In light of IV: “There’s not one single thing that’s going to stop gun violence”

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Richard Martinez shows bracelets collected from others who have lost someone to gun violence. The blue one in front is for his son, Christopher. Photo: Kim Yasuda

In light of the one year anniversary of the tragedy in Isla Vista, our 5-part series captures a pulse of the community one year later. Many people living in IV say they still don’t feel safe.

Richard Martinez lost his son, Christopher, in the tragedy last year. He has since become a vocal advocate for gun safety laws. You can hear his interview below:

Martinez said a few changes have come about since last year’s killings:

  • Assembly Bill No. 1014: allows the temporary seizure of guns from people determined by the courts to be a threat to themselves or others.

“We’ll never know, but it’s a tool that families can use now if they believe that their loved one is mentally unstable.”

  • Senate Bill 505: requires that local law enforcement agencies develop policies encouraging officers to conduct a search of California’s database of gun purchases, prior to conducting a “welfare check” on a person who is potentially a danger to themselves or others.
  • Gun Sense Voter Campaign: A project of Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America encourages voters to pledge support to local, state and federal candidates who will fight for reforms to reduce gun violence.

“There’s not a perfect solution to gun violence in this country,” said Martinez, “but what we need, first off, is universal criminal background checks for everyone who’s buying any type of gun, to keep guns out of the hands of felons, domestic abusers and people who are mentally unstable.”

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Richard Martinez (right) at the bench dedicated to his son. Photo: Kim Yasuda (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

Stay tuned to KCRW on 88.7fm mornings and afternoons as our series continues. Or follow the series here.