Fred Guttenberg got the phone call confirming that his 14-year-old daughter, Jaime, had been murdered at the Stoneman Douglas high school, as he was driving on the freeway. His wife was in a car ahead of him, saw his face in her rear-view mirror, and made him pull over. He had to tell her on the side of the road that Jaime was dead.
Since his daughter’s death more than three months ago, Guttenberg has devoted his life to lobbying for sensible gun laws and fighting the NRA’s power grip on American politics. Wednesday morning, he was on his way home from Ohio, where he’d just testified about “red flag” laws—which allow police to temporarily take guns from people who demonstrate a risk to themselves or others—at the invitation of Republican Gov. John Kasich. “This is not partisan,” Guttenberg tells Raw Story. “This is life and death.” He hopes Gov. Kasich will show leadership on gun control before he leaves office.
One place Guttenberg has not seen great leadership on the massacres that occur with alarming frequency is the Trump administration. He’s been deeply disappointed in the President’s reaction to the Parkland shooting.
“Listen. He said he showed leadership…He did no such thing,” Guttenberg says. “I never heard from him. Not even a tweet. All he did was, on the day I buried my daughter, he used my daughter’s death for a political purpose, saying the reason she died was because of the FBI’s Russia probe,” he says.
“He dragged my daughter and her friends into a political fight. That was anything but good leadership.”
Trump, who addressed the NRA leadership forum in Dallas, Texas, the first week of May, only recently spoke on the phone with James Shaw Jr., the man who disarmed the Waffle House shooter with his bare hands.