Boca magazine February 2021

Page 52

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THE BOCA INTERVIEW

FRED GUTTEN BERG Three years after a life-altering tragedy, this activist and author remains dedicated to his cause Written by JOHN

THOMASON

At the beginning of his Zoom call with Boca, Fred Guttenberg texted his son, Jesse, to let him know he was on an interview. “I always make sure my kids know they can reach me one way or another,”he said, and then caught himself.“Well, let my son know. It’ll take me forever to not say ‘my kids.’” Guttenberg sat at his office computer in his Parkland home, behind which hung a framed performance photo of his daughter, Jaime—in Fred’s description“a tough-as-nails 14-year-old dancer with a huge heart”—aloft and ecstatic against a black background. It’s a stirring image to remember her by, unlike the final photograph ever taken of Jaime Guttenberg, on the third floor of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School, with a black digital oval placed over her body by law enforcement. Jaime was the second-to-last victim—but the first identified casualty—of the school shooting that ended the lives of 17 people on Feb. 14, 2018. Since then, Fred Guttenberg has spent most of his waking hours fighting for stricter gun safety measures and criticizing politicians who accept campaign contributions from the National

Fred and Jaime Guttenberg

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