Virginia Tech Survivor Turned Gun Control Activist Not Surprised by NRA’s Fundraising Success

By Melanie Arter | February 25, 2013 | 2:11 PM EST

In this April 16, 2007 file photo, injured occupants are carried out of Norris Hall at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. (AP Photo/The Roanoke Times, Alan Kim, File)

( – Colin Goddard, a Virginia Tech shooting survivor who now works for the Brady Campaign, said Friday that he was not surprised at the record number of new NRA memberships, because people don’t want shooting massacres like Virginia Tech and Newtown, Conn., “to happen to them, and they try to do something.”

“I think when you have high-profile events like this, I think people are drawn to both sides, and we’ve seen similar donation increases, significant numbers of new members and new chapters starting up. It’s been phenomenal the outpouring of support that we’ve received. Still two months later, we’re still trying to get back to people now. So keep it up, that’s great. And so I think when people see these events, they don’t want it to happen to them, and they try to do something,” Goddard said.

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C-SPAN asked if he was surprised that in January alone, the National Rifle Association, raised over $1 million, one of its best one-month fundraising efforts ever, to which Goddard replied, “No.”

Goddard, who works in Washington as assistant director of federal legislation for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which claimed the lives of 26 people – 20 of them children – “shook humanity at the core.”

“I think what happened at Sandy Hook just kind of shook people’s humanity at the core when you see something happen like that to 20 young people and six teachers. So I think it was a personal tipping point, kind of like my Binghamton situation was, I think Sandy (Hook) was a personal tipping point for a lot of people. I think because of that, we’re still having conversations about our gun policy now two months later,” Goddard said.

More than 30 people were killed when Virginia Tech senior Seung-Hui Cho, opened fire in two separate attacks on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University on April 16, 2007, making it the deadliest shooting by a single gunman in U.S. history.

Goddard was among 17 people injured in that shooting. He was shot while in French class in Norris Hall, the second site of the shootings.