Families of Dunblane shootings stands with American school on anniversary

‘Change can happen’. These are the words the survivors and families of those killed in the Dunblane school massacre want pupils at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to remember.

An open letter was sent to the Florida high school on the 22nd anniversary of the Dunblane murders. The parents and siblings of the victims also made a video in support of the Parkland families.

Sixteen children and their teacher were shot dead at the Scottish school on 13 March 1996 and just over a year later, handguns were banned in Britain. There has never been another school shooting in the United Kingdom since and to this day remains the deadliest firearm attack ever committed in the country.

Describing why families and survivors fought to change gun laws following the 1996 massacre, the letter explained:

“The gunman owned legal weapons and it was so easy for him to obtain these legal weapons and like you we vowed to do something about it.

“Most politicians listened and acted, laws were changed, handguns were banned and the level of gun violence in Britain is now one of the lowest in the world. There have been no more school shootings.

“We persuaded British lawmakers not to be swayed by the vested interests of the gun lobby, we asked them to put public safety first and to heed the will of the majority of the British people.”


Class photo of Dunblane Primary School and their teacher Gwen Mayor            Image Credit: Getty Images

The rate of shooting offenses in the United Kingdom has gone down by 45% in the past decade, with Britain’s rate of fatal shootings 00.7 deaths per 100,000.

In comparison, guns kill tens of thousands of people every year in the United States at a rate of 3.86 fatalities per 100,000. According to non-profit organisation Every Town Research, there have been nearly 300 school shootings in the US since 2013. This is an average of one per week.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are now fighting for harsher gun control laws after the deaths of 17 people there last month.


Memorial for the 17 people that dies in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting Image Credit: JOHN MCCALL/AP

Students have organised the ‘March for Ours Lives’ campaign in the wake of the 14 February mass shooting, demanding that their lives and their safety at school becomes a priority. They hope this will mark the end of gun violence in the United States.

The letter of support from Dunblane to Parkland concluded: “Tonight we will be lighting 17 candles for those who died in Dunblane and will be remembering the 17 who lost their lives in Parkland. Our thoughts will also be with every other victim of gun violence.

We offer you our total support for the March for Our Lives and sincerely hope you achieve success. It can be done. #NeverAgain.”

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