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In Arizona, Survivor Of Virginia Tech Massacre Talks Gun Control: ‘The Time For Thoughts And Prayers Is Over’

HuffPost- Lucia Graves

Posted: 03/ 1/11 06:44 PM

Almost two months after the shootings in Tucson, Ariz., Colin Goddard, a survivor of the Virginia Tech massacre, is speaking to Arizona students about recovering from tragedy, as well as legislation that could help prevent gun violence on higher education campuses and elsewhere.

“What defines a community, what defines a group of people, isn’t the things that happen to them outside of their control — it’s how they choose to recognize and remember the people who were lost and injured that day and take steps to make it less likely to happen to someone else,” Goddard, 25, told HuffPost.

On April 16, 2007, the Virginia Tech shootings left 32 dead and 17 injured. Out of a class of 17, Goddard was one of seven students to survive. After graduating, he went to work on a documentary film about the massacre, “Living for 32”, and is promoting the documentary while serving as an assistant director of legislative affairs for the Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence.

“The time for thoughts and prayers is over,” Goddard said. “Now it’s time to actually do something that would stop a future Jared Loughner,” the alleged Tucson shooter.

Such calls have not gone unheeded. Last week, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced legislation, supported by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, that would require all gunbuyers to undergo a background check and increase penalties for states that fail to comply with the rule. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) has already introduced legislation to make it illegal to bring a gun within 1,000 feet of a government official, and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) has announced a measure to limit the sale of high-capacity clips like the one used in the Arizona shootings.

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