IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Parkland victim’s father calls out ‘insanity’ of Florida’s gun culture

Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was killed in the 2018 mass shooting, broke a deeply personal vow to denounce Florida lawmakers pushing for weaker gun laws.


Fred Guttenberg is an anti-gun violence activist who, like innumerable others, was thrust into the role after his family fell victim to gun crime

Ever since his daughter Jaime was murdered during the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, he’s been one of the most prominent voices in the movement to curb the proliferation of guns in the U.S. and roll back laws seemingly intent on making gun access as easy as buying a stick of gum. 

Guttenberg endures a lot of emotional labor for the sake of truth-telling about America’s sick infatuation with guns, and he opened up about it on “The ReidOut” this week. Tuesday was the fifth anniversary of the Parkland shooting.

In an interview with Joy Reid that was filmed Monday but aired Tuesday, Guttenberg shared why he broke his policy of avoiding TV interviews set to air on the anniversary: Republican efforts to loosen Florida’s gun laws that are taking place this week

Florida Republicans, including Gov. Ron DeSantis and the speaker of Florida’s House of Representatives, are on the verge of enacting a law that would end concealed weapon permits, meaning that anyone legally allowed to own a gun would be allowed to carry it hidden without the need for special certification. 

“I’ve always kept it as a private day,” Guttenberg said of the Parkland anniversary. 

He continued:

One of the reasons why I’m wanting this [interview] to happen tomorrow night is because those legislators in Florida who are about to embark on making Florida a more dangerous state — who are about to ensure that they are making decisions that will lead to more dead children. More families like mine. They need to receive this message before they hold another hearing.

Guttenberg also denounced a provision in the bill that would downgrade the penalty for carrying a concealed weapon on school grounds from a felony to a misdemeanor, aptly calling it reflective of the “insanity” behind the legislative efforts.

Check out the full clip of Guttenberg’s appearance on “The ReidOut” below: