Jewish Rampage Survivor Issues Gun Control Call

Joshua Stepakoff Lived Through 1999 Granada Hills Shooting

Mission in Life: Joshua Stepakoff talks about his campaign to curb gun violence.
nbc news
Mission in Life: Joshua Stepakoff talks about his campaign to curb gun violence.

By Forward Staff

Published December 15, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Joshua Stepakoff was just 6 years old when he was shot and wounded in a 1999 shooting rampage at his suburban Los Angeles preschool.

Now 19, he wants to know why more hasn’t been done to curb gun violence in America.

“If now is not the right time, when is? People are shot every day… People need to realize this,” Stepakoff told NBC News.

Stepakoff was attending a day camp at the North Valley Jewish Community Center in Granada Hills when a disturbed gunman with a semi-automatic rifle burst into the lobby.

The gunman fired dozens of rounds, hitting an adult employee, a 16-year-old counselor, and three children, including Stepakoff, who was shot in the lower leg and hip.

All of the victims recovered.

Stepakoff, now a college student, spoke out after the shooting spree that left 28 people dead in Newtown, Conn.

He called on lawmakers to restore the lapsed federal restriction on the sale of assault weapons; and strengthen pre-sale background checks.

“I think some changes could be made without truly interfering with Second Amendment rights,” he told NBC.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • In WWI, Jews fought for Britain. So why were they treated as outsiders?
  • According to a new poll, 75% of Israeli Jews oppose intermarriage.
  • Will Lubavitcher Rabbi Moshe Wiener be the next Met Council CEO?
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.