While California remains the strictest U.S. state in terms of gun control legislation, a mass shooting in May prompted calls for even tougher regulations.
Seven young adults, including the suspected shooter, Elliot Rodger, died in a Santa Barbara massacre in late May, and prompted a renewal of the debate regarding the nation's gun control laws vs. a gun owner's protection under the Second Amendment.
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Richard Martinez, whose son Chris was one of the victims, blasted the National Rifle Association and any politicians who fight tougher gun legislation.
"Why did Chris die? Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA," Martinez told reporters May 24 outside a sheriff's station in Santa Barbara, Time reported
. "They talk about gun rights — what about Chris' right to live? 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.'"
The aftermath of the December 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Connecticut, brought pointed attempts at laws geared toward increasing the number of background checks, and restricting sales of assault rifles.
In California, State Sen. Kevin de Leon proposed including background checks when buying ammunition, which he called "the fuel that feeds the violence."
Such legislation was met with resistance from conservatives who oppose infringing on their right to bear arms, and oppose a federal assault weapons ban.
"Who is government or any elected official to say this is what you need to protect yourself?" said Sam Paredes, a board member of the Gun Owners of California, told KPCC
. "That is the height of arrogance."
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