Earlier this year, in a high profile incident of gun violence, 17 people lost their lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, after a shooter stormed the building. They’re among thousands of Americans who have been similarly victimized throughout the year.
Many of those with personal connections to the incident have taken to political activism in its wake. That activism brought Fred Guttenberg to the Tuesday confirmation hearings for Trump Supreme court pick Brett Kavanaugh, where the nominee very visibly refused to shake the father’s hand.
The viral incident unfolded as the Tuesday morning session of the already contentious hearing ended.
Guttenberg shared on Twitter:
‘Just walked up to Judge Kavanaugh as morning session ended. 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.’
Video of the moment completely backs up Guttenberg’s account of the situation. Watch below.
This was no overblown missed handshake among a crowd that couldn’t have been expected to facilitate the greeting in the first place. The two men paused, standing opposite each other — and then Kavanaugh abruptly turned around and walked away.
Apparently, the president’s latest pick for the Supreme Court finds the issue of a young student murdered in her school too contentious for his time. In reality, it’s not that difficult — on one side, there are those committed to advancing life — as in, actual life via protecting students and everyone else from gun violence — and on the other, there are those who love their shiny pieces of metal. Kavanaugh seems to have been unwilling to “pick a side” when there shouldn’t be any hang-ups to connecting on a personal level with a man whose daughter was murdered.
He’s made his allegiance to “gun rights” clear in the past. Serving on the D.C. area U.S. Court of Appeals, he dissented from his colleagues and asserted there should neither be a ban on or registration requirement for semi-automatic weapons in 2011.
The shooter in the Parkland incident used a semi-automatic weapon, the AR-15. The weapon has been used in incidents ranging from the 2012 mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School to the 2016 attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, that left 49 people dead.
Even in the face of these incidents, Kavanaugh couldn’t find it in himself to reach out to the father of a girl who’d died via the very type of weapon he’d previously ardently defended. He’s just digging into his positions.
The Trump team defense has been floated that security intervened to keep Kavanaugh from interacting with Guttenberg, but there’s no indication of that in video footage of the incident whatsoever.
The White House, rightly worried about this moment, lies and says security “intervened” when @fred_guttenberg introduced himself. You can see Kavanaugh already turned to walk away when alleged security guy follows him. pic.twitter.com/aJJfCutdKn
— Tommy Christopher (@tommyxtopher) September 4, 2018
It’s pretty clear what happened is exactly what Guttenberg originally described.
Republicans are gearing up to face an angry electorate this fall. Parkland students and their allies have worked to register voters as much as possible, producing the recent tangible result of the highest turnout in a Florida Democratic midterm primary in decades.
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot