Fred Guttenberg: A Portrait in Resolve

A year after the Parkland shooting, Fred Guttenberg is still working to ensure that no parent has to endure what he has.

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From the humble life of a father, husband and middle class American to steadfast activist, Fred Guttenberg has accepted a new calling.

Guttenberg has fought tirelessly against gun violence ever since Feb. 14, when his daughter was gunned down during the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, along with 16 other students. His new life of activism in these heated times certainly isn’t the easy road but an important one to take. To Guttenberg, it has become an obligation.

“I felt like I had no other choice then to pursue this so that it never happens again,” he said.

Fred Guttenberg takes a selfie with his daughter, Jaime, who was killed in the Parkland shooting in February 2018.

Working to improve gun legislation, Guttenberg thinks this upcoming election will be crucial for toughening regulations. He urges people to vote for the candidates that will put school safety first and focus on ‘common sense’ laws.

“Vote like your life depends on it,” he said, “because it might.”

Waves of people coming out to vote in November will sustain Guttenberg’s motivation. In essence, he said his obligation is fueled by his daughter’s vacant room. Every time he walks past it, it keeps him going to fight against the mean commentary he faces as an activist over such a controversial issue. Guttenberg said he isn’t afraid of the insulting commentary targeted toward him as a means to silence his message. It’s no comparison to that Feb. 14 afternoon in Parkland, Fl.

“My daughter, Jaime, running through the halls away from a shooter, in her school: that’s fear, that’s intimidation.”

Nonetheless, vile efforts continue their attempts to assail his character, yet Guttenberg has tapped an inner strength which is actually fortified through the trials of his mission. In a gentle and reasoned manner, he is able to state a most poignant truth in humbling terms.

“They can’t hurt me,” he said, “because I’ve already paid the ultimate price.”

He discovered that we all have this hidden capacity to fight for what is right. We have the endurance to keep charging on month after month. We have a voice to demand a safer world and influence those around us to make positive changes. He has discovered that everyone can be part of a community and use their voice in that community to make an individual impact.

Guttenberg continues his mission. It doesn’t stop with this election, it won’t stop with a milestone of a waiting period or certification. He is using his voice, his story, his strength and his endurance. He is cultivating a safer world for all of us. One goal he sees as a required building block for progress is helping restore civility in public discourse, especially when discussing hot button topics. He knows his journey will be a long one, but one well worth the resolution.

You can find Fred Guttenberg online here and on Twitter here.