The Snub- Brett Kavanaugh and Fred Guttenberg

Fred Guttenberg, father of Parkland Shooting victim, Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh and behind him, Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General Photo Credit NBC News (this was the best angle of the encounter)

The Snub- Brett Kavanaugh and Fred Guttenberg

Fred Guttenberg is the father of Jaime, whose daughter was killed in the mass school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Florida.

As a recess was called at the Senate Confirmation hearing, Guttenberg approached Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The picture speaks for itself.

Guttenberg tweeted what happened:

“Just walked up to Judge Kavanaugh as morning session ended. Put out my hand to introduce myself as Jaime Guttenberg’s dad. He pulled his hand back, turned his back to me and walked away. I guess he did not want to deal with the reality of gun violence.”  

Of course, the White House aware of the optics, immediately responded to Guttenberg’s statement with a re-tweet.

Rah Shah, the Deputy Press Secretary and the male version of Sarah Huckabee Sanders that sees the world through President Trump’s myopic glasses tweeted:

“As Judge Kavanaugh left for his lunch break, an unidentified individual approached him. Before the Judge was able to shake his hand, security had intervened.”

So, let’s analyze this. Guttenberg’s hand is out and I’m sure his introduction could be heard clearly. Did security intervene? Well, we could argue the definition of “intervene” as Shah uses that word, but that sounds like Kavanaugh is ready to be attacked. If he has security, then shouldn’t he feel extra safe in talking to this “unidentified individual?”

I don’t want to meet a threat in a dark alley somewhere, but if I have SEAL Team Six with me, I’d feel safe to talk and meet at that point. But at a Senate Confirmation hearing? How many places could be safer?

Presidents are in public all the time shaking hands and kissing babies, and that is out in public. Let’s face the reality, Kavanaugh, whose opinion on the Second Amendment is well known, did not want to speak with Guttenberg.

Now, regardless of Guttenberg’s motive, agenda, or even politics, the man had to bury his fourteen-year old daughter. He deserves and has earned the respect to devote even just a few seconds of any politicians’ time, especially with an issue that is front and center such as gun violence and mass shootings.

To not shake another man’s hand because his beliefs are different than yours or you don’t want to hear what he has to say, well, that’s no man. That’s an act of a coward living in the insulated world of politics.

You want to learn about gun violence? You don’t ask an NRA supporter what their belief is as they take aim at another piece of paper at the gun range. You ask someone intimate with gun violence. You want to know about the law- you ask a lawyer, not an accountant.

People can disagree and still shake hands or be friends. John McCain proved that for forty years in Washington, but in today’s world of tribal politics, it just ain’t so.

And then people wonder why we are divided as a nation.

Alexander Hernandez, Esq.
Twitter @mcatty_alex

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