Virginia Tech shooting survivor in Wilmington

Colin Goddard, who survived the 2007 campus shooting at Virginia Tech, will talk about his experience and introduce a documentary film based on the event and its aftermath tonight at Theatre N.

Goddard survived the horrific event despite being shot four times.  When it was over, 32 people were dead.  Seventeen people, including Goddard, were wounded in the attack.

He’s now on a mission to change the nation’s gun laws.  He says, “For the 32 Hokies who were lost that day, and for the 32 Americans who are lost everyday on average in our country, I’ve decided to devote this time in my life to making a difference, so their memories might be honored and the damage to our society lessened.”  Goddard is now working for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

Tonight’s showing of the documentary “Living for 32” is being presented by Wilmington Mayor James Baker (D), and is designed to be a show of support for a package of gun safety bills now up for debate in the General Assembly.  “This issue has nothing to do with infringing on the rights of citizens to own firearms and everything to do with preventing criminals and the mentally ill from obtaining guns,” Baker says.  

Goddard will take part in a panel discussion after the movie is shown.  That panel will include State Rep. Dennis P. Williams (D- Wilmington North), Wilmington Police Chief Michael Szczerba, and State Rep. Helene Keely (D- Wilmington South).  Williams and Keely are co-sponsoring the gun legislation.  

One bill would close a loophole allowing people to buy firearms at gun shows without undergoing a background check. Another would prohibit people from carrying guns while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  A third measure requires that information on mentally ill state residents be sent to the federal instant criminal background check database.  The fourth authorizes law enforcement officials to dispose of seized firearms currently stored at facilities across the state.

The free movie showing starts at 7 tonight at Theatre N at Nemours, which is at 11th and Tatnall Streets in downtown Wilmington.  

Find out more about the film, which was also featured at the Sundance Film Festival, by going to the website, Livingfor32.com

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