© 2022 Cincinnati Public Radio
Connecting You to a World of Ideas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Local News

Gun Debate Hits Close To Home For Cincinnati Grandmother

Ann Thompson
Ethel Guttenberg, at a news conference held at a nursery school, calls for limits on assault weapons.

The Cincinnati grandmother of a 14-year-old victim in the Florida school shooting is demanding universal background checks and limits on assault weapons. At a Thursday news conference she and others put local lawmakers on notice.

Ethel Guttenberg says the hole in her heart is very deep after her granddaughter Jamie was shot in the back while running away from the shooter she called, "a monster." "I won't see my granddaughter celebrate her sweet 16. I won't get to go to her dance recitals anymore which we used to do frequently."

Credit provided
Fourteen-year-old Jamie Guttenberg stands with her dad Fred Guttenberg. She was shot and killed while fleeing the gunfire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Guttenberg calls herself a Second Amendment supporter but says, "There's no place for weapons of war." Standing alongside Cincinnati Federation of Teachers President Julie Sellers and Michele Mueller with Mom's Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Guttenberg called for responsible gun ownership.

Collectively they are against teachers having guns at school. According to Sellers, "We do not need a whole militia of armed teachers."

Others Push For More Training

President of Buckeye Firearms Association Jim Irvine says he feels the pain of those who lost loved ones in Florida and other mass shootings. He agrees teachers should not be made to carry guns if they don't want to. But for the few who do, he says: get them trained.

"There are a couple of people in every school building who are going to go to the scene on event day. It does not matter what the policy is. It does not even matter what the risk to their own life is. They will do whatever it is they can do, including die to save these kids."

He advocates the FASTER program, training school officials about the mindset of such a killer and teaching the hunt and ambush methods, as well as trauma care.

Irvine says, "We don't want feel-good things that pretend to do it. A sticker on the door that says we don't have guns in our building because the killer doesn't really care about that sign."