republicans .

Meet Richard Martinez, father of Christopher Michaels-Martinez, one of the 6 students killed in last week's rampage. He hasn't minced words in calling things by their real name. He knows and remind us that if politicians had been looking after the people's interests, not complying with the NRA's agenda, his son and many others would still be with their families.
"My kid died because nobody responded to what occurred at Sandy Hook," Martinez said. "Those parents lost little kids. It's bad enough that I lost my 20-year-old, but I had 20 years with my son. That's all I will ever have, but those people lost their children at 6 and 7 years old. How do you think they feel? And who's talking to them now? Who's doing anything for them now?"
In an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper on Tuesday, Martinez said that members of Congress have reached out to him to express their sympathy but that he doesn't want to hear it.
"Don't call me and tell me you're sorry about my son's death," Martinez said. "I don't want to hear it from you. ... I don't care if you're sorry about my son's death. You go back to Congress, and you do something."
Of course they won't.
You, Mr. Martinez, will have to keep reminding the idling majority that what is good for the NRA, is bad for everyone else; and we better do something about it.
About a local ordinance to rein in handguns like the one supported by Sunnyvale Mayor Tony Spitaleri to start with?
Menlo Park Council, are you ready to push for something meaningful?

Comments

Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiņa, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park,
on May 29, 2014 at 11:32 am

Roy Thiele-Sardiņa is a registered user.

Martin, while I abhor these tragic deaths, and think everyone should. h

Mr. Martinez's call to action should be to improve Mental Health in this country. Elliot murdered THREE people with a KNIFE, and Congress and the NRA had NOTHING to do with that. His mental illness did, his parents who coddled and empowered him did.

Mr. Martinez is grieving the loss of his son (and should be allowed to) but the parents of those three young men are also grieving, and his call for gun control is completely misguided to those parents.

Roy


Posted by dr1776, a resident of another community,
on May 29, 2014 at 9:11 pm

Seems to be alot of misplaced anger. The deaths of those people in California is tragic. The NRA is not even remotely responsible for anything to do with this tragedy. There was no law that could have prevented this unbalanced individual from killing. Future tragedies can't be prevented by irrational and emotionally driven rhetoric today. Cool heads and logic must always prevail, not witch hunts.


Posted by Thomas, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows,
on May 29, 2014 at 9:14 pm

Martin, while how many children were killed this year through abortion? 1.2 million?

And Roy is correct. Rather callous to ignore the 3 young men knifed to death, just to push your ideology.




Posted by Martin Lamarque, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven,
on May 29, 2014 at 9:20 pm

@ Roy.
Thanks for your comment.

The argument of knives being just as good as killing as guns, is part of the rhetoric spread by gun manufactures and their best salesman—the NRA-- to continue justifying the availability of guns.

Mental health is indeed an important component of the problem.
But to claim that taking care of mental illness (which Republicans won't approve funding for anyway, right?), will cure our national obsession with everything violent, without making it harder to acquire weapons of mass destruction, is to repeat the NRA's vitriolic propaganda.

It's not coincidence that at the same time that we are the industrial nation with the most arms in circulation, we also have the most murders, the highest rate of incarceration, the most crime, etc.


Posted by Martin Lamarque, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven,
on May 29, 2014 at 9:27 pm

@ Thomas.

Thanks for reading my blog, and leaving a comment.

Not being a woman, I don't know what my ideology would dictate me to do if had to decide whether to have an abortion or not.


Posted by Martin lamarque, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven,
on May 29, 2014 at 9:33 pm

@dr1776

Thanks for your input.

Actually, the NRA has a lot to do with it. I hope you can read this well researched piece:
[Web Link]


Posted by Glenn, a resident of another community,
on May 29, 2014 at 9:43 pm

There is a major flaw in your argument. The NRA holds almost no sway in California whatsoever. California has passed all of the recommended legislation being pushed by anti-gun groups. Universal background checks, gun registration, waiting periods, magazine size limits, approved gun list, etc. none of these laws did anything to prevent a determined psycho from killing innocents. So how exactly do you lay this at the feet of the NRA?

