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.

Jaime and me. Father’s Days are not the same anymore.

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.

My family of four before gun violence broke us.

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.

I miss Jaime every single waking moment.

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.

Jaime should have proudly accepted her diploma last week as a graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas’s Class of 2021. Instead, I joined my wife and son to accept a “shadow box” in Jaime’s honor.

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.

In solidarity,

Fred Guttenberg
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)

We’re uniting Americans from coast to coast, red and blue and every color, to end gun violence. bradyunited.org