Lawmakers, mourners weigh in on California rampage

GOLETA, Calif. — Thousands mourned the deaths of their classmates at a California university, lawmakers
proposed ways to prevent the next round of deaths, and the rampant presence of guns were at the
forefront of both discussions as a rampage that left seven dead reverberated across the state.
Richard Martinez, whose son, Christopher Michaels-Martinez, 20, died in the attacks, spoke at Tuesday’s
memorial on the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara, emphasizing that he did not speak
for all the victims’ relatives or even his former wife, Michaels-Martinez’s mother.
But he urged students to fight for tougher gun laws, and placed the blame on what he called the inaction
of politicians.
“They have done nothing, and that’s why Chris died,” Martinez said. “It’s almost become a normal thing
for us to accept this.”
He got much of the crowd to repeatedly chant “Not one more,” in reference to such massacres, a phrase he
shouted before reporters and television cameras the day after Friday’s massacre.
The school canceled classes and declared a day of mourning and reflection, four days after the shootings
and stabbings in the Isla Vista community by 22-year-old community college student Elliot Rodger, who
had posted an Internet video outlining his plan to slaughter as many people as possible.
Rodger had legally obtained three semi-automatic handguns and still had 400 unspent rounds of ammunition
when he shot himself to death, authorities said.
On the same day, two California Assembly members proposed legislation that would create a gun violence
restraining order that could be sought from a judge by law enforcement at the request of family members
and friends.
“When someone is in crisis, the people closest to them are often the first to spot the warning signs, but
almost nothing can now be done to get back their guns or prevent them from buying more,” said Democratic
Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner of Berkeley, who sponsored the measure with Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara.

Currently, therapists can tell authorities when they fear a client is at risk of committing a violent
act. However, there is no prohibition on firearms ownership unless someone has been involuntarily
committed for mental health treatment.
Another proposal involves establishing statewide protocols for law enforcement officers who are called to
check on mentally troubled people.
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, suggested that authorities should be required
as part of such welfare visits to check whether a person has purchased weapons instead of just talking
to the person.
Additional steps could include searching the individual’s surroundings and talking to roommates,
neighbors and relatives, he said.
“There is a lot we can do to prevent these kinds of horrific events in the future,” said Steinberg, who
has spent much of his time in the Legislature addressing mental health concerns.
State senators spent 35 minutes at the state Capitol eulogizing the students killed in the weekend
violence and expressing frustration that such rampages continue despite previous efforts to end the
The rampage came hours after Rodger emailed a lengthy manifesto to his parents, therapists and others,
and a month after sheriff’s deputies had visited him on a welfare check after his parents became
concerned about his postings on YouTube.
At Tuesday’s memorial, Martinez also read statements from the families of two other slain students, Cheng
Yuan Hong and Weihan Wang, both 20, in which they asked for prayers or blessings for the families of the
victims and the killer.
“May we together create a peaceful world and let hatred be gone with the wind,” the Hong family statement
UC President Janet Napolitano paid tribute to the victims, saying “each of the victims left a mark on the
world” and “as long as we hold them in our hearts, they are not gone.”
“All died much too young, but it’s important that we do not let the arithmetic of this atrocity define
them,” she said.a