Newtown dad pens open letter to Richard Martinez

Mark Barden, whose young son was murdered in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, penned an open letter to Richard Martinez, whose son was shot to death last week during the shooting spree in Isla Vista, California.

Dear Richard Martinez,

We have not met, but you are now part of our extended family. It is not a family we chose, but a family born from the horrible circumstance of losing a child to gun violence—one that’s only growing each day. My heart breaks for you because I know just a little about the long road ahead of you. We have reached out to you privately but publicly we wanted to say to you and those feeling the sorrow, anger and frustration of this weeks’ shooting, you are not alone. It has helped me, and some of the other family members who lost children and family at Sandy Hook Elementary, to come together and advocate for common sense solutions to expanding programs for mental wellness and gun safety solutions. You will find your own path down this difficult road. But know that we are here for you and all of you who have been touched by this tragedy. Together we can and will build a safer world for all our children.

With deepest sympathy,
Mark Barden

Barden’s son Daniel was one of 20 students and six educators killed during the Sandy Hook shooting. He posted his message to Martinez on the Facebook page for Sandy Hook Promise, a non-profit that aims to reduce gun violence and help the victims in such tragedies.

Martinez’s son Christopher was gunned down inside of a deli during the rampage. Martinez has turned to activism since the event with a similar goal as the Sandy Hook Promise.

In all seven people died during the rampage, including the killer, and 13 were injured.

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