Clark Mindock New York
The father of one of the students killed during the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, two years ago has called for the resignation of a local city council member in Virginia after seeing him show up to a government meeting with an AR-15 strapped to his chest.
Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter, Jaime, was killed during the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, tweeted that Portsmouth councilman Nathan Clark should resign for his behaviour.
Mr Clark had shown up with the gun on Tuesday night, where he voted in favour of a resolution to declare Portsmouth a Second Amendment constitutional city. In a letter Mr Clark brought to the meeting, he claimed he wore the weapon because he was a law enforcement officer and that he wanted to make a point about responsible firearm ownership.
“Councilman Nathan Clark resign,” Mr Guttenberg tweeted. “Citizens you represent should not be forced to accept him engaging in open intimidation with his AR-15.”
He continued, referencing a letter Mr Clark wrote explaining he planned no harm to anyone with his firearm: “You gun lunatic, in spite of your letter, nobody knows your intent. My daughter did not know someone carrying an AR-15 would kill her.”
The contentious display in Portsmouth comes as communities across Virginia have rallied against gun control bills in Richmond, which Democrats in control of the state legislature and governor’s mansion favour.
It also comes just a month before the second anniversary of the shooting in Parkland, which killed Jaime and 16 other people, including 13 fellow students. Three administrators were killed killed alongside those students in that shootout on Valentine’s Day.
The trial for the alleged gunman, Nikolas Cruz, is expected to begin later this month, with prosecutors seeking the death penalty for the former classmate who opened fire on the school.
The shooting sparked a renewed effort to lobby for gun control measures across the country, with several surviving students coming together to launch the March for our Lives movement that culminated in a massive rally in Washington to support gun control.