Experience #NotOneMore live at the upcoming art exhibition, Hashtags Unplugged in New York. Get Tickets
“Why did Chris die? Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA. They talk about gun rights. What about Chris’ right to live? When will this insanity stop? When will enough people say ‘Stop this madness, we don’t have to live like this!”? Too many have died. We should say to ourselves, ‘Not one more!’”
Richard Martinez in a speech prepared for the press, May 24, 2014, the day after his son, Christopher Michaels-Martinez, 20, was shot and killed in the Isla Vista killings
On Friday, May 23, 2014, Elliot Rodger, 22, killed six University of California, Santa Barbara, students before taking his own life.
He stabbed three men in his apartment: George Chen, Cheng Yuan “James” Hong, and Weihan “David” Wang. Then, Rodgers drove to a sorority house and shot three women outside, killing two of them: Katherine Breann Cooper and Veronika Elizabeth Weiss. He drove on to the nearby Isla Vista Deli Mart and shot and killed Christopher Ross Michael-Martinez, who had been getting a sandwich.
In addition to those who lost their lives, fourteen were injured in Isla Vista, California, during Rodger’s rampage, seven from gunshot wounds and seven from being struck by Rodger’s vehicle.
“[The #NotOneMore hashtag] was the result of a media-savvy writer with political experience who took to the airwaves to galvanize support, and then backed up by the well-funded machinery of former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.”
The Wall Street Journal
Guns were a known entity for Richard Martinez. He grew up on a farm, where he would use guns to shoot birds. He served as a military police officer in the U.S. Army and was a criminal-defense lawyer.
He also knew how to work within the political arena, having consulted for California State Representative Charles Calderon, writing speeches and overseeing legislation.
According to The Washington Post, Martinez’s “Not One More” speech came about after the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office had shared the details of the Isla Vista killing with reporters during a news conference. “Martinez told reporters to train their cameras on him as he delivered a biting, 80-second speech…”
Martinez quickly became the unofficial spokesperson for not only the parents of the victims of these killings but also for the family members of victims of other gun violence incidents and for gun control in general.
After his speech on May 24, he spoke to plenty of media outlets, sharing his story and his call to action. He analyzed how people were responding to his comments and noticed that the phrase “Not one more” was resonating.
“Today, I’m going to ask every person I can find to send a postcard to every politician with three words on it: ‘Not one more.’ People are looking for something to do. I’m asking people to stand for up for something. Enough is enough.”
On the morning of Tuesday, May 27, Richard Martinez spoke with members of the press in California
On the morning of Tuesday, May 27, Richard Martinez spoke with members of the press in California, saying, “Today, I’m going to ask every person I can find to send a postcard to every politician with three words on it: ‘Not one more.’ People are looking for something to do. I’m asking people to stand for up for something. Enough is enough.”
That same afternoon, Everytown for Gun Safety was meeting to discuss the activist group’s response to the recent shooting. Everytown represents a merger of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which was created after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which was founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Boston Mayor Tom Menino. The organization was launched in April 2014 with a $50M investment from Bloomberg.
At the meeting, Everytown’s president asked the staff about the viability of fulfilling Martinez’s postcard wish.
“We were moved by what Richard Martinez said, so I said to the staff, ‘He moved us, let’s move America,” Feinblatt said.
The Wall Street Journal
Feinblatt wanted to announce the campaign on “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” on MSNBC. He was scheduled to appear on the show that night at 10pm.
Everytown’s digital team got to work creating a tool that would allow constituents to easily send postcards that read “Not One More” to their political representatives through the Everytown website. They shared a post to their Facebook promoting the tool:
— Everytown for Gun Safety
Join us in telling our elected officials: #NotOneMore. Send a postcard here: http://every.tw/1mnFhj1
Feinblatt brought a last-minute color copy prototype of the postcard to the MSNBC studios for his live interview and showed it on air.
Everytown also sent an email out to their 1.5M subscribers that night, asking them to opt-in to the newly built digital tool.
