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."
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."
He said, "One day, I hope that guns will lose their glamour, that it would be seen a social disapproval for those in gangs. 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."