At the National Rifle Association’s annual convention in Nashville, we caught up with Richard Martinez, a spokesman with the gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety. The group protested the NRA show as well as pending legislation in Tennessee. But we asked him about the big ideas that govern his process — just as we did with presidential hopeful Ted Cruz.
“The Second Amendment says you have the right to bear arms —nobody interprets that to give you the right to have a tank or a machine gun or an atomic bomb. Why? Because it’s not reasonable,” Martinez said, responding to Cruz’s advocacy of loosening gun regulations.
He supported his statements by citing DC vs Heller, a landmark Supreme Court case that in 2008 set the precedent for other legal arguments regarding the Second Amendment. Although it created the current interpretation of the Second Amendment — to include guns for self-defense — it also stated that the amendment is subject to regulation.
“The Supreme Court’s decision in Heller it’s explicit that the Second Amendment is no different than any of the other rights that we have under the Constitution,” he said. “They’re not unfettered.”
Martinez, an attorney from California, was propelled into the gun debate last year after his 21-year-old son, Christopher Michael-Martinez, was gunned down when a lone killer went on a rampage through Isla Vista, California. Although warning signs existed — even confrontations with police — the killer was still able to obtain a firearm shortly before his rampage.
The same college town was subject to another shooting this week when two students were wounded Monday night during a possible drug and gang conflict.
(Video by Ben Philippi)