“My first brush with a gun accident was when I was living in Texas, maybe 15 years ago,” said Gareth Glaser, 65. “One of my colleagues who worked for me was at a barbeque with her 10-year-old. And Texas, it’s got a culture of, I wouldn’t say the Wild West, but gun ownership is fairly common there. Her little boy disappeared inside to the family room with a couple of other kids. They were all sitting outside and they heard a gun go off. It didn’t kill him. But he was very badly injured. It was a shotgun and they were playing with it.”
Glaser continued to think about that accident over the years. Now the Radnor resident is CEO of LodeStar Firearms, a company that is developing a smart gun designed to only fire if its owner is holding it, wrote Linda Stein in Main Line Media News.
In the U.S. five young children, ages 2 to 5, are killed through an accidental shooting every week, which is “a terrifying statistic,” he said. Some 38,000 people are fatally shot every year and 20,000 children go to emergency rooms with gunshot injuries. Some 1.7 million children live in homes where there is also a loaded gun, he said.
“I was a corporate executive and I was just about ready to move onto something else,” said Glaser. “We had a place in Colorado and I was working for fun at the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center, an adaptive ski school. We help people with all sorts of injuries and disabilities to get back up on skis or snowboards…And I worked with a lot of people with gunshot injuries and worse, a lot of vets coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan. Even if you’re not killed, these are life changing injuries when you’re shot. There are a lot of paraplegics, head injuries, which are fairly permanent so people are no longer themselves…So that kind of experience was the top of my mind when I decided to actually formally quit my day job and come back to Pennsylvania.”
Glaser, who grew up in Connecticut, met his wife, Barbara (nee Schwan), when both were students at the University of Pennsylvania. She was born and raised on the Main Line and their wedding announcement appeared in The Suburban & Wayne Times (this paper’s predecessor). Glaser earned a law degree at Boston College, worked a stint as a prosecutor in Cambridge, Mass., before entering the corporate world.
“I never was going to be Perry Mason,” he joked.
The Glasers traveled the world for 30 years as he worked for Exxon, ARCO and Alcon. Glaser, who also holds a master’s in law from Villanova University, was a fellow at Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative.
About five years ago the couple settled in Radnor.
“You can take the girl out of the Main Line but you can’t take the Main Line out of the girl,” he joked. Their 28-year-old son and Glaser’s namesake is an entrepreneur in New York.
When he went to the Harvard leadership program in 2001, Glaser decided to tackle the issue of gun injuries and deaths “that had been preying on my mind all these years.” Others in the program focused on education, income inequality, global public health or climate change, he said.