Virginia Tech shooting victim pushes for consistent gun laws during CU visit
BOULDER, Colo. — We heard renewed calls for gun control after the Aurora theater massacre.
Before that, the University of Colorado fought to maintain its restriction of guns on its campuses.
Now, a survivor of the worst-ever shooting rampage in America is making his own push.
“We had bullets coming through our door and everyone hit the floor. There was nowhere to go,” says Colin Goddard, 26.
What happened inside his Virginia Tech classroom, April 16, 2007, has led him on a journey to CU.
“It’s something right to do and it’s helping me to turn the worst day of my life into something positive,” he says.
A mentally ill gunman shot him four times. Three bullets remain in his body. And he has a titanium rod in his thigh.
Now, he shares his story as part of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. He hopes to convince Americans we need consistent gun laws from state to state.
“It’s not a crusade to take guns from everybody. It’s a crusade to make sure a background check is done on every gun sale. That’s what I’m here for,” he says.
Colorado already requires background checks—one of just six states. Colorado voters overwhelmingly approved the restriction after the Columbine shootings.
Colorado also allows guns on college campuses.
Recently, CU battled in court to keep its long-standing gun ban—but lost.
A gun-rights advocate says further restrictions won’t stop people who are determined to kill.
“These murderers don’t care what the law says. They are going to commit mass murder. What do they care what the law is?” says Dudley Brown, with Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, which is Colorado’s largest gun-rights organization.
He insists more gun control hurts more than it helps.
“We don’t want to turn CU, and CSU, and UNC and other state-owned colleges into these areas where criminals, frankly, can do whatever they want because they know they are the only ones who are armed,” he says.
“If that were true, then the United States of America, the country with one gun for every human, would already be the safest place in the world. And we’re quite the opposite,” says Goddard.
Goddard says making it more difficult for dangerous people to get guns is key. Preventing another Virginia Tech is his hope.
“We are better than this and we can do better than this,” says Goddard.
He says better mental health screenings could also reduce gun violence.
But he realizes there isn’t one single policy that will stop every single shooting.
Goddard says of the 17 people in his classroom, only seven survived. He says they were all in the same part of the room—in the back right corner.
He says he thinks they were just lucky.
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