Fred Guttenberg, the father of Jaime Guttenberg, a 14-year-old who was killed during the school shooting in Parkland, Florida in 2018, recalled his experience meeting Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who refused to shake his hand, in 2018.


Guttenberg, who has since become an activist, has spoken about the importance of gun control and preventing further violence in schools, explained that he was at Kanavaugh’s hearing “as a guest of Sen. [Diane] Feinstein, who was the minority ranking member on the committee at the time.”

Upon ending a hearing session for a lunch break, Guttenberg approached Kavanaugh.

“I walked up to the semi-circle, where all the senators were sitting, and I was talking to Sen. [Richard] Blumenthal. As I’m shaking his hand to say goodbye, I turn around and Justice Kavanaugh’s like three feet behind me. So, I take those three steps and I tap him on the elbow, and I extended my arm. Everybody who I met, I started the same way which was: ‘Hi, I am Fred Guttenberg, father of Jaime Guttenberg who was murdered at Parkland.’ I say that to everyone I meet. I put it out there right away.”

It was at this point where Guttenberg felt a shift in attitudes.

“As soon as I got to the ‘murder’ and ‘Parkland’ part, [former Trump White House Counsel] Don McGahn, jumped out of his seat, everyone, if you watch the video, can see it, and they all start marching away,” he said, “they didn’t want to go there.”

Despite the quick change in reaction, Guttenberg explained that he “had one simple message [for Kanavaugh].”

“All I wanted to say to him, because he brought his family there that day, to the hearing; that you and your family, live in a community like Parkland. You and your family could become the next victims of gun violence just like my family did. And I hope you will remember that when a case inevitably comes in front of you. That was what I wanted to tell him but I never got the chance. And he has since lied about what happened there multiple times.”

Kavanaugh spoke about this experience, among many topics, in a 263-page document, responding to the senator’s written questions.

“It had been a chaotic morning,” Kavanaugh wrote. “I, unfortunately, did not realize that the man was the father of a shooting victim from Parkland, Florida. Mr. Guttenberg has suffered an incalculable loss. If I had known who he was, I would have shaken his hand, talked to him, and expressed my sympathy. And I would have listened to him.”


Kavanaugh claimed he thought Guttenberg was one of the many protestors in the room, rather than a guest.

Guttenberg’s story is featured in the new documentary The Price Of Freedom now in theaters and available on-demand.

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