World Parkland Father Fred Guttenberg Pleads With Joe Manchin to Push Gun Background Checks as Shootings Proliferate
Colorado Sheriff Releases Video of Suspect Firing AK-47 at Deputies Before Being Fatally Shot
Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock released a clip from an officer-involved shooting that took place over the weekend south of Denver. The full video will not be released out of respect for the suspect's family.The video, which the sheriff's office posted to YouTube, shows the suspect, who was identified as 23-year-old Samuel Yeager by the coroner's office, holding a rifle bag as an officer telling Yeager to "set it down" approaches him.
Fred Guttenberg, the father of a victim in 2018's Parkland, Florida, school shooting, is calling on Senatorto join him in the push for universal background checks on guns as mass shootings continue to erupt across the country.
Biden Readies Long-Awaited Executive Actions on Guns
President Joe Biden on Thursday will announce six executive actions intended to address the “epidemic” of gun violence in the United States, senior administration officials said on Wednesday evening, the administration’s first concrete steps to address an issue that Biden has wrestled with since his time in the U.S. Senate. “We know that Americans are dying from gun violence, every single day in this country,” an official told reporters in a phone briefing previewing the executive actions.
Addressing Manchin on, Guttenberg wrote, "I have called on you to [halt] gun violence with me. I have called on you to push the to do anything required to pass the bare minimum of background checks. I have offered to meet you anywhere. In light of this latest shooting, please meet with me. ENOUGH!!!"
Guttenberg became a prominent gun safety activist after the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in which he lost his 14-year-old daughter, Jaime.
His plea comes hours after a mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis left eight people dead. The attack came just weeks after back-to-back shootings at spas in Atlanta and a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, have renewed the push for gun reform.
Biden’s executive actions address a small part of America’s enormous gun problem
Biden announced six executive actions meant to curb gun violence in America.Biden’s actions are significant but address only a very small part of America’s enormous gun problem. Instead, they represent an effort by the White House to use the limited tools the president has, given the difficulties in passing new gun legislation through Congress, to make some progress toward reform.
"I went to sleep last night & woke up to the reality of the latest mass shooting at a FEDEX warehouse in Indianapolis. I speak often of the need for the business community to join me in doing something about gun violence," Guttenberg responded to the shooting. "Sending my love to the families."
Manchin has become an obstacle to' efforts to pass legislation that would expand background checks to all gun sales.
The moderate Democrat from West Virginia has said he does not support two bills that recently passed in the House, suggesting he wants exceptions for private sales between gun owners who know each other.
"I come from a gun culture. I'm a law-abiding gun owner," Manchin said last month, adding that he supports "basically saying that commercial transactions should be background checked. You don't know a person."
He added, "If I know a person, no."
In 2013, Manchin proposed bipartisan legislation with Senator Pat Toomey to expand checks to all commercial sales, but only two of the Republican senators who supported the bill remain in the Senate.
Who is Biden's ATF nominee, David Chipman?
President Biden is nominating David Chipman, a former federal agent and adviser at the gun control group Giffords, to be director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the commander-in-chief announced Thursday. Chipman would replace ATF acting director Regina Lombardo. During his time as a senior policy adviser with Giffords, he spent considerable effort pushing for greater regulation and enforcement on ghost guns, changes to the background check system and measures to reduce the trafficking of illegal firearms. Chipman spent 25 years as an agent at the ATF.
"It is quite simple," Guttenberg told Newsweek in an email on Friday. "Passing gun safety will require every [D]emocrat in the Senate hold in support of HR8 and possibly be committed to going forward without the filibuster. He is the impediment to that but has also made other comments of concern."
He said is hoping to speak with Manchin directly but has yet to receive a response.
On Friday, Guttenberg called on not only elected officials but also corporations to join him in the fight against gun violence.
"Anyone who follows me knows that I am a former business owner and have called on the business community to do more to understand and react to gun violence. The time for action is NOW!!! I hope my former boss Alex Gorsky, CEO of Johnson & Johnson and my former colleagues from Dunkin Brands are listening," he tweeted.
Newsweek reached out to Manchin's office for comment but did not hear back before publication.
America’s unique gun violence problem, explained in 16 maps and charts .
In the developed world, these levels of gun violence are a uniquely American problem. Here’s why.America is certainly an exceptional country when it comes to firearms. It’s one of the few countries in which the right to bear arms is constitutionally protected. But the relationship is unique in another crucial way: Among developed nations, the US is far and away the most homicidal — in large part due to the easy access many Americans have to firearms.