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Father of Parkland victim apologizes for outburst during Trump's State of the Union

Posted at 9:20 AM, Feb 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-05 12:47:08-05

Fred Guttenberg, a gun control advocate and the father of a victim of a school shooting, issued an apology after he was escorted out of the Capitol Building during President Donald Trump's State of the Union address Tuesday evening.

Guttenberg's outburst came as Trump said that he felt the Second Amendment is "under siege all across our country."

As Trump continued his speech, Guttenberg — who was invited to attend the address by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — yelled out about the victims of gun violence. He was promptly escorted from the chamber by Capitol Police.

On Tuesday, Guttenberg issued an apology on Twitter.

"Tonight was a rough night. I disrupted the State Of The Union and was detained because I let my emotions get the best of me. I simply want to be able to deal with the reality of gun violence and not have to listen to the lies about the 2A as happened tonight," he wrote. "That said, I should not have yelled out. I am thankful for the overwhelming support that I am receiving. However, I do owe my family and friends an apology. I have tried to conduct myself with dignity throughout this process, and I will do better as I pursue gun safety."

Guttenberg was the father of Jamie Guttenberg, who was killed in a mass shooting a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Feb. 14, 2018. Since then, Guttenberg has advocated for gun control at events around the country.

This isn't the first time Guttenberg has caused a stir at the Capitol Building. During the hearings for then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Guttenberg approached the future Supreme Court justice as hearings went into recess. A surprised Kavanaugh did not shake Guttenberg's hand, and Guttenberg was quickly escorted away by Capitol Police. Guttenberg later claimed that Kavanaugh did not want to discuss gun violence.

Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.