Gun Rights Robocall: Day After Mass Shooting, Tony Strickland Sends Ill-Timed Campaign Message

A gun rights “robocall” by Republican Congressional candidate Tony Strickland went out in Southern California the very next day after 22-year-old Elliot Rodger went on a Friday night shooting rampage in Isla Vista, gunning down 12 people, three of whom died (Rodger killed three others by stabbing).

Even more disturbing, Strickland, while in the California State Senate, formerly represented the very district where Friday’s mass shooting took place. Some of the gunshot victims could have been Strickland’s own former constituents.

A spokesperson for Strickland said that the gun rights robocall — a recorded message sent out to hundreds of recipients at once by a computer — was scheduled before the Isla Vista mass shooting. Evan Handy said the calls “went to a small universe of Second Amendment supporters and were completed instantly.”

But, a Republican media consultant told the Mail Online news site that calls such as Strickland’s gun rights robocall can be cancelled at any time, though the buyer will likely be responsible for the full cost of the call in either case. Strickland, “may have decided that he had more to lose by canceling than he did by going ahead with it,” the consultant told the news outlet.

As for the victims of the mass shooting right in Strickland’s backyard, Handy offered “thoughts and prayers.” But when The Huffington Post attempted to ask whether the Tony Strickland campaign planned to cancel any further uses of the gun rights campaign call, there was no response.

“Protect our gun rights! Vote for Tony Strickland for Congress,” begins the call that went out to an area outside of Los Angeles still reeling from the madness inflicted on the Isla Vista community the previous night. “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.”

Elliot Rodger, the Isla Vista gunman, purchased a Glock 34 semiautomatic pistol legally at Goleta Valley Gun & Supply in Goleta, California. He later bought two Sig Sauer P226 semiautomatic handguns, also legally.

“I had already done some research on handguns, and I decided to purchase the Glock 34 semiautomatic pistol, an efficient and highly accurate weapon. I signed all of the papers and was told that my pickup day was in mid-December,” Rodger wrote in a 10,000 word “manifesto” that he e-mailed to his parents and others shortly before his shooting rampage, in which he also died, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. “After I picked up the handgun, I brought it back to my room and felt a new sense of power. I was now armed. Who’s the alpha male now, b******?”

Despite the alarming Troy Strickland gun rights robocall, California already has gun control laws that rank among the strictest in the nation. Nonetheless, Elliot Rodger, who according to his family had been under psychiatric care from an early age, was able to purchase his weapons with ease.

Listen to the Tony Strickland gun rights robocall below.

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