Wednesday, March 02, 2011

"Living for 32" - a survivor of the Virginia Tech shooting tells his story

Lost in the tumult of a legislative session that has been even uglier than most observers imagined it would be (throwing hundreds of thousands of Arizona's most vulnerable off of AHCCCS, attacks on a woman's right to choose, scads of anti-immigrant bill proposals, a senator claiming legislative immunity for getting into a fight with his girlfriend, Russell Pearce "blacklisting" critics, barring them from the Senate building, and worse) has been the unrelenting effort of certain members of the lege to loosen the few firearms laws in Arizona.

In spite of the mass shooting in Tucson, where six people were killed and more than a dozen others, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, were wounded by a single gunman.

Some of the efforts of those legislators have led to bills like SB1467, barring the state's educational institutions from banning guns on campus, and barring them from enforcing an already existing ban.

On Tuesday, Colin Goddard, a survivor the Virginia Tech massacre in April of 2007, the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, spoke at the Arizona State Senate in support of reasonable gun control measures and against proposals like SB1467.

(l-r) Rep. Lela Alston, Sen. Olivia Cajero Bedford, Sen. David Schapira, Colin Goddard, and Sen. Steve Gallardo

Goddard spoke of the events that day in Virginia - "10 minutes of Hell, 6 days in the hospital, 3 months in physical therapy."

He is working for the Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence and is touring the country promoting the documentary "Living for 32.."

The film tells both his story, his path from victim to survivor to activist, and the story of how easy it still is for unstable people to obtain guns in America. 

Gallardo and Goddard

There will be screenings of the film on Wednesday, March 2, 2011 in Maricopa County.

The first will be at Glendale Community College at 2 p.m. in GCC's Performing Arts Center.

In the evening, the film will also be shown at 7 p.m. on the Tempe campus of Arizona State University in the Carson Ballroom, in the Old Main building.

KPHO (Phoenix channel 5) coverage of the press conference here.

Arizona Republic coverage here.

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