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Fred Guttenberg Gave Voice To Nation Wanting Action Over Gun Violence

February 21, 2018

In a gathering that made for gripping and emotional television just one week after a shooter gunned down 14 students and three teachers at Stoneman Douglas High School, thousands of community members and students met with politicians and others for a town hall on how to make schools safer.  There is something so democratic when high school students demand answers from a blow-dried Republican senator.

But it was a father to one of the victims who made the hair stand up on my arms.

Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was killed, angrily addressed Sen. Marco Rubio, wanting the senator to agree that semiautomatic rifles like the AR-15 type used in the shooting were the problem.  It was one of the most focused and perfectly-toned questions of the evening.

“Sen. Rubio, I want to like you. Here’s the problem. … Your comments this week and those of our President have been pathetically weak,” he said to lasting applause and cheers. “Look at me and tell me guns were the factor in the hunting of our kids in the school this week.”

Guttenberg called on the senator to do something about guns. Rubio replied, “I’m saying that the problems we are facing here today cannot be solved by gun laws alone.”

As for the NRA who showed up—well—what can one say for those acting as the opposition to mass shooting survivors.    But then again, that is the NRA.  The NRA has all sorts of  culpability in the Parkland shooting and the crowd knew it–as did the television audience.

The over-arching element which was never stated–but which politicos such as myself was watching for concerned the mid-term elections.

Florida’s swing state politics and personalities added to the drama which filled the screen.  Extreme gun rights advocate Republican Governor Scott is likely to challenge Democratic Senator Nelson this year.  And we could not forget thirsty Rubio who was a spirited figure in his bid against Trump, and this past week blew it horribly for the early reactions to the shooting.

And Rubio did little to assist himself with those who care about the issue.

“My belief remains, that rather than continue to try to chase every loophole that’s created … is we instead should make sure that dangerous criminals, people that are deranged cannot buy any gun of any kind,” Rubio said.

“Your answer speaks for itself,” Guttenberg said.

And so it goes.

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