Gun Control Activist Who Was Shot at VaTech: ‘College Campuses Actually One of the Safest Places You Can Be’

By Melanie Arter | February 25, 2013 | 12:33 PM EST

Seung-Hui Cho, who shot at killed 33 people (including himself) at Virginia Tech on Apr. 16, 2007. (Associated Press)

( - Colin Goddard, who was shot several times in the Virginia Tech shooting massacre and now works as assistant director of federal legislation for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said Friday that college campuses are “one of the safest places you can be in this country.”

“College campuses are actually one of the safest places you can be in this country. People aged between 18 and 24 who live on college campuses are one of the constituencies that are least likely to ever get hit by bullet, and if you live anywhere else but a campus, that percentage goes much higher, so I think that’s in large part due to the fact that you’re not allowed to carry firearms there,” Goddard said on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” when asked if he would have thought about carrying a gun to the classroom.

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More than 30 people were killed and 17 others wounded when Virginia Tech senior Seung-Hui Cho, opened fire in two separate attacks on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, making it the deadliest shooting by a single gunman in U.S. history.

Goddard was shot while in French class in Norris Hall, the second site of the shootings.

In 2007, there were 45 on-campus murders on college campuses nationwide, 13 in 2008, and 17 in 2009, according to statistics from the U.S. Education Department. In 2007, there were six off-campus murders, four in 2008, and two in 2009.

In 2007 and 2008, there were there cases of negligent manslaughter on college campuses nationwide and none in 2009. Off-campus, there was only one case of negligent manslaughter, and none in 2007 or 2008, according to the Education Department.

The Gun-Free Zones Act of 1990 prohibits anyone except for law enforcement or school security from knowingly possessing a firearm in a school zone. Gun-free zones apply to the grounds in and around a public, parochial, or private school and within 1,000 feet from the grounds of a public, parochial, or private school. Violators are subject to a fine of no more than $5,000, no more than five years in prison or both.

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) proposed a bill in July 2011 to repeal the federal Gun Free School Zones Act.