The father of a Parkland victim owes few people, least among them President Donald Trump, an apology, but Fred Guttenberg gave his family and friends exactly that after he interrupted a portion of the president’s State of the Union address dedicated to protecting gun rights Tuesday. Guttenberg, an outspoken advocate for preventing gun violence, lost his 14-year-old daughter, Jamie, in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, 2018.
”Tonight was a rough night,” Guttenberg tweeted early Wednesday. “I disrupted the State Of The Union and was detained because I let my emotions get the best of me. I simply want to be able to deal with the reality of gun violence and not have to listen to the lies about the 2A as happened tonight.” Some would say that desire is more than fair.
“That said, I should not have yelled out,” Guttenberg said in a second tweet. “I am thankful for the overwhelming support that I am receiving. However, I do owe my family and friends an apology. I have tried to conduct myself with dignity throughout this process and I will do better as I pursue gun safety.”
When Guttenberg shouted his thoughts, Trump was going on in his speech about a vow to "always protect your Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms." It’s unclear what the gun violence prevention advocate shouted precisely, but moments later, video of the speech showed a security worker escorting Guttenberg out of his seat.
Guttenberg attended the president’s State of the Union address as a guest of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the speaker, who has herself had more than one nerve plucked by the president, took to Twitter Wednesday to show Guttenberg she was far from embarrassed by his reaction. She tweeted “#ImWithFred” and shared a tweet from him. “Thank you @SpeakerPelosi for inviting me to be your guest tonight at the State Of The Union,” he said in the tweet. “I cannot thank you enough for your commitment to issues important to Americans and to the issue most important to me on dealing with gun violence.”
Social media users responded to Guttenberg's apology with overwhelming support. "No need to apologize! @realDonaldTrump is a pathological #LiarInChief & needs to be called out every time," Twitter user Kevin Desire tweeted. A woman who goes by Victoria Brownworth on Twitter thanked Guttenberg: "The work you are doing to honor your daughter's life and to try to prevent more victims is critically important." she tweeted. "Thank you for that work, thank you for your passion.”
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