Grieving father of victim of university killing spree takes center stage in gun debate

The Associated Press

Richard Martinez talks about his son Christopher Michael-Martineza during a memorial service for the victims and families of Friday's rampage at Harder Stadium on the campus of University of California, Santa Barbara on Tuesday, May 27, 2014 in the Isla Vista area near Goleta, Calif. Sheriff's officials said Elliot Rodger, 22, went on a rampage near the University of California, Santa Barbara, stabbing three people to death at his apartment before shooting and killing three more in a crime spree through a nearby neighborhood. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

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By JOHN ROGERS, Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A grieving father whose son was killed in the violent rampage near the University of California, Santa Barbara, says he never set out to become a face of the gun-control movement

Richard Martinez said Thursday that he is a former hunter and military policeman who realizes there is a need to possess firearms.

However, the 60-year-old defense attorney says there's no justification for the proliferation of high-powered, semi-automatic weapons such as the ones possessed by a mentally troubled young man who killed six people near campus on May 23 before taking his own life.

Martinez' 20-year-old son, Christopher Michaels-Martinez, was among the dead.

Martinez has heard from people around the world while making his anguished pleas for reasonable gun control.

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