Parkland shooting victim’s grandmother pushes for change: ‘A year ago she was alive’

Jaime Guttenberg was killed in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Honoring Parkland school shooting victims

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - It’s now been one year since a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student walked into his Parkland, Fla. school and killed 17 people.

One of the students killed was Jaime Guttenberg. Her grandmother, Ethel Guttenberg, lives in Cincinnati.

She and her husband were preparing for a cruise when she got the news her granddaughter had been killed. A year later, she and her family continue to push for change to try and put an end to gun violence.

“Dreams and dedication are a powerful combination, and yes they are," Ethel Guttenberg said.

It’s a saying that now resonates with Ethel Guttenberg. It’s one she says her granddaughter lived by.

“A year ago right now she was alive," said the grandmother. "She was attending class. Knowing her -- she was smiling and laughing. She was a dancer and she was a beautiful kid.”

Jaime Guttenberg was 14.

It’s a day that changed her family’s and 16 other families’ lives forever.

“People ask me why I want to talk about this," Ethel Guttenberg said. "The point is that nobody should ever forget what happened and what happened before Parkland and what has been happening since Parkland.”

She says since her granddaughter was killed her family has made it its mission to try and put an end to gun violence.

“The only way to do that would be to get some sensible legislation that will help stop it and help stop people from getting guns who should not have them," Ethel Guttenberg said.

Realizing that could take some time, she says she will continue to sport orange in honor of her granddaughter and replaying memories in her head of phone conversations they used to share.

“Before we hung up, I love you grandma, and I miss that," she said. “I hear her sometimes telling me, ‘You go grandma, you have to keep talking about this.’”

Ethel Guttenberg says that’s exactly what she’s going to do.

There are a lot of calls out for legislation to prevent someone who shouldn’t have a firearm from getting their hands on one. FOX19 reached out to Joe Eaton with the SW Ohio Buckeye Firearms Association, who says:

"Concrete steps we can take today with out adding additional laws is to make sure currently prohibited persons do not have firearms. First we can improve this by making sure crimes and mental health prohibitions are recorded in the NICS system in a complete and timely manner. Second if persons prohibited from possessing firearms have access to them then the community, family members and others need to make sure law enforcement address that crime. Lastly we need to remove any restrictions which prevent legal gun owners from carrying a firearm should they want that option for the safety of themselves and their family. "

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