Santa Barbara Shooting Victim's Dad Meets Killer's Dad (VIDEO)

Richard Martinez
Richard Martinez
The nation was shocked and saddened when Elliot Rodger went on a shooting spree, taking six lives on May 24 on the University of California Santa Barbara campus before turning the gun on himself. And nobody felt that pain more than Richard Martinez. His 20-year-old son, Christopher, was one of the people killed in the shooting. Recently, Richard met with the gunman's father, Peter Rodger, and instead of insults and fists being thrown toward one another, hugs were exchanged. As opposed to directing their anger and sadness at each other, both men came together as two dads grieving the loss of their sons. And they're doing everything in their power to make sure other parents never have to go through what they're going through.


Martinez and Rodger came together for a private meeting on June 1 in Santa Barbara. Details of their meeting haven't been released, but in an interview, Martinez revealed that their common ground was gun control. "We plan to work together so other families such as ours will not suffer as ours have," he said. "This was a private conversation between grieving fathers who've reached common ground."

Shortly after his son's death, Martinez spoke about gun violence, saying, "Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA. They talk about gun rights. What about Chris' right to live? When will this insanity stop? When will enough people say stop this madness? We should say to ourselves, not one more." Again, what Peter and Richard talked about hasn't been made public knowledge, but the men have let it be known that they don't want their children to have died in vain.

It's impossible to imagine what either of these parents is going through, but it's safe to say this isn't necessarily the common reaction. In addition to the overwhelming sadness, so many parents who lose children feel angry (and rightfully so). It's incredibly brave and admirable that these fathers are able to remove themselves from the details of this horrific event and work with one another, simply as grieving parents, desperate for this never to happen to anyone again. So heartbreaking, but so beautiful at the same time.

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What do you think of Martinez's decision to meet with Rodger?


Image via David McNew/Getty

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