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10 Years Since the Mass Tragedy in Isla Vista, Everytown, Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Statements


NEW YORK — Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots network, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statements today ahead of tomorrow’s ten year mark of the mass tragedy in Isla Vista where three people were shot and killed, and three others were killed by stabbing, with multiple others shot and wounded. Over the past decade, California legislators have taken life-saving action to prevent senseless acts of gun violence and other misogynistic-motivated attacks. 

“Ten years ago, Chris’ life was senselessly cut short. They say you get over it, but I never will and I don’t want to,” said Richard Martinez, whose only son, Christopher, was one of those shot and killed at UCSB in 2014. Richard volunteers with Moms Demand Action and is a member of the Everytown Survivor Network. “I honor Chris’ life by working with advocates and policymakers to ensure no other family has to live through what my family has. No matter how many years go by, we cannot let Chris or any victim of gun violence be forgotten.”

“Ten years ago, after learning that his son was one of seven people murdered by a misogynist mass shooter, Richard Martinez channeled his unimaginable grief into purpose and called on Americans to work toward ‘not one more’ gun death,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Everytown remains committed to a future where ‘not one more’ family is torn apart by a preventable tragedy, and we will continue to honor the victims and survivors of the shooting in Isla Vista with action.”

“As we remember the senseless tragedy that took place in Isla Vista a decade ago, we are reminded of the deadly intersection between misogyny and our country’s gun violence crisis,” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, executive director of Moms Demand Action. “Women deserve to always feel safe, which means strengthening our gun safety laws to prevent misogynist extremists from having easy access to firearms. Since 2004, we are proud that California has emerged as the national leader on gun safety, and our movement will continue fighting to disarm hate across the country.”

“Gun violence has become so common that it’s easy to feel numb to the issue, but I hope people fight that feeling today and truly remember and honor the lives that were taken ten years ago with action,” said Roan Thibault, a volunteer with UC-Davis Student Demand Action chapter. “The victims of the mass tragedy in Isla Vista all mean something to someone. They were someone’s friend, classmate, sibling, or child and they should be alive. Gun violence continues to impact young people every single day and we won’t stop fighting until this deadly cycle is broken.”  

Since 2014, misogynistic violence has been on the rise worldwide, with various perpetrators praising or drawing inspiration from Isla Vista attacker, including in the 2018 mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Research shows that the ease of access to guns in the US, and their consequent use in acts of violence, makes them a weapon of choice for extremists generally, and misogynistic extremists are no different.

In the aftermath of the Isla Vista killings, survivors and advocates worked together to ensure California passed a Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) law. This law allows family members or law enforcement to petition the court for a temporary restraining order to remove firearms from individuals who pose a significant danger of harming themselves or others if able to access firearms. 

According to a 2022 study, California’s landmark GVRO law, was used most often by law enforcement officers to prevent firearm assault and homicide and about 80% of GVROs were used in cases of threatened interpersonal violence. In addition, the law was cited as being utilized for 58 threatened mass shootings. 

Currently, lawmakers are considering two measures to update California’s GVRO law: AB 2621 and AB 2917. AB 2621 updates requirements for local law enforcement agencies’ written GVRO policies and updates law enforcement hate crimes training to include instruction on identifying circumstances where a gun violence restraining order may be an appropriate tool for preventing hate crimes. AB 2917 draws the civil court’s attention to a broader set of risk factors in the court’s analysis of whether to issue a GVRO – including threats of violence made against individuals or groups protected by California’s hate crimes law and threats of violence to advance political objectives. 

Everytown’s analysis found that California continues to rank first in the nation for the strength of its gun laws. In an average year, 3,299 people die and 9,787 are wounded by guns in California. California ranks 45th in both gun death rates and societal cost of gun violence at $1,060 per person each year. Gun deaths and injuries cost California $41.9 billion, of which $1.1 billion is paid by taxpayers. 

More information about gun violence in California is available here