Sunday, March 11, 2018

Dad devotes life to ending gun violence

Last February 14, Fred Guttenberg was getting some work done at his home in Parkland, Florida, when his son called from Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School where he's in 11th grade. He told his dad there was a shooting at the school and he was running, but he couldn't find his 14-year-old sister Jaime. Fred told him to keep running. The boy eventually jumped a fence and made it to Walmart where his dad picked him up. For several hours they searched for Jaime at the Marriott where students were held, and at hospitals. Finally they learned she was a victim.

                                                                                                        photos by Fred Guttenberg Facebook
Jaime always lived to dance. She'd been dancing since she was three, and competing since she was nine. But she also loved helping those who others wouldn't. She hung out with a neighbor who had asperger syndrome. She was part of the Best Buddies program dedicated to creating friendships with people with disabilities. And even though she was petite, she was always willing to take on anyone who was bullying someone else.

Jaime's first dance competition of the year was one week after the school shooting. While other kids were performing, her family visited the cemetery. Fred says, "As a family, we go forward by getting back into our life. That's what we do. But we can't led this go away. I am dedicating the rest of my life to fighting to end gun violence. I am tired, but people are counting on me -- people with children. I just can't let this happen to another parent. I can't."  Can any of us?

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