That same evening, in California, a memorial was being held for the victims of the killings at the athletic stadium of the University of California, Santa Barbara. Richard Martinez spoke at the memorial. First, he read statements from the families of David Wang and James Hong. Then, he mentioned receiving a call of condolence from a member of Congress. He told the crowd that he wasn’t interested in condolences, that instead he wanted legislative action.
“He asked the audience to stand and shout with him, ‘Not one more,’ and then to use the three-word phrase as a hashtag on Twitter (though he admitted he hardly understood what a hashtag was).
The students, many holding flowers and dressed in formal wear (a striking departure from the board shorts and tank tops that often predominate here) shouted, then gave him a standing ovation. Once he left the stage, the crowd continued to chant: ‘Not one more! Not one more!’”
People listened. By early June, over 127,000 tweets had used the hashtag #notonemore, according to Topsy.
Richard Martinez, who's son was killed in the UCSB tragedy asks students to start using #notonemore
Furthermore, more than 600,000 Americans used Everytown’s postcard tool, generating the delivery of over 2.4M postcards (four for each participant: one to each of their senators, one to their congressional representative, and one to their governor). By early June, Everytown’s email newsletter list had grown to almost 2M.
“Martinez says he had no idea Everytown was going to build a Web-sharing tool around his words. “But I’m sure glad they did,” he says.” – Wall Street Journal
Because of his role in creating Everytown, Michael Bloomberg was a clear supporter, and he took to social media to spread the word.
But #NotOneMore also found what may be an unexpected champion in Snoop Dogg:
Lets stop the gun violence NOW - please RT #nogunsallowed #NotOneMore http://bit.ly/nogunsallowed http://bit.ly/am4reso
Everytown seems to place a strong emphasis on social media advocacy and, therefore, has a strong social media following—particularly on Facebook, where they have over 1M likes. Their cover photo features loved ones of the victims of gun violence with their hands over their hearts. Notice the bracelets on their right wrists:
— Everytown for Gun Safety
Supporters can receive these “Not One More” leather bracelets with a donation of $25 or more. The bracelets were created by Urban Zen’s Haiti Artisan Project with the help of Donna Karan and Lise Evans and were launched at an event on February 10, 2015. Michael Bloomberg spoke at the event, and Hugh Jackman showed his simultaneous support on Facebook.
NOT ONE MORE! Please join us. #notonemore #urbanzen www.notonemore.com
— Hugh Jackman
One issue with spontaneous hashtag creation…is somebody may already be using the name. Not One More is a nonprofit organization started in 2012 by two Ventura County mothers who lost their children to heroin. Its mission “is to raise awareness and prevent drug abuse in the community through education and community partnerships.”
#NotOneMore wasn’t the first social media movement—let alone hashtag—to raise awareness for and take action on gun control. Nor was it the last.
On December 21, 2012, one week after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, a star-studded PSA was shared and asked those who viewed it to “Demand A Plan”. The video has over 10M views on YouTube:
Despite all of the attention it garnered, it didn’t lead to much tangible action. People were also encouraged to participate in the #WearingOrange campaign on June 2, 2015, in honor of National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Even President Barack Obama encouraged advocacy:
People across the country are #WearingOrange today to stand up against gun violence.
The use of #NotOneMore has been invoked for other mass shootings.
And Richard Martinez continues his advocacy, as shown in this video about his morning ritual.
Martinez also makes an appearance in an ad campaign in which different members of the NBA call for an end to gun violence. The PSA aired during their Christmas Day games in 2015 and was created in partnership with Everytown: youtube.com/watch?v=lPcZo-f6Fhc
Lately, Everytown is focusing its efforts on a pair of new, notable “sub-campaigns”. “What Could Go Wrong?” espouses banning guns from bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. Rachel Dratch stars in the campaign video, which was posted in late January 2016 and has received 90K views. “Singled Out” was launched in February 2016 and raises awareness about how “lax gun laws put single woman at risk”.
As much as one might value the work that Richard Martinez, Everytown, and other advocates are doing for this cause, one can’t help but hope that we could someday live in a nation without the need for it.
Not one more PSA. Not one more microsite. Not one more awareness day. Not one more hashtag.
Experience #NotOneMore live at the upcoming art exhibition, Hashtags Unplugged in New York.Get Tickets