RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - The father of a student who survived the Virginia Tech mass shooting five years ago said he was angered that someone would open fire inside an elementary school killing innocent children.
What happened inside the school in Connecticut Friday morning hit too close to home for Andrew Goddard. News of the mass shooting dredged up too many still fresh memories. The father said while we as Americans should be saddened, we certainly shouldn't be surprised.
“We have a right to be appalled, and saddened and sickened,” Goddard said. “But we have no right to be shocked," he added. "Why would you be shocked? What kind of stone do you live under when the same thing keeps happening over and over and we do nothing to stop it.”
For Goddard, the school shooting in Connecticut released a flood of emotions. The father of Virginia Tech shooting victim, Colin Goddard, has been trying to tighten gun laws on the state level since 2007.
“We need to do something to stop the next victims," Goddard said. "That is the only way we can honor those families and the people who died."
Columbine, Aurora, Colorado, Blacksburg, and now Newtown have experienced mass shootings. Mr. Goddard believes the mass shooting should force Americans to look seriously at the proliferation of guns in our society.
“I have tremendous sympathy for those families," Goddard said. "But I have sympathy for the next families and we don’t need to have those next families."
Dr. Joan Neff, Professor of Criminology at the University of Richmond, said the biggest question that may never be answered is, “Why?”
“I think we are all victims, even though we’re not directly victims, but we are victims several times removed," Neff said. "It strikes a lot of fear into everyone because of that because you don’t know where or when it will happen again."
Andrew Goddard said what transpired in the Connecticut kindergarten classroom Friday will only strengthen his resolve to changing American’s attitudes toward firearms.
“I don’t want to see another stack of Teddy Bears," Goddard said. "I don’t want to see another stack of candles," he added. "The kids who died today will never play with Teddy Bears," he stated. "They’ll never see the light of those candles.”
Since recovering from his injuries, Goddard's son, Colin, has been working in Washington with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence on a federal level. Andrew Goddard said he will not stop trying to change the gun laws here in the Commonwealth.