An Open Letter to Every Dad in America: Please Join #DadsForGunSafety
A personal Father’s Day plea from Fred Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter, Jaime, was killed in the Parkland shooting.
To Every Dad Across America:
My name is Fred Guttenberg and I am a father of two children, Jesse and Jaime.
I am writing to you because we need to talk — father-to-father — about what’s killing our children and tearing apart our families: America’s gun violence epidemic.
On February 14, 2018, my 14-year-old daughter, Jaime Guttenberg, was murdered by a man armed with an assault weapon, alongside 13 other children and three of their teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. My son Jesse, now 20, survived the shooting and lives with the permanent scars of having heard his sister get shot.
Just days ahead of Father’s Day, I am asking you to join me and the many dads who have signed onto this letter to show your support for a national movement of #DadsForGunSafety.
I am asking you to join us to help save lives. Every year, a devastating 40,000 people in America are killed with guns in incidents of mass shootings, domestic and community violence, hate crimes, suicide, and family fire. According to one study, a child or teen is killed with a gun every 2 hours and 34 minutes in this country.
These aren’t just statistics. They are our children who will never come home from school. They are the empty seats at graduation ceremonies, family vacations, and Father’s Day BBQs. They are the irreplaceable losses that torture us every day. I miss Jaime every single waking moment.
I’ve been partnering with Brady and other leaders across the gun violence prevention movement because I believe that we can each take action, not sides, to find common ground to end this epidemic. We cannot keep living like this in America. Something has to change. I think all dads and all those who act as dads will agree.
So, please, I am asking you, dad-to-dad, to join me in this fight.
As dads, we can unite to resist the gun lobby’s dangerous lies — lies that tell us masculinity is tied to a toxic gun obsession, that perpetuate the myth of “good guys with guns,” that market assault weapons to us as toys instead of lethal weapons of war. We have a role here. Men are more likely to be the perpetrators of gun violence. Men are more likely to be the ones to die by gun suicide. Men are more likely to be gun owners.
Congress can act today, but only if we speak out together in the strongest swell of dads dedicated to saving lives we have ever seen.
The Senate must pass universal background checks on gun sales, which was passed by the U.S. House months ago and is supported by an astounding 90 percent of voters, including 90 percent of gun owners. Congress must provide funding for all 50 states to pass and effectively implement extreme risk laws, which are tools proven to prevent firearm suicides as well as mass shootings. We must adequately fund community violence prevention programs, like the $5 billion proposed in President Biden’s American Jobs Plan, to effectively address gun violence through investment and wraparound services for communities most disproportionately impacted by gun violence, particularly communities of color. We must demand that America reinstate a federal assault weapons ban so that these weapons of war cannot be used to senselessly murder Americans like Jaime and her peers ever again. We need a gun safety expert like David Chipman to lead the ATF — which is the dangerously under-resourced federal agency dedicated to enforcing our nation’s gun laws.
We need dads’ voices on this: Join Brady in taking these actions and more by visiting their website, bradyunited.org.
This week, I was supposed to be a proud father sitting in the stands to watch Jaime accept her high school diploma. But Jaime didn’t get to walk across that stage. Instead, I spent Jaime’s would-be graduation day visiting her grave.
I don’t want any other dad to endure this suffering. My vision is not radical. It is sensible and simple: an America without the threat of being shot and killed at school, at work, at church, at the mall, at home, and at every corner.
Please, send a tweet showing your support for #DadsForGunSafety. Help me send a message to Washington, D.C. We need 1,000,000 shares. Do it for Jaime. Do it for the other victims of gun violence.
I cannot do it alone. Let’s do it together.
Dads, you can own guns and still support gun safety. Let’s unite to save the lives of our families and those we love.
This Father’s Day, let’s awaken a new part of the movement.
Jaime and Jesse’s dad
Fellow #DadForGunSafety Cosigners
Thank you to these many dads — who represent a broad swath of business leaders, elected officials, policymakers, actors, athletes, and more — for showing their support in Brady’s and my call to action this Father’s Day.
Visit bradyunited.org or follow @bradybuzz and @fred_guttenberg on Twitter to learn how you can get involved.
