Activist Fred Guttenberg Reveals Joe Biden Helped Him ‘Find...

Activist Fred Guttenberg Reveals Joe Biden Helped Him ‘Find Purpose’ After Daughter’s Murder In Parkland


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Texas ''March for Our Lives'' in Austin. 11 Jun 2022 Pictured: control U.S. gun violence. Photo credit: / MEGA +1 888 505 6342 (Mega Agency TagID: MEGA867435_005.jpg) [Photo via Mega Agency]

People participate in the second March for Our Lives rally in support of gun control in front of the Washington Monument, in Washington. The rally is a successor to the 2018 march organized by student protestors after the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla
Gun Control Rally, Washington, United States - 11 Jun 2022

Texas ''March for Our Lives'' in Austin. 11 Jun 2022 Pictured: control U.S. gun violence. The Ramirez daughter was caught at Robb Elementary during the shooting but was uninjured. Photo credit: / MEGA +1 888 505 6342 (Mega Agency TagID: MEGA867435_012.jpg) [Photo via Mega Agency]

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Fred Guttenberg‘s viral battle cry after he lost his daughter Jaime in the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018, reached the homes and hearts of nearly every American, including, at the time, former Vice President Joe Biden. “It hit me, this was gun violence. And I said, ‘This time, gun violence came to the wrong community and messed with the wrong dad,” Fred recalled on the HollywoodLife Podcast. “I walked in my house that night, after that vigil, and I said, ‘I don’t know how I’m going to do this, but I’m going to break that f-ing gun lobby.’ And it became my mission. And later that week, I got a call from now-President Joe Biden.”

Following his impassioned speech at the vigil in Parkland, FL, Fred remembered screening multiple calls from family, friends, news outlets, activists, political figures, and beyond. “I wasn’t answering my phone if I didn’t have the number,” he explained. “I got a random call around 1:30 in the afternoon one day, and he left a message, and he just said, ‘Hey, Fred, this is Joe Biden and I’d like to talk to you. If you’re interested, I will call you back at exactly six o’clock, and if you pick up and you want to talk great, if not, I understand.” To the mourning father’s surprise, the now-POTUS called back at 6 PM sharp, and the two “ended up having such an amazing conversation for about 45 to 50 minutes.”

“Joe Biden knows grief,” Fred told HL, recalling that the POTUS speaking to him while on his way to an event for the Beau Biden Foundation, honoring his late son. “At some point he asked me, ‘So, what is your plan?’ I said, ‘I don’t have a plan. I just know I want to break that f-ing gun lobby.’ He said, ‘You will, you can do it. He started talking to me about mission and purpose, and that conversation is when I realized I have a mission and a purpose.”

Joe Biden and Fred Guttenberg. (Shutterstock)

The New York native revealed that prior to the Parkland school shooting, he had taken a break from work after caring for his brother who lost his battle to 9/11-related cancer. “I was going crazy, I didn’t know what to do. I’m not good at waking up and not having a plan. So, I was starting to look for a mission, a purpose, and then my daughter was killed,” Fred remembered. “When Joe Biden said that to me, it stopped everything else in its tracks and became clear to me this was the only thing that made sense of what I can do going forward. And it’s been that way since.”

Fred has since devoted himself to ‘breaking the f-ing gun lobby,’ and he’s made a large dent in it recently, working in tandem with many activists and President Joe Biden to sign into law the first gun control bill in nearly 30 years. According to The New York Times, the bipartisan gun bill “will expand the background check system for prospective gun buyers under the age of 21, giving authorities up to 10 business days to examine juvenile and mental health records. It sets aside millions of dollars so states can fund intervention programs, such as mental health and drug courts, and carry out so-called red flag laws that allow authorities to temporarily confiscate guns from any person found by a judge to be too dangerous to possess them.”

“A friend of mine who’s running for Congress described the bill as necessary, but not sufficient, and I think that sums it up,” Fred told HL of the new bill. “While I wished we would have raised the age to [purchase a gun] to 21, we couldn’t get all the votes needed to do that. But now, having a mechanism with which to put more attention on those under 21 who are trying to buy these weapons, and extend the significance of the background checks and connect law enforcement and the FBI as part of that process will absolutely stop young people in a moment of crisis from buying a weapon that they may use to commit harm.”

“For 30 years, those on the other side always knew and said, ‘You’ll never get anything passed.’ And they knew it. They were right. But we’ve broken through that wall,” he smiled. “It’s no longer about whether or not we can get anything passed. Now it’s only about what’s possible. what more we can do to save lives. That’s what this is all about. This isn’t about restricting rights of gun owners. That’s a bunch of BS. This is about saving lives.”

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