Isla Vista Rampage

'Joe the Plumber' Pens 'Harsh' Open Letter to Isla Vista Relatives

Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher — the Tea-Party star better known as "Joe The Plumber" — has a message for the parents of victims of tragic gun violence in America: "Your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights."

Wurzelbacher wrote the open letter on conservative site Tuesday after Richard Martinez, the father of a victim in the Isla Vista ramage, made headlines when he offered a heart-rending response to the rampage, saying: "Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA ... They talk about gun rights but what about Chris' right to live? When will this insanity stop?"

Martinez on Tuesday told NBC News that he hadn't yet read Wurzelbacher's comments.

"I haven’t paid attention to any of that kind of stuff," Martinez said while on route to meet with other victims' relatives. "Right now I don't care."


Wurzelbacher argues that emotions following mass-shooting tragedies shouldn't prompt anyone to reinterpret the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment.

He admits that his point of view may sound "harsh," but writes, "we still have the Right to Bear Arms and I intend to continue to speak out for that right, and against those who would restrict it – even in the face of this horrible incident by this sad and insane individual. I almost said 'Obama Voter' but I’m waiting for it to be official."

Earlier on Tuesday, Martinez said he was tired of politicians calling him and offering their sympathies.

"I don’t care about your sympathy. I don’t give a s--- that you feel sorry for me," he told the Washington Post. "Get to work and do something. I'll tell the president the same thing if he calls me. Getting a call from a politician doesn't impress me."

Image: Samuel Joseph "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher
Samuel Joseph "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher at a Tea Party Express rally on March 27, 2010, in Searchlight, Nevada. Ethan Miller / Getty Images, file

Wurzelbacher first gained fame in the fall of 2008 when he challenged then-candidate Barack Obama at a local campaign stop over raising taxes on the rich. After quickly pushing out a book that November and going on the political speaking circuit, he made a 2012 run for congress in Ohio's 9th district, but lost in the general election to Democrat Marcy Kaptur., where Wurzelbacher wrote his piece, describes itself as "Politics and Culture / News and Opinion From a Decidedly Biblical Worldview."