Grieving father takes center stage in gun debate

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Associated Press

Posted on May 30, 2014 at 12:35 AM

Updated Friday, May 30 at 12:37 AM

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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