As the tributes to former President George H.W. Bush continue to roll in, one dad has an especially moving reason to honor the late president. A Parkland father praised George H.W. Bush for leaving the NRA in 1995, The Hill reported on Saturday, and his message about Bush is a must-read.
In a tweet on Saturday morning, Fred Guttenberg shared a letter Bush wrote in 1995 about resigning from the NRA. Guttenberg’s 14-year-old daughter, Jaime, along with 16 other people, died in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February, The Hill noted.
“Whether you agreed or disagreed with him, most would think that he always served with honor and decency,” Guttenberg wrote of Bush, who served as president from 1989 to 1993. “This resignation letter that he wrote resigning his NRA membership is only one example.”
A lot will be written today about President George Bush. Whether you agreed or disagreed with him, most would think that he always served with honor and decency. This resignation letter that he wrote resigning his NRA membership is only one example.https://t.co/liV3qKn6n9
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) December 1, 2018
Bush’s letter, which the New York Times published in 1995, details why he decided to stop supporting the NRA, but it wasn’t because he had a change of heart about gun legislation. Instead, Bush used the letter to criticize Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s executive vice president at the time, for comparing federal agents to Nazis after the 1993 Waco siege. He also cited LaPierre’s disrespect for federal agents who were on the scene of the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.
The former president explains in the letter that a member of his Secret Service detail, Al Whicher, died in the bombing in Oklahoma City. “He was a kind man, a loving parent, a man dedicated to serving his country — and serve it well he did,” Bush wrote. He also took offense to LaPierre’s reportedly referring to federal agents as “wearing Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms.” Bush wrote, Whicher “was no Nazi.”
“I am a gun owner and an avid hunter. Over the years I have agreed with most of NRA’s objectives, particularly your educational and training efforts, and your fundamental stance in favor of owning guns,” Bush wrote in his letter. “However, your broadside against Federal agents deeply offends my own sense of decency and honor; and it offends my concept of service to country.” The 41st president ended his letter by asking the organization to take his name off the NRA’s list of members.
A number of people responded to Guttenberg’s tweet with support for Bush, noting that even if they didn’t always agree with him, they respected him and his love of country.
Agree. I did not always support his politics. But I never doubted his patriotism. And his marriage to Barbara was a true love story.
— Amy Harris (@Harrisamydoodle) December 1, 2018
He really was a MENSCH. kind, compassionate, and loving. Even though I disagreed with his policies, he LOVED his country and family. ( unlike the SCHTICK DRECK that occupies that office now) ❤️💔❤️
— AndeeBarenholtz (@AndeeBarenholtz) December 1, 2018
I never ever agreed with him politically (nor his son) but at least he was an honorable man, & believed in public service. He could’ve been just another spoiled rich boy, but he wasn’t.
— Krisanthy (@1kriscello) December 1, 2018
Bush died on Friday at the age of 94. After his death, tributes poured in from fans, citizens and fellow politicians, including President Trump. “President George H.W. Bush led a long, successful and beautiful life,” Trump tweeted on Saturday morning. “He was a truly wonderful man and will be missed by all.”
President George H.W. Bush led a long, successful and beautiful life. Whenever I was with him I saw his absolute joy for life and true pride in his family. His accomplishments were great from beginning to end. He was a truly wonderful man and will be missed by all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 1, 2018
Indeed, Bush’s legacy will live on in the minds of Americans, even those who didn’t agree with his policies, and his life of service to the nation will be remembered.
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