If anything this incident is further proof that passing more and more restrictive gun laws and creating gun free zones simply does not work. Some of the revelations from this psychopath's manifesto lend even more credence to this argument. He intentionally avoided events/locations with strong police presence (pretty much the only other armed people in the area). He planned this for over a year, so a ten day waiting period was meaningless. He passed the required background checks. None of these feel good laws which only impinge the rights of law abiding citizens did anything to prevent this.

So explain to me again how a rampage in the gun control utopia of California is the fault of the NRA?


Posted by Martin Lamarque, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven,
on May 29, 2014 at 10:28 pm

@Glenn.

You are right. California has some the most sensible gun control laws in the country(might it be mere coincidence too that unlike those in more backward states,for the most part California's legislators are not in the pocket of the NRA, and its sponsors in the gun industry?).

But let's not forget that unless we create and enforce meaningful laws at a national level, the overall system is full of loopholes--gun shows anyone?--again, thanks to the sponsorship of the gun makers and its hit men in congress.

To lay the blame solely at the feet of the mentally ill, is to perpetuate the chicken and the egg game, with the purpose of keeping the business as usual status, and the profits rolling in.

About the ability to sue gun makers and gun sellers for the damages caused by their products, jus as we get to sue the auto industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the food industry, etc. when they sell products that hurt people?



Posted by Sven, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown,
on May 30, 2014 at 4:28 am

Nice try to deflect to the NRA by using the fake "gun show loophole" argument. Rodger did not buy his guns at a gun show, and in California, all gun show sales must have background checks anyway. Rodger did not violate any laws to get his guns, but he was still able to buy them at regular gun stores, and waited during the ten day waiting period. You talk about being able to sue the firearm manufacturers when their products hurt people. When was a pharmaceutical company, an automobile manufacturer, or the food industry successfully sued when their products were misused to hurt people? People run over other people with cars everyday; so where are the lawsuits against GM and Ford? If someone takes a drug and administers it to someone without their knowledge and kills the other person, the family of the dead person should sue the drug company? If someone knowingly serves tainted food to another, the injured party should sue the foods company? The answer to all questions is clear: Absolutely Not! The reason is that these deaths and injuries are the fault of the individual, and not the product. The gun was not at fault, it did not malfunction, it worked as designed. The misuse of the product is to blame here, as well as in the hypothetical cases I listed. The blame of the misuse is on the individual, not the manufacturer. If you have an angle on suing the car companies, please let me know. I was seriously injured years ago, and I only went after the driver of the vehicle. If I can sue Chevrolet just because that was the brand of truck that the drunk driver used, that would be great. I'll let you pursue that angle though, because I don't want to get laughed out of court.


Posted by Glenn, a resident of another community,
on May 30, 2014 at 4:38 am

So you acknowledge the huge flaw in your logic and then try to categorize repressive laws that were ineffectual as "sensible". Then launch into another vector about how somehow applying the same ineffectual laws across the rest of the country, using the pejorative of "backward states", would make it all better. While actual evidence shows that this is not the case.

Thanks for showing that you are incapable of actually having a logical discussion on this topic. And for once again proving that the real problem is arrogance on both sides of the issue.

I will waste no more time here as I fully believe that arguing with zealots is frivolous. Especially those who are blinded by their own preconceptions of the facts, which I suppose is the core of most zealots.


Posted by Joe, a resident of Atherton: other,
on May 30, 2014 at 6:09 am

Blah, blah, blah. More twisted lies by an obviously blind sheeple. Facts are available to counter any and all pro gun control arguments. DOJ and FBI have the most current crime stats and they show lessening crime over the past 20 years. The number of mass shootings per year have stayed stable over the past 25 years. If you are really interested. Please check out the gun violence/mass shootings prior to any gun control. You will find even less crime while still an abundence of firearms.


Posted by Paul Bendix, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown,
on May 30, 2014 at 11:40 am

The so-called "mentally ill" actually represent a vibrant and fast-going market segment for American's gun industry. With retail messaging straightforward ("the world is a dangerous place"), the per-sale costs remain attractively low. The right to bear arms is well enshrined in our Constitution, whose prescient framers saw beyond the muskets and single action rifles/pistols of their day. Their ultimate hope: that the right to bear arms would extend to nuclear arms – small thermonuclear devices available to responsible defenders of the community.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community,
on May 30, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Of course the NRA is a huge part of this, and of course they have influence in California. Thank you, Martin, for this blog post. Having just spoken to a friend who lives in the area of this latest mass killing, it's obvious how terrified the student population of Santa Barbara is, and how heartbroken many thousands of residents are.