Alan Wurtzel, Brady Board Member
Rep. Colin Allred, U.S. Representative (TX-35)
Jose Andres, Chef, Humanitarian
Mike Anestis, Ph.D., Executive Director, New Jersey Gun Violence Research Center
Judd Apatow, Film Director
Rep. Jake Auchincloss, U.S. Representative (MA-04)
Rev. Dr. William J Barber II, President of Repairers of the Breach and Pastor, Greenleaf Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Gene Bernstein, Brady Board Member
Macon Blair, Filmmaker
Seamus Blackley, Physicist, CEO, Pacific Light & Hologram
Charles Blek, Brady Chapter Member, Survivor
Rob Bonta, California Attorney General
Adam Brody, Actor
Jason Robert Brown, Composer and Playwright
Michael Buckley, Brady Board Member
Louis Caldera, Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Law and former Secretary of the Army
Rep. Sean Casten, US Representative (IL-06)
David Chiu, California Assemblymember, 17th District
Mark Collins, Brady Senior Federal Policy Manager
Craig Counsell, Manager, Milwaukee Brewers
Bryan Cranston, Actor
Rep. Jason Crow, U.S. Representative (CO-6)
Jon Cryer, Actor
Bill D’Elia, Director-Producer
Rep. Ted Deutch, U.S. Representative (FL-22)
Robert Disney, Brady Organizing Director
Griffin Dix, Survivor, Kenzo’s Dad
Thomas Dixon, Pastor
Arne Duncan, Obama Secretary of Education
Jonathan Eshak, Mick Management
Mike Feuer, Los Angeles City Attorney
Frank Figliuzzi, FBI Assistant Director, Retired
Chris Fralic, Board Partner First Round Capital
Michael Franti, Activist, and Musician
Morgan J. Freeman, Film Director
Tom Gabor, Criminologist, and Gun Violence Author
Jesse Gabriel, California Assemblymember, 45th District
Stuart Gabriel, Distinguished Professor, UCLA
Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles
Vincent Geraghty, Co-Founder Hearty, Dad of Walter, Thompson, and Margie
Scott Gerber, Managing Director, Meridian Commercial
Wendell Gilliard, South Carolina House of Representatives, 111th District
Andy Goddard, Legislative Director, Virginia Center for Public Safety
Mark Hammill, Actor
Pete Harckman, New York State Senator, District 40
Jamie Harrison, Chair, DNC
Milford Hayes, Detective, Husband of Rep. Jahana Hayes (CT-05)
Dan Helmer, Member, Virginia House of Delegates, District 40
Al Hoffman, Former US Ambassador to Portugal under President George W. Bush
Joe’Mar Hooper, Executive Director of Safe & Sound
Ben Jackson, Co-founder, NoRA
Dean Jayson, J3, EVP Global Digital Product Lead
Greg Kahn, CEO, GK Digital Ventures
Jason Kander, Former Missouri Secretary of State
Terence Kawaja, CEO and Founder, LUMA Partners
Steve Kerr, Survivor, Warriors Head Coach
Ro Khanna, U.S. Representative (CA-17)
Rep. Andy Kim, U.S. Representative (NJ-03)
John D. Kimball, Adjunct Professor, NYU Law School
Congressman Ro Khanna (CA-17)
Rep. John Larson, US Representative (CT-01)
Brian Lemek, Executive Director, Brady PAC
Josh Levs, Award-winning journalist, Activist, and Author of All In: How Our Work-First Culture Fails Dads, Families and Businesses — And How We Can Fix It Together
Rep. Ted Lieu, U.S. Representative (CA-33)
Mark Linton, Former Obama Administration Official
Charles Loflin, Executive Director, Unitarian Universalist FaithAction NJ
Hon. Alan Lowenthal, Member of Congress (CA-47)
Jonathan Lowy, Vice President, Legal & Chief Counsel, Brady
Chris Martin, Coldplay
Brian Mason, District Attorney, 17th Judicial District, Colorado
Eric McCormack, Actor
Seamus McGraw, Journalist, Author of From a Taller Tower
Jarrett McNeill, Dad to Tristan and Ophelia
David Min, California State Senator, 37th District
