A California Republican touted his commitment to Second Amendment rights and support from pro-gun groups a day after a deadly shooting rampage in a recorded phone call made to voters.
A spokesman for Tony Strickland, who is running for the state’s 25th congressional district, said the robocall was scheduled before a 22-year-old killed seven people and wounded seven others Friday night in Isla Vista.
The calls, which pointed out that Strickland was a founding member of the NRA Member Council and former California Rifle and Pistol Association Legislator of the Year, were made Saturday to voters outside of Los Angeles.
“Tony has been a longtime supporter of the rights of citizens to keep and bear arms and will continue to oppose, and actively fight, any legislation that would take away our Second Amendment right to bear arms,” the call stated. “As the founder of the Freedom Firearms Coalition and with a lifetime ‘A’ rating from the NRA, we can count on Tony Strickland to protect our constitutional rights.”
The father of one Isla Vista shooting victim blamed the NRA and “craven, irresponsible politicians” for his 20-year-old son’s death.
“They talk about gun rights. What about Chris’ right to live?” said Richard Martinez, father of shooting victim Christopher Martinez. “When will this insanity stop? When will enough people say, ‘Stop this madness?’ We don’t have to live like this. Too many have died. We should say to ourselves, ‘Not. One. More.’”
A spokesman for Strickland told the Huffington Post expressed sympathy for the victims and their families, although he declined to say whether the campaign would stop the robocalls.
Strickland previously served as state senator for California’s 19th Senate district, which includes Santa Barbara County, where the slayings took place.
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