Dancing and Orange Ribbons: One Dad's Tale
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The Dads Of Parkland, Part Two

Dedicated to Fred Guttenberg, the father of Jaime Guttenberg.

The Dads Of Parkland, Part Two

On the day after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting, a vigil was held at Pine Trails Park, which is located just two miles from the scene after the tragedy. I vividly remember watching as a man in a red Nike shirt and glasses took the stage, visibly shaking, and began speaking in as much of an articulated fashion as possible. Not an easy thing to do, especially when your daughter is gunned down at school just 24 hours earlier. The man is Fred Guttenberg, and his Jaime was killed on the third floor of the 1200 building at Douglas High School. She was just 14-years-old; a spunky dancer with a love for life and the people around her.

Perhaps the most striking part of Fred's speech is when he says, "I don't know what I do next... My wife is home, we are broken." In the five months since these moments, Fred has forced his cause into the limelight in numerous ways that should be recognized and worked with.

On Wednesday, February 21st, a CNN Town Hall was held in Sunrise, Florida, between the ever-growing Parkland activists and other prominent figures in the gun control debate such as NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch, Sheriff Scott Israel, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio. When the floor was opened to questions from the audience, Guttenberg stood and addressed Senator Rubio by first telling him he wants to like him and work with him, but that he must be honest about the circumstances. He proceeded to press Rubio about the main problem with mass shootings, which he believes are the guns. The exchange went on for about five minutes, but Guttenberg received roaring applause for his passion and brutal responses to Senator Rubio.

( For more information, view the exchange here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXMzzA3TVYA )

It was then that Guttenberg opened up numerous social media platforms to begin fighting for his message. The Skidmore College graduate had turned from a real estate agent to a gun control activist overnight, all for his precious Jaime. On these accounts, most prominently his twitter page (@fred_guttenberg), he frequently tweets about his movement to help Jaime, and talks with politicians from all ends of the spectrum in order to try to reach some kind of common ground on gun violence.

His movement is called "Orange Ribbons for Jaime." Jaime's favorite color was orange, and the ribbon color for gun violence is, coincidentally, orange. The organization is focused on raising money and awareness for causes that were important to Jaime, such as involvement with the special needs community as well as dance. But at the same token, the organization pushes the umbrella idea of "common sense gun control," which includes demands for age restrictions on gun purchases, tightened universal background checks, red flag gun laws, and so on. Guttenberg has also championed the "Orange Wave in November" catchphrase, which encourages citizens to vote for politicians who will push for these gun safety statues instead of politicians who will only act out of self-interest or personal gains.

Although Jaime is physically gone, her spirit and passion for change vicariously live on through her father's efforts. I am beyond excited to see how his movement and pushes will impact the political arena come November, and for many years to come.



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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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