Ross Misher, CEO, Brand Central
Brian Monahan, Global Client President, Head of US Ventures
Reggie Moore, Director, Division of Violence Prevention Policy and Engagement, Medical College
Brian Moran, Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security
Darryl Morin, National President, Forward Latino
Jared Moskowitz, Former Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management
Rep. Frank Mrvan, U.S. Representative (IN-01)
Bryan Muehlberger, Survivor, Business Leader, Gracie’s Dad
Gov. Phil Murphy, Governor (NJ)
George Derek Musgrove, Associate Professor of History, UMBC
Alan Nagy, Mayor, Newark, CA
Malcolm Nance, Executive Director, TAPSTRI
Gov. Gavin Newsom, Governor (CA)
Manny Oliver, Change the Ref Co-Founder, Guac’s Dad
Andy Parker, Alison’s Dad
PJ Pereira, Father, Writer, entrepreneur, Pereira O’Dell Advertising
John Petersik, Author, Blogger, Young House Love
Lonnie Phillips, Survivors Empowered
Anthony Portantino, California State Senator, 25th District
Tony Porter, Father of Two
Thomas Roach, Mayor of White Plain, New York
Rep. Mike Quigley, U.S. Representative (IL-05)
Kevin Quinn, Chair, Brady Board
Bill Quirk, CA Assemblymember, District 20
Mayor Andre Rainey, Mayor of Peekskill, NY, Father of 3
Wayne Richardson, Remembering Darien, Darien’s Dad
Damon Robinson, MD, Holy Cross Hospital
Steven D. Roland, Attorney, Father of Three
Steven Rothstein, Brady Board Member
TJ Ryan, Veteran, Mental Health Activist
David Sable, Co-Founder/Partner DoAble
Raj Salwan, Councilmember, City of Fremont, CA
Babak Sarani, MD, FACS, FCCM, Professor of Surgery and Emergency Medicine
Dr. Chethan Sathya, MD, Pediatric Trauma Surgeon
Jeremy Saulnier, Filmmaker
Max Schachter, Parkland Parent
Ian Schafer, Co-Founder and CEO, Kindred
Josh Scharff, Legal Counsel & Director, Programs at Brady
Rep. Brad Schneider, U.S. Representative, (IL-10)
Gordon Scott, Investment Professional
Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania Attorney General
David Shore, Writer, Director
Jamaal Smith, Violence Prevention Manager, City of Milwaukee
Mike Song, Song Strong, Ethan’s Dad
Ed Stack, Former CEO, Dick’s Sporting Goods
Jeremy Stein, Executive Director, CT Against Gun Violence
Grant Stern, Executive Editor, Occupy Democrats
Tom Sullivan, Colorado Representative House District 34, Father of Alex Sullivan, murdered July 20 2012 in Aurora Theater Massacre
Scott Surovell, Virginia Senator, District 36
Rep. Eric Swalwell, U.S. Representative (CA-15)
James Taylor, Songwriter and Guitarist
John Tecklenburg, Mayor of the City of Charleston, SC
Tom Teves, Alex’s Dad, Co-founder of No Notoriety
William Tong, Connecticut Attorney General
Drew Train, CEO, Oberland Ad Agency
Chris Tsakalakis, CEO of Kiva
Michael Tubbs, Founder, Mayors for a Guaranteed Income
Will Valentine, Founder/Principal, Valentine Advisors
Richard Valle, Alameda County (CA) Board of Supervisors, District 2
Jeff Vespa, Vespa Pictures
Jason Wagenheim, President, Bustle Digital Group
Joe Walsh, Former Candidate for President, Former Congressman
Daniel Webster, Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Prevention and Policy
Andrew Weinstein, Attorney, Weinstein Law Firm
Ben Wexler, Writer, Producer, Director
Stephen White, Retired NFL Player
Bradley Whitford, Actor
Nick Wilcox, Laura’s Dad and California Legislative Advocate
Judd Winick, Cartoonist
Kavan Yee, Principal, Lowell School
Rep. Ro Khanna, US Representative (CA-17)
Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, US Representative (CA-11)