“Nearly ten years after Sandy Hook- and ten days after Buffalo- our country is paralyzed, not by fear, but by a gun lobby and a political party that have shown no willingness to act in any way that might help prevent these tragedies." - Barack Obama
In Britain, it took just one school shooting....
In 1996, Thomas Hamilton walked into Dunblane Primary School in Scotland and killed 15 children and one teacher before killing himself. Only eight days later, Britain’s Parliament began an inquiry into the shooting, open to the public and recorded in full.
Similarly, yet not to the extreme seen in the United States, the inquiry was met with gun rights advocates and avid sportsmen clashing with parents and a public outraged by the massacre. Sentiments entirely familiar were reiterated- comparing banning guns to banning petroleum after arson or accusations that the shooter was ill and gun owners should not suffer on his behalf.
But after 26 days of discussion and debate, what was largely agreed was that while institutions could not always anticipate or control the behavior of erratic individuals, they could institute protections around guns to prevent deadly outcomes.
By the following year, building upon previous measures of banning semi-automatic weapons and requiring registration for shotguns, Parliament passed legislation banning private ownership of most handguns, taking nearly 160,000 guns off the streets.
In the nearly thirty years since, the UK has witnessed only one mass shooting. This incredible shift is likely the result of a combination of not only gun regulation but also a comprehensive policy of instituting mental health screenings for all firearm licenses.
We grieve with the children, families and communities of Buffalo, NY, Laguna Woods, CA and Uvalde, TX while remembering countless others who have been victims and witnesses to gun violence. We urge you to write, call, email your Senators, to vote in elections local and national and to use your dollar to support businesses and organizations doing the same. - Maureen Post
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