VA Tech survivor: ‘We finally had leadership from the White House’

Updated
Virginia Tech shooting survivor Colin Goddard attends a White House event during which U.S. President Barack Obama unveiled a series of gun violence...
Virginia Tech shooting survivor Colin Goddard attends a White House event during which U.S. President Barack Obama unveiled a series of gun violence...
LARRY DOWNING

A survivor of the deadly Virginia Tech shooting in 2007 is thrilled about President Obama’s new plan to curb gun violence. “We finally had leadership from the White House,” Colin Goddard told Hardball’s Chris Matthews. “It’s great to see such a comprehensive approach to the problem of gun violence.”

Vice President Joe Biden, while introducing President Obama during a press conference on Wednesday, spoke directly to Goddard, promising him gun reform. “When I asked Colin about what he thought we should be doing, he said that, he said, ‘I’m not here because of what happened to me; I’m here because of what happened to me keeps happening to other people and we have to do something about it.’ Colin, we will. Colin, I promise you we will.”

Obama called for a number of initiatives, including universal background checks for anyone trying to buy a gun, bans on military-style assault weapons, and a 10 round limit for magazines.

Matthews predicted that gun lobby groups like the National Rifle Association would not be on board. “Background checks prevent sales,” he said. And Mark Glaze, the director of Mayors Against Legal Guns, said that most dealers want more customers in their stores. “When these private sales are taking place over the internet or the backseat of a car, that doesn’t do anybody any good,” Glaze said. He dismissed the notion that poor ratings from lobby groups like the NRA could make a lawmaker lose his seat. “You know what, you ask people who are afraid of the NRA…Name me five members of Congress or governors who lost their seat as a result of the NRA. They can’t give you five,” he argued.

Goddard, who works for the Brady Campaign against gun violence, ripped the NRA’s argument that more guns, not less, are the answer. “If the idea that the Unites States of America—the country with 300 million guns already, the country that allows its people to carry guns practically anywhere in our country… If only we had more places we could carry them and more guns. If that were true, that we would be safer, then we would already be the safest place in the entire world. We are quite the opposite,” he said.

VA Tech survivor: ‘We finally had leadership from the White House’

Updated