After the tragedy at UCSB this weekend, those seeking high-minded debate about the root causes of the deaths might have stumbled upon the #YesAllWomen hashtag on Twitter, or perhaps articles that pointed out a renewed focus on mental health care is needed in America, or some discussion about the NRA and what a new surgeon general would do in his position and the possible reasons his appointment has stalled, or some failed thinkpiece on how Seth Rogen is partially responsible for what happened.
Many unfortunate souls may have also been subjected to the emotionless and inflammatory reaction of one Joe the Plumber, who penned an open letter on Barbwire arguing vehemently and directly to the parents of those who were shot and killed that their dead kids don't trump Joe's rights to own a bunch of guns. 'Murica. Let's take a look.
I am sorry you lost your child. I myself have a son and daughter and the one thing I never want to go through, is what you are going through now. But:
As harsh as this sounds — your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights.
As a father, husband and a man, it is my responsibility to protect my family. I will stand up for that right vehemently. Please believe me, as a father I share your grief and I will pray for you and your family, as I do whenever I hear about senseless tragedies such as this.
We still have the Right to Bear Arms and I intend to continue to speak out for that right, and against those who would restrict it — even in the face of this horrible incident by this sad and insane individual. I almost said “Obama Voter” but I’m waiting for it to be official.
As always, times like these call for civilized debate and reflection. Thanks for taking the lead, Joe. Meanwhile, if you haven't seen the reaction of Richard Martinez, whose 20-year-old son was one of the victims and who Joe is specifically talking to in his letter, his impassioned plea is stirring. Among his thoughts during an emotional interview were these:
“I don’t care about your sympathy. I don’t give a s—- that you feel sorry for me,” Richard Martinez said during an extensive interview, his face flushed as tears rolled down his face. “Get to work and do something. I’ll tell the president the same thing if he calls me. Getting a call from a politician doesn’t impress me.”