After YouTube shooting, tech chiefs call for increased gun control

SAN FRANCISCO: Several Silicon Valley leaders called for increased gun control on Tuesday afternoon after a woman at the headquarters of YouTube shot and wounded three people before taking her own life.

Police said 39-year-old Nasim Najafi Aghdam from San Diego was behind the shooting.

A man was in critical condition and two women were seriously wounded in the attack, which ended when Ms Aghdam shot and killed herself.

Tech companies have largely avoided the topic of gun control in the US, but they have previously pushed for progressive stances on other hot-topic issues, ranging from climate change to same-sex marriage and comprehensive immigration reform.

At least three major chief executives took up gun control after the shooting.

"We can't keep being reactive to this, thinking and praying it won't happen again at our schools, jobs, or our community spots," tweeted Twitter Inc and Square Inc CEO Jack Dorsey.

"It's beyond time to evolve our policies."

Joining Dorsey were Uber Technologies Inc CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and Box Inc CEO Aaron Levie, who respectively sent tweets on Tuesday saying #EndGunViolence and #NeverAgain, two Twitter hashtags commonly used by proponents of gun control.

"On behalf of the team at @Uber, sending support to everyone @YouTube and @Google, and gratitude to the heroic first responders," Mr Khosrowshahi tweeted. "Another tragedy that should push us again to #EndGunViolence"

The tweets could be an indication that Silicon Valley may soon weigh in on the epidemic of mass killings by firearms in the US.

"Incredibly sad to see the YouTube shooting today," Mr Levie tweeted.

"Our thoughts are with our Google friends and their families. #NeverAgain"


Mr Sundar Pichai and Ms Susan Wojcicki, the CEOs of Google and YouTube respectively, also issued statements on Tuesday while avoiding the topic of gun control.

"There are no words to describe how horrible it was to have an active shooter @YouTube today," Ms Wojcicki said.

"Our deepest gratitude to law enforcement & first responders for their rapid response. Our hearts go out to all those injured & impacted today. We will come together to heal as a family."

Other tech leaders expressed sympathy for the employees of YouTube on social media without referencing gun control.

Those included Apple CEO Tim Cook, Inc CEO Jeff Bezos, Inc CEO Marc Benioff and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg. - REUTERS