Fred Guttenberg was escorted from the speech after an outburst during Trump’s message about gun laws
Fred Guttenberg, the father of 14-year-old Parkland victim Jaime, was removed from the State of the Union speech last night after shouting in protest during President Trump’s message about the Second Amendment. Guttenberg, who was invited to attend by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, was heard shouting from the Speaker’s box, and was quickly escorted out by police afterward.
Jaime Guttenberg was one of 17 people killed in the 2018 Valentine’s Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Following the tragic loss of his daughter, Fred Guttenberg became an outspoken activist for stricter gun laws and a critic of Trump’s lack of action in that respect.
Guttenberg started shouting in protest after Trump said: “Just as we believe in the First Amendment, we also believe in another constitutional right that is under siege all across our country. So long as I am President, I will always protect your Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.”
Reporters claim Guttenberg was making a statement about “victims of gun violence like my daughter” when plainclothes police officers came and removed him from the Capitol.
Guttenberg took to Twitter to offer insight and an apology for his protest. “Tonight was a rough night,” he says. “I disrupted the State of the Union and was detained because I let my emotions get the best of me.”
He says he was unable to “listen to the lies about the second amendment” delivered by Trump.
“I should not have yelled out,” he continues. “I am thankful for the overwhelming support that I am receiving. However, I do owe my family and friends an apology. I have tried to conduct myself with dignity throughout this process and I will do better as I pursue gun safety.”
Many people immediately responded to his apology by saying he didn’t owe one.
David Hogg, a fellow Parkland student who became a gun rights activist in the wake of the massacre at his high school, tweeted in support of Guttenberg as well: “Tonight he stood up to a president that believes peace and the second amendment are mutually exclusive and was removed.”
The epidemic of gun violence in America has turned many grieving parents into activists during the last decade. Congresswoman Lucy McBath, who lost her son to gun violence, says that her activism and work in Congress allows her to still “mother” her son Jordan, who was killed in a shooting back in 2012.
“We are not going away. Too many people are dying,” Fred Guttenberg said last year on the one-year anniversary of the shooting. “I’m certain that she’s on my shoulder now telling me, ‘You can’t put up with this. You need to be strong,'” he said.