Gun control activist Fred Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter Jaime was killed in the Parkland, Florida, school shooting, was escorted out of the House chamber on Tuesday night for protesting President Donald Trump’s remarks about guns during his State of the Union address.
“What about victims of gun violence like my daughter?” Guttenberg shouted at Trump, the activist told HuffPost.
Guttenberg, who was invited to the event by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, shouted the protest as Trump spoke about the Second Amendment — which the president said was “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,” Trump said.
That’s when Guttenberg had enough.
“After listening to him blame ‘illegals’ for violence and then launch into the Second Amendment, I just let my emotions get the best of me,” Guttenberg told HuffPost.
Videos circulating on social media show security leading Guttenberg out of the room.
According to NBC News correspondent Kasie Hunt, “many Democrats on the floor turned toward the gallery” where Guttenberg was sitting and “applauded him as he was taken out of the chamber.”
Guttenberg’s daughter and 16 others were killed on Valentine’s Day in 2018 when a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Since the massacre, Guttenberg has emerged as a vocal advocate for eradicating gun violence — and as a fierce critic of the president.
In an interview with CNN last year, Guttenberg accused Trump of lying repeatedly to gun violence victims.
“My daughter died in Parkland. I’ll live with that every second of every day. And he lied to me and all the other victims that day and he’s done it again since the other mass shootings, when he talks about doing the right thing for a brief second and then he says, ‘but I spoke to the NRA,’ and he walks away from it,” Guttenberg said.
In February 2019, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) called for Guttenberg’s removal from a congressional hearing on gun violence after he and fellow Parkland father Manuel Oliver interrupted the senator to speak out against gun violence.
In 2018, Guttenberg was snubbed by Brett Kavanaugh during the judge’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing.
“I’m the father of Jaime Guttenberg, who was murdered in Parkland,” Guttenberg said to Kavanaugh with a hand extended after a hearing session ended.
Instead, Kavanaugh turned his back on Guttenberg and walked away. The exchange was captured in photos and video. Guttenberg told HuffPost Kavanaugh later winked at him.
“When I got back to my seat, I looked over to the table where he was sitting, and he winked,” Guttenberg told HuffPost at the time. “And I thought that was maybe his way of saying ‘We’re good.’ That’s what I was hoping. Until a minute later, three heavily armed D.C. cops took me out of the room.”
David Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland shooting, expressed his solidarity with Guttenberg in a tweet Tuesday night.
“#ImWithFred,” he wrote.