Virginia Tech survivor raising gun control awareness

October 18, 2011 7:45:46 PM PDT
A man shot four times during the Virginia Tech campus rampage in 2007 is working to raise awareness about gun control and violence with a new movie. Colin Goddard says it was just luck really that allowed him to survive that day at Virginia Tech. Now he's devoted his efforts to all of those who didn't make it.

Goddard still carries three of the four bullets fired into him over four years ago. On April 16, 2007, Goddard and 16 others were in a French class at Virginia Tech when a gunman burst in and opened fire.

"I took one glance at the front of the classroom as I hit the floor and I saw a person with boots, khaki pants, white shirt and holsters over both his shoulders," Goddard said.

In all, 32 people were killed that day by gunman Seung-Hi Cho.

"He had a Glock 9 mm and a Walther 22," Goddard said. "These were handguns, two he bought from the store down the road in our town and one from the Internet."

Cho passed the background checks for both purchases, despite a history of mental illness.

A former ROTC student, Goddard now travels the country as a gun control advocate promoting his new documentary "Living for 32."

In the film, Goddard describes what happened at Virginia Tech and how he's traveled the country visiting gun shows.

Goddard's visit to the Bay Area coincides with Gov. Jerry Brown's signing of a bill that prohibits "open carry" of handguns after Jan. 1, 2012.

Yih-Chau Chang is a spokesperson for the open carry advocacy group Responsible Citizens of California.

"There's going to be people who slip through the cracks who probably shouldn't, but the overwhelming majority of law-abiding gun owners don't reflect that overall trend where you see them going out and committing violent crimes," Chang said.

Goddard says he will continue to his gun control efforts until there's a federal law requiring uniform background checks in all 50 states.

Since California's new open carry ban only applies to handguns, open carry advocates plan to carry unloaded shotguns and rifles at a gathering this weekend outside a San Leandro shopping center.

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