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Parkland dad: Not talking is not legislation

Fred Guttenberg, father of Jamie Guttenburg who was killed during a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, said he has been worried a shooting might happen again while lawmakers debate reforms to gun laws.

Posted: May 20, 2018 11:49 AM
Updated: May 20, 2018 11:49 AM

This, says Fred Guttenberg, is what he's been dreading.

Since his daughter was killed in February at a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Guttenberg has been worried it could happen again while lawmakers debate reforms to gun laws.

And it's happened. This time in Santa Fe, Texas.

"Now, we have 8 more children dead and our leadership in Washington has done nothing," he tweeted. "We do not need thoughts and prayers, we need action and we need it now."

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott confirmed in a press conference that 10 people, nine of whom were students, were killed in Friday's shooting, the 22nd since the beginning of 2018. Ten others were were injured.

"This is the reality of gun violence," Guttenberg told CNN's Jake Tapper in an interview Friday.

"My week started with Mother's Day, the first without my kid, followed by the three-month anniversary of the shooting, and then followed by today," he said.

Guttenberg offered his condolences to the families of the latest shooting victims, and told them he would be there for them. "I just -- I get it."

In the months since losing his daughter Jaime, Guttenberg has been outspoken about finding solutions to the gun violence epidemic in America's schools. Just this week he was in Ohio on an invitation from Gov. John Kasich, speaking to state legislators about the issue. Still, not much has changed at the national level.

"I'm not discouraged, I'm pissed off," he said, adding that he was not discouraged because of the change he was seeing on the local level in different cities and states.

"However, on a national level, nothing is happening," Guttenberg said, "and that's where action needs to happen."

He wants to see more steps taken to "limit the casualties" and "deal with the issue of guns as well."

"And I will say, shame on our President. Shame on Speaker Ryan. Shame on the Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who simply won't even open their mouths," he said.

"And I will tell you, not speaking about an issue is not legislation. Okay? You can't legislate by shutting up, and they are just shutting up and it is pathetic."

Only Guttenberg and others like him will be able to fully relate to the fear and anguish that parents of students at Santa Fe High School are experiencing. A number of survivors offered their sympathy and expressed their outrage at the Santa Fe shooting, which took place three months after Parkland.

'This is not the price of our freedom'

March for Our Lives, a movement started by Parkland students in the aftermath of the Florida shooting, said in a statement its members were "deeply saddened" by news in Santa Fe.

"Though this is the 22nd school shooting this year, we urge those reading this not to sweep it under the rug and forget," the statement said. "This is not the price of our freedom."

"Santa Fe, we are with you, and we will do whatever we can to support you as the days go on."

Since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, the White House announced a modest set of proposals that fell far short of the wide-ranging changes that President Donald Trump promoted in February -- such as, raising the minimum purchasing age on some guns or expanding background checks to gun shows and internet sales.

The Trump administration announced Sunday it would launch a commission to study school violence and look at ways to allow states to train teachers to carry guns.

'You didn't deserve this'

Emma Gonzalez, a Parkland student who became a high-profile gun control activist in the weeks after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, took to Twitter to join the growing chorus of those voicing support for Santa Fe.

"Santa Fe High, you didn't deserve this," Gonzalez wrote. "You deserve peace all your lives, not just after a tombstone saying that is put over you. You deserve more than Thoughts and Prayers, and after supporting us by walking out we will be there to support you by raising up your voices."

Brother of Parkland victim: 'Our youth is the future'

"Teachers and students across the country are going to be scared to go to school," tweeted Hunter Pollack. He's the brother of Meadow, who died in the Parkland massacre on February 14.

"Our youth is the future of our country who needs an education to thrive. We need to secure our schools and give our educators and students the freedom they deserve to safely educate and learn."

Some called out politicians

"3 months ago, I sent this text to my parents and brothers, thinking I would never see them again," Parkland student Alex Wind wrote on Twitter. In the text, he tells his family the school's on lockdown and says he loves them.

"Nobody should have to feel this fear. Nobody should have to send this text. I implore all politicians to read this, feel my fear, and hopefully, take action."

Cameron Kasky, a Parkland student and activist, called out President Donald Trump and the National Rifle Association in his own tweets.

"Not a single one of you should know me," he wrote in another. "Or any of my friends. But you do because we come from one of the hot school shootings of the month. Now we have another. Another community attacked that will only be further attacked by the NRA."

"Welcome to America, folks," Kasky said. "This happens here."

'We are fighting for you'

"I should be celebrating my last day of high school, but instead my heart is broken to hear of the tragedy at Santa Fe," said Delaney Tarr, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas student and activist.

"We cannot let this continue to be the norm. We cannot," she added.

David Hogg, another Parkland student-turned-activist, simply wrote, "We are fighting for you."

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