Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh’s, confirmation hearing kicked off with fireworks on Tuesday as senators sparred with each other and a steady stream of protesters were removed.
But one of the most gut-wrenching moments came when a man who lost his 14-year-old daughter in a school shooting in Parkland, Florida tried to shake Kavanaugh’s hand and the judge turned away.
The man was later identified as Fred Guttenberg, who has become a gun control activist after he lost his daughter, Jaime.
In the footage of the interaction, it’s tough to hear what Guttenberg is saying until the end when he shouts, “Keep walking away, that’s okay.”
Fred Guttenberg, father of Parkland victim, Jaime, tries to shakes hands with Brett Kavanaugh: “My daughter was murdered at Parkland.”
White House says an “unidentified individual approached” Kavanaugh, but “before the judge was able to shake his hand, security had intervened.” pic.twitter.com/IerpDMOW0h
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 4, 2018
White House Deputy Press Secretary said that the incident was not what it looked like and that before Kavanaugh was able to shake Guttenberg’s hand, security intervened.
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. https://t.co/ylOhtA1s6G
— Raj Shah (@RajShah45) September 4, 2018
On Tuesday night, Guttenberg appeared on CNN and said that he “went up to [Kavanaugh] as a dad.” He explained that the NRA is filing lawsuits against state laws and pointed to a lawsuit in Florida where the organization sued the state after Governor Rick Scott signed a bill raising the minimum age to buy firearms from 18 to 21. Guttenberg went on to say, “These lawsuits are going to end up in front of a Justice Kavanaugh.”
Watch the video below, via CNN:
When asked about the White House’s response that Kavanaugh didn’t mean to walk away from Guttenberg, the father said, “No, and that statement wasn’t true.” He noted that he was a guest of Senator Dianne Feinstein and that she introduced him.
Kavanaugh has been a staunch advocate of the second amendment. He was in favor of allowing semi-automatic rifles to be carried in Washington D.C. and of looser registration regulations on the weapons. The NRA says that it spent at least $1 million on ads aimed at getting him confirmed to the Supreme Court.