Posted by Freedom from Tyranny, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown,
on May 30, 2014 at 5:01 pm

The truth is:
Dead kids killed by a psychopath does not trump my right to protect and defend myself with a firearm or displace the 2nd Amendment.

The s[oiled little rich boy who never got laid had plenty of warning signs and those were ignored by both his parents and the police. If you want to lay blame start right there. My gun has killed no one and never will unless it's needed for self defense of my self and my family.

To the gun grabbers, what law would have stopped this spoiled brat from committing this crime? What new feel good law would you propose that would nit infringe on law abiding and responsible gun owners that may have changed the outcome?


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community,
on May 30, 2014 at 11:23 pm

Someone sure is sounding like Joe the Plumber.


Posted by David Meuel, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown,
on May 31, 2014 at 12:44 pm

The comment by Paul Bendix is very funny in a very dark way. Obviously, he's making fun of all the ways people interpret the Constitution to support their own positions on this issue.


Posted by Martin Lamarque, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven,
on May 31, 2014 at 8:11 pm

@ Paul

You actually hit the nail in the head.

Up to this day, in spite of its prevalence, there hasn't been any discussion on the underlying mental condition that pushes some to see owning guns as the only way to feel safe, and claim some odd version of peace of mind.


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other,
on Jun 3, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Martin:

more restrictive gun laws or the outlawing of guns is not going to solve the problem. There are too many guns already out there. That horse left the barn long ago. The way to prevent the kind of tragediy that happened in Isla Vista is to better our laws as they apply to mental incapacity. If this guy had been locked up when he started showing signs of mental imbalance this is unlikely to have happened.

But no one wants to do that. It's "inhumane". Sorry, but the facts are some mental illnesses are simply incurable. They are treatable, but they are not curable. Unless we as a society can be assured that those needing it will take their treatment those people need to be incarcerated so they can not do damage to others in society.

You can ban guns all you want, but you will never get rid of them. It's too late, so let's deal with the underlying issues that cause these types of massacres.

As to your suggestion that someone has an underlying mental condition because they want to be able to protect themselves or their families I can only say, huh? Do you not want to protect yourself or your family? You can't rely on others to do that for you. When someone is coming through your front door intent on doing you harm you may be seconds away from harm and the police will, at best, be minutes away.


Posted by logical fallacy, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood,
on Jun 13, 2014 at 6:46 am

Theres too many guns already out there!!!!!!! So laws are therefore stoopid.

Literally the dumbest argument ever.


Posted by "responsible" gun owner = non sequitur, a resident of Woodside School,
on Jun 13, 2014 at 12:20 pm

Fact: keep a gun in your home - increase the risk of death or injury to someone you love.

Why do that to someone you love?

Are you that insecure, that you must put your loved ones at risk to assuage whatever it is you are insecure about?


::::::::::::::::::::::


"If you have a gun, everybody in your home is more likely than your non-gun-owning neighbors and their families to die in a gun-related accident, suicide or homicide.

Furthermore, there is no credible evidence that having a gun in your house reduces your risk of being a victim of a crime. Nor does it reduce your risk of being injured during a home break-in.

The health risks of owning a gun are so established and scientifically non-controvertible that the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement in 2000 recommending that pediatricians urge parents to remove all guns from their homes."


Posted by "responsible" gun owner, a resident of Ormondale School,
on Jun 18, 2014 at 9:33 am

Love those "responsible" gun owners.

Like the couple dozen that try to board a plane and get stopped by the SA with guns in their bags. All the excuses: I forgot I had it, etc..

EVERY week. Week after week. Dozens of times a week.

So "responsible", those gun owners.

Let's start from the beginning - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

If you are in a well regulated militia, you may have all the flintlocks you want. After that, sensible laws shall apply - including universal background checks.


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

The dress code
By Jessica T | 26 comments | 2,039 views

September food and drink goings on
By Elena Kadvany | 0 comments | 1,422 views

College Freshmen: Avoiding the Pitfalls
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 1 comment | 1,224 views

Camp Glamp
By Laura Stec | 6 comments | 1,106 views

Council election, and then some.
By Stuart Soffer | 5 comments | 482 views