Parkland parent pressures Manchin on gun reform: ‘You represent the nation’

Gun control activist Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was killed in the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Friday called out Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) for his opposition to two gun control bills passed by the House last month.

Guttenberg said “more people will die” as a result of Congressional inaction during an interview on CNN’s “New Day.” 

The Florida parent made the remarks in response to comments by Manchin in an earlier interview in which Manchin explained his opposition to certain gun control measures by stating that he represents the people of West Virginia. 

“You know what? No he doesn’t,” Guttenberg argued. “He ran to be a senator, his decisions have national implications and people die because of the things he does or doesn’t do.”

“My daughter died because of gun violence that was preventable,” he added. “More people will die across this nation because of things Sen. Manchin said this morning.” 

He went on to say, “Let’s remind people like Sen. Manchin, ‘No, you got elected in your state, you represent the nation, and you need to make national choices.’ ”

Guttenberg then said that he would like to meet with Manchin, directly addressing the senator by saying, “Sen. Manchin, let’s find a coffee shop somewhere to meet. Let’s meet, let’s get together, let’s talk about the reality of gun violence. Let’s talk about why you need to be part of moving this Senate forward.” 

“The time to start saving lives is now,” he added. 

One of the House bills would strengthen background checks, while the other would close the so-called Charleston loophole by extending the time federal investigators have to conduct background checks. 

However, the bills would need 60 votes to pass in the Senate, meaning 10 Republicans would have to cross party lines to support it, and moderate Democrats like Manchin have signaled opposition to the two proposals. 

Manchin has favored a compromise that he developed with GOP Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), which they had proposed but failed to pass the Senate following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. 

Guttenberg, who was ejected from the 2020 State of the Union address after he yelled out in protest over former President Trump’s defense of the Second Amendment, added Friday that President Biden through his executive actions to address gun violence this week “slammed the breaks” on moving in “the wrong direction” on gun control. 

The activist said that since his 14-year-old daughter, Jaime Guttenberg, was killed, he has felt like the country has “been on this freight train moving rapidly in the wrong direction on this issue.” 

“I feel like President Biden just slammed the brakes on that freight train, and said, ‘we’re making the turn now. It’s time to start saving lives,’ ” he explained. 

“For me, it means the start of a new direction,” he added. 

Guttenberg attended Biden’s speech at the White House on Thursday, in which he outlined six executive actions the administration aims to take to address gun violence, including steps on ghost guns and red flag laws. 

The president also called on Congress to pass an assault weapons ban and a ban on high-capacity magazines, as well as to move forward the two bills passed in the House. 


Tags anti-gun violence assault weapons ban Background checks Biden Charleston loophole CNN Donald Trump Florida Fred Guttenberg Gun control House Joe Biden Joe Manchin Marjory Stoneman Douglas Parkland shooting Pat Toomey Senate West Virginia
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