In the seven months since a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School left 17 people dead, Fred Guttenberg, the father of Parkland victim Jaime Guttenberg (opens in new tab), has been a leading voice in the gun control debate. After Jaime's death in February, Guttenberg told MarieClaire.com that he'd spend the rest of his life fighting for common-sense gun control. According to a tweet from Guttenberg, the activist approached the Supreme Court nominee during his Tuesday hearing—he is a guest of Senator Dianne Feinstein—and was snubbed.
"Just walked up to Judge Kavanaugh as morning session ended," Guttenberg wrote on Twitter. "Put out my hand to introduce myself as Jaime Guttenberg's dad. He pulled his hand back, turned his back to me and walked away. I guess he did not want to deal with the reality of gun violence."
Footage of the incident shows Kavanaugh visibly stopping to listen to Guttenberg trying to introduce himself, and then turning away. White House press staffer Raj Shah claimed on Twitter that security intervened before Kavanaugh had a chance to respond to Guttenberg, however. "As Judge Kavanaugh left for his lunch break, an unidentified individual approached him. Before the Judge was able to shake his hand, security had intervened," he wrote. (opens in new tab)
Kavanaugh has made clear in previous rulings that he supports what he believes to be the constitutional right to bear arms. In a 2011 ruling (opens in new tab), considered the best indicator of how Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh would rule on firearm cases, the judge dissented with a D.C. ban on some semi-automatic weapons, describing it as unconstitutional. "Gun bans and gun regulations that are not longstanding or sufficiently rooted in text, history, and tradition are not consistent with the Second Amendment individual right," he wrote.
Here is the photo of me trying to shake Kavanaugh's hand. https://t.co/5MtQxq5wzaSeptember 4, 2018
In other words: One American's right to own a gun supersedes the right of another American to protect himself from them, according to Kavanaugh's ruling.
Wow, here you can hear @fred_guttenberg telling Kavanaugh that his daughter "was murdered in Parkland," and Kavanaugh whirls and walks away pic.twitter.com/VdkTij2VdpSeptember 4, 2018
Guttenberg has gone head-to-head with other anti-gun control public figures since the death of his 14-year-old daughter. Following the massacre, Guttenberg addressed Senator Marco Rubio directly: "My daughter, running down the hallway at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, was shot in the back with an assault weapon—the weapon of choice," he told the senator (opens in new tab). "It is too easy to get. It is a weapon of war. The fact that you can't stand with everybody in this building and say that—I'm sorry."
Jenny is the Director of Content Strategy at Marie Claire. Originally from London, she moved to New York in 2012 to attend the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and never left. Prior to Marie Claire, she spent five years at Bustle building out its news and politics coverage. She loves, in order: her dog, goldfish crackers, and arguing about why umbrellas are fundamentally useless. Her first novel, EVERYONE WHO CAN FORGIVE ME IS DEAD, will be published by Minotaur Books in 2024.
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