Colin Goddard’s life was upended in April 2007 when he was shot four times while attending one of his classes at Virginia Tech in the horrific shooting that left 32 dead and dozens more injured. It psychologically and physically derailed his life path, gradually going from a wheelchair to crutches to walking, and eventually returned to full-fledged running. Encouraged by his return to health and disgusted to find out that the mentally ill Virginia Tech shooter had bought his guns when he should have failed the background check, he’s worked to establish a law requiring comprehensive background checks for every firearm sold in the country ever since. He starred in the documentary Living for 32, which exposed how easy it can be to buy guns without any questions asked, and has moved from The Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence to Everytown For Gun Safety while in pursuit of his goal.
Goddard is convinced the change will come soon, as the American people have consistently polled in favor of rigorous background checks by wide margins, and even if politicians don’t make the move. “I think the general population votes will show politicians that this is a winning issue,” he says. “They understand that it’s good policy – we just need to make them understand that it’s also good politics.”
FIT FACT: “It’s hard to maintain a good routine with all the traveling I do for work, but I’m very competitive,” says Goddard. “I play in soccer and volleyball leagues and work out when I can otherwise.”