A California Republican congressional candidate robocalled voters in the Los Angeles area touting his endorsement of the National Rifle Association just hours after the deadly mass shooting at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Tony Strickland, a former California State Senator running for representative in California’s 25th congressional district, sent out the robocall Saturday in which he reaffirms his commitment to the Second Amendment.
As a senator Strickland represented Santa Barbara County, where a 22-year-old gunman opened fire on Friday.
The campaign said the robocalls were scheduled before the shooting, but didn’t say whether the calls will be stopped now.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and victims of this tragedy," Strickland spokesman Evan Handy told the Huffington Post.
The father of shooting victim Christopher Martinez, 20, directly blamed the NRA and “craven, irresponsible politicians” for his son’s death Sunday.
"They talk about gun rights. What about Chris' right to live?" said Richard 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.'"
“Protect our gun rights, vote for Tony Strickland for Congress,” said the robocall. “Tony Strickland has a history of protecting our 2nd Amendment rights and will do the same in Congress, Tony Strickland was a founding member of the NRA Member Council and former California Rifle and Pistol Association Legislator of the Year.”
“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 2nd Amendment right to bear arms,” it said. “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.”