Parkland father: 'More Americans will die' if GOP keeps blocking gun bills


The House passed a bill to reduce gun violence more than 270 days ago, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to even hold a vote on it — and 2,000 more children have died since.

Fred Guttenberg, who lost his daughter in the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida last year, is calling on Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to stop blocking legislation that could reduce gun violence.

"Rather than action that leads to saving lives, we end up with childish, sophomoric, dishonest tweets," Guttenberg wrote about Trump in a Monday op-ed in Newsweek. "Until this White House and Majority Leader McConnell are ready to stop politicizing gun violence and to complete the work sent to them by the House of Representatives, more Americans will die," he added.

Guttenberg was incensed by a Sunday tweet from Trump claiming that the Democratic-led House has not taken action on the issue of gun violence.

"Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, AOC and the rest of the Democrats are not getting important legislation done, hence, the Do Nothing Democrats," Trump wrote. "USMCA, National Defense Authorization Act, Gun Safety, Prescription Drug Prices, & Infrastructure are dead in the water because of the Dems!"

Guttenberg responded on Twitter, noting that the House passed landmark gun safety legislation earlier this year. That legislation has been bottled up in the Senate for more than 270 days, blocked by McConnell and other Republicans.

"Reality is that over 2,000 kids have died since the Majority Leader of the Senate decided to block gun safety legislation passed by the House Of Representatives," Guttenberg wrote in his op-ed.

Guttenberg lost his daughter on Valentine's Day in 2018, when a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, killing 17 people, Guttenberg's daughter, Jaime.

Student survivors of the massacre went on to lead the March for Our Lives a month later, one of the nation's largest-ever rallies to reduce gun violence.

"Leader McConnell, today I visited my daughter's gravesite," Guttenberg wrote. "Turning the Senate into a graveyard for legislation so that your majority and the White House can stand idly by doing nothing except politicizing the issue is leading to more American families who visit loved ones in real graveyards."

Trump has promised several times to do something about the issue of gun violence during a term punctuated by numerous instances of mass shootings. But each time Trump makes a promise to take action, he eventually caves to the whims of the NRA, according to Guttenberg.

"Most recently, after the shootings in El Paso and Dayton, we again watched him do this odd dance where he would claim for a period of time that he was going to do something, only to walk away from the process, following conversations with the NRA," Guttenberg wrote.

In the end, Guttenberg had a simple request for McConnell and Trump.

"Do your job," he pleaded. "If you don't, this issue will become the defining issue of the next election — and you will be out of one altogether."

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Fred Guttenberg as Frank Guttenberg. It has since been updated.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.