Colin Goddard is a survivor of the Virginia Tech shooting that claimed the lives of 32 people in 2007.
“I was just a student in a French class and was nearly shot and killed.”
Goddard was shot four times during the ordeal, three of the bullets still in his body today. He was one of 7, out of the 17 students in his classroom, who lived to tell the story.
“Before the shooting I was like most Americans who thought that gun violence was not going to affect me as long as I went to a nice place and associated with good people,” he says. “I also thought that we did everything we could to keep guns away from dangerous people,”
Over 300 people listened Wednesday as Goddard recounted the horrific ordeal at a luncheon at the Stamford Hilton. Hosted by the Connecticut Against Gun Violence organization, the fundraising event brought supporters together to rally for safer gun laws.
“We lose 32 Americans to gun violence every singe day,” says Goddard. “That’s a Virginia Tech that happens every single day in this country, that goes unnoticed because that’s not all at one time.”
Goddard, who is now a Senior Policy Advocate with Mayors Against Illegal Guns, applauded Connecticut for putting stricter gun laws in place last year. This included background checks for all gun sales, something he says needs to be done in every state.
“That’s not something that’s standard on federal law,” Goddard says. “And so that’s the one, I think, outrage that most of us feel; that this is something that we should take care of, we should have already done this.”
Andy Pelosi, another guest speaker Wednesday, discussed his campaign to keep guns off college campuses.
“There’s a push by the gun lobby that started about ten years ago to change laws and force schools to allow people; whether it be students, faculty, or staff; to carry concealed weapons on college campuses,” Pelosi says. “It’s not necessarily and issue in the Northeast yet; hopefully it never will be; but it is an issue in a number of states across the country.”
Goddard and Pelosi say it’s important that everyone work together and continue to put the pressure on state leaders to make a real change.
“Our goal is to see less people shot and killed in this country every year,” says Goddard. “And our elected officials just fundamentally need to understand that this is an issue and this a goal that we really care about.”