NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, December 6, 2015, 6:00 PM
It was 35-years-ago Tuesday that Michael Douglas was on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with Rolling Stone magazine publisher Jann Wenner when they happened upon one of the most horrific scenes in rock and roll history. That moment led to his ongoing commitment to end the kind of gun violence that continues to haunt us today.
“We were walking home one night along Central Park West on December 8 and we passed the Dakota,” Douglas told us at an AARP Movies for Grownups luncheon. “There was all this fracas and it was the night that John Lennon got shot. Right after that, Jann and I were involved with starting an organization called CeaseFire.”
Despite the organization’s best efforts, the shootings continue. But the film star hasn’t given up hope.
“It’s just reached such insane proportions that you hope we can find some simple areas of agreement to move on,” the 71-year-old star said. “There’s just no other country that comes close. No other civilized country comes close to gun tragedies that this country has. I pray every time and continue to work with all the organizations, not to take away their guns, just to do simple things.”
Douglas says he’s not asking for the moon; just a consensus of some kind.
“I don’t think the public has to have armor-piercing bullets and I think we can do something about automatic weapons,” he said. “Have it a little more controlled.”
Douglas, a New Brunswick, N.J., native says he can’t control aging either, but that’s life.
“There’s not much I can do about it, can I?” he asked. “Realistically this is about as great a time for getting older. I was looking at a few articles last week about the technology that exists, education, stuff to help your memory. It’s as good as time as there is. You no longer think about retirement, you think about what new career you’re going into, what new things you’re going to do so it’s an exciting time.”
Douglas told us that he recently shared a senior moment with his father Kirk, who turns 99 years old on Wednesday.
“Almost a year ago Kirk called me and said, ‘Michael I was looking at television, I saw one of my old movies and I felt so bad because I couldn’t remember the movie,’” recalled Douglas, who bears an uncanny resemblance to his movie star dad.
“I said, ‘Dad, that’s OK — you’re 99 next week,’” Douglas recalled. “He said, ‘No, then I realized it wasn’t me, it was you.”