Top tech leaders call for increased gun control

MR JACK DORSEY
MR JACK DORSEY

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

Technology firms 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 to comprehensive immigration reform. At least three major chief executives called for gun control after Tuesday's 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," Mr Jack Dorsey, chief executive officer of Twitter and Square, said in a tweet on Tuesday. "It is beyond time to evolve our policies."

Joining him were Uber Technologies CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and Box CEO Aaron Levie, who tweeted that day using the hashtags #EndGunViolence and #NeverAgain, which are 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".

Mr Levie tweeted: "Incredibly sad to see the YouTube shooting today. Our thoughts are with our Google friends and their families. #NeverAgain."

ACTION OVERDUE

We can't keep being reactive to this, thinking and praying it won't happen again at our schools, jobs or our community spots. It is beyond time to evolve our policies.

MR JACK DORSEY, CEO of Twitter and Square, in a tweet.

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

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," said Ms Wojcicki.

"Our deepest gratitude to law enforcement and first responders for their rapid response. Our hearts go out to all those injured and 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.

They included CEOs such as Apple's Tim Cook, Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Salesforce's Marc Benioff, and Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg. "From everyone at Apple, we send our sympathy and support to the team at YouTube and Google, especially the victims and their families," Mr Cook said in a tweet.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 05, 2018, with the headline 'Top tech leaders call for increased gun control'. Print Edition | Subscribe