Entries in Gun Rights (2)


'Son of Sam' Killer: Recent Massacres 'Senseless'

Fred R. Conrad/New York Times Co./Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- David Berkowitz, who gunned down 13 people, killing six, 35 years ago, says he hopes society takes the "glamour" out of guns.

In the wake of the Aurora, Colo. theater massacre and the mass shooting at a Wisconsin Sikh temple, Berkowitz is calling for an end to gun violence.

"It's all senseless," Berkowitz told the New York Daily News from his jail cell in a maximum security facility in upstate New York.

"Society has to take the glory out of guns. Young people have no business carrying a gun," he added.

For 13 months in the mid-1970s, Berkowitz, who became known as the "Son of Sam," stalked the streets of New York's neighborhoods with a .44 caliber handgun, shooting his victims as they sat in their cars or walked on sidewalks.

He taunted New York City detectives in notes to Daily News columnist Jimmy Breslin promising on one to "buy all those guys working on the case a new pair of shoes," upon his capture. He was eventually caught outside of his home on Aug. 10, 1977.

Now 59 and a born again Christian, Berkowitz avoids talking about his 24-year-old self, whom he called "lost," "tormented," "confused," and "under demonic control."

He spends his time urging young men to avoid resorting to crime in moments of anger, he said. Prison, he told the Daily News, is not all it's cracked up to be.

"I think it's a big tragedy when I see young men with their macho faces like they're cool when I know they are really scared to death," he said. "I know because I've been there. Prison is a house of pain. It's not what you see in the media and on those crime shows."

"One day, I hope that guns will lose their glamour, that it would be seen a social disapproval for those in gangs," Berkowitz added. "I know that's a bit simplistic, but to me the whole tragedy is that young people are losing direction and don't value life or have no clue why they're on this Earth."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Man Spared 7 Years in Prison for Guns Legally Owned

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(TRENTON, N.J.) -- A New Jersey man serving seven years in prison for possessing two legally-owned guns, disassembled and in the trunk of his car while moving residences, has had his sentence commuted.

Brian Aitken, 25, a media consultant, had been in the process of selling his home in Colorado and moving to a suburban New Jersey apartment to be closer to his son, 2, when he was arrested in a bizarre sequence of events.

Aitken's ordeal began on Jan. 3, 2009, when he confided in his mother during a moment of emotional distress at home that life wasn't worth living. He stormed out of his parent's suburban home, hopped into his car filled with belongings and drove off.

Brian's mother, a social worker trained to be sensitive to suicidal indicators, instinctively dialed 911 but abruptly hung up, second-guessing her reaction. But police tracked the call, came to the home and greeted Brian when he returned to make sure he was okay. When they searched his car police found two handguns "unloaded, disassembled, cleaned and wrapped in a cloth," his father said.

Aitken had legally purchased the guns at a Denver sporting goods store two years earlier, he said.

But transporting a gun without a special permit or in a handful of exempt situations is illegal in New Jersey, giving officers no choice but to arrest Aitken and charge him with a crime.

After a two-and-a-half day trial in August, a jury convicted Aitken of the charges and a judge sentenced him to seven years in prison.

Gov. Chris Christie signed an order Monday night that commuted Aitken's sentence to time served.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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