Steven Jagoda has painted abstract art since he was 18. Now, at age 54, he sells art out of his studio in New Rochelle, where he also lives. For Jagoda, owning a gun is natural. “I was raised around guns,” he says. “I like to hunt, spend time in the woods, and I certainly feel a lot safer having a gun and not needing it than needing one and not having it.”
Do you have a family? If so, what do they think about guns? I raised three children around guns. They are all grown now. I taught them everything there is to know about gun safety. My children were raised to not go near them [when they were stored—they all know how to use them to hunt]. My guns were locked up and secured at all times.
Why do you think guns have such a bad reputation today? I believe it is political more than anything else. Accidents happen. Bad people do bad things. Truly, it’s a lot easier to blame the gun than to blame the people or society.
What do you think about the NY SAFE Act? I’m not pleased with it. Even if every piece of legislation only has the best of intentions, the reality of the situation is that they regulate people who haven’t broken the law in order to compensate for people who do.
Talk to me a little bit about what the Journal News did. How did you feel about their actions? What they did endangered the people in a society. They claimed they did this so that parents would know, for the protection of their children, where guns are in their neighborhood. I’m curious as to what they thought they were protecting them from. The legal, law-abiding, registered gun owner was never a threat to their children in the first place, so I believe their intention was politically motivated and politically biased to vilify honest, law-abiding citizens who follow the rules.
Is it all over now that the interactive map was removed? I think that it’s a good thing it was removed. Do I think the effects of it are over? I can’t say; I have no way of knowing that. I have no way of knowing who looked at it, who didn’t look at it, who would care.