Samuel Wurzelbacher, better known as “Joe the Plumber,” has a message for the families of the victims shot to death in the mass killings near the University of California at Santa Barbara: “Your dead kids don’t trump my constitutional rights.”
Wurzelbacher, who became a political mascot for the Republican Party during the 2008 presidential race after he confronted President Obama about taxes for small businesses, penned an open letter titled “To the parents of the victims murdered by Elliot Rodger” and posted it on his website.
“I myself have a son and daughter and the one thing I never want to go through, is what you are going through now,” Wurzelbacher writes. “But… [a]s harsh as this sounds — your dead kids don’t trump my constitutional rights.”
Wurzelbacher said his letter is directed “only to the families of the gunshot victims in Santa Barbara” and not to the families of three victims who were stabbed before the shooting spree.
“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,” he continued.
Richard Martinez, the father of one of the six victims, told reporters on Sunday he blames the NRA and politicians for his son’s death.
Wurzelbacher addressed Martinez, saying, “Mr. Martinez and anyone calling for more restrictions on American’s rights need to back off and stop playing into the hands of the folks who merely capitalize on these horrific events for their own political ends.”
He ended his letter by saying:
“To the parents of Elliot Rodger’s stabbing victims: I’m very sorry for your loss. I’m sick to death every damn time I turn around and some poor soul with obvious violent mental sickness is allowed to exact this kind of pain on a family. Elliot Rodger deserved help, yes – but your child deserved so much more. I’m very sorry and sad for you.”