Joe the Plumber: 'Your Dead Kids Don't Trump My Rights'

Victim's dad counters that one's rights don't negate one's responsibilities

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted May 27, 2014 12:55 PM CDT

(Newser) – Samuel Wurzelbacher, perhaps better known as Joe the Plumber, watched Richard Martinez sobbing over the shooting death of his only son in the Isla Vista rampage, and responded thusly in an open letter on Barbwire.com: "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." Wurzelbacher goes on to call suspect Elliot Rodger a "sad and insane individual." Then, "I almost said 'Obama Voter,' but I'm waiting for it to be official," he writes.

Martinez, meanwhile, gave a statement to Good Morning America and continued his crusade: "The gun lobby will no doubt characterize my statement yesterday as the rantings of a grief-stricken parent. ... People can be both rational and emotional at the same time. Because I'm emotional, it doesn't mean that what I say is irrational." Tackling Wurzelbacher's point, he said, "When people talk about their rights, they don’t talk about the responsibilities. They don't talk about the responsibility to look out for other people. We all need to look out for each other's children." Click for more on the lotto tickets and coffee attacks that lined the path to the massacre.

Herman Cain joins Republican congressional candidate Samuel Wurzelbacher, better known as Joe the Plumber, on the campaign trail, Friday, Feb. 24, 2012, in Rocky River, Ohio.
Herman Cain joins Republican congressional candidate Samuel Wurzelbacher, better known as Joe the Plumber, on the campaign trail, Friday, Feb. 24, 2012, in Rocky River, Ohio.   (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
In this Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008 picture, Samuel Joe the Plumber Wurzelbacher speaks at a rally for John McCain.
In this Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008 picture, Samuel "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher speaks at a rally for John McCain.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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