Citation(s) from the literature library

North, Michael J. In: Webster, Daniel W and Jon S Vernick (Eds). 2013 ‘Gun Control in Great Britain after the Dunblane Shootings.’ Reducing Gun Violence in America: Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis (Chap 14), pp. 185-193. Baltimore MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. 25 January

Relevant contents

On March 13, 1996, a man with a grudge against the local community walked into Dunblane Primary School in central Scotland. He was armed with two semi-automatic pistols and two revolvers and carrying hundreds of rounds of ammunition loaded into high-capacity magazines, all legally held.

Within minutes Thomas Hamilton had shot and fatally wounded one teacher and sixteen 5- and 6-year-old children. Another ten children and three teachers were injured. All of his victims were shot with a 9-mm semi-automatic pistol. Hamilton then killed himself with one of his revolvers.

Gun homicide is rare in Great Britain. The deaths at Dunblane accounted for nearly a quarter of the country's gun victims in 1996. The public outrage at this scale of violence by a legally armed gunman translated into a campaign for tighter gun control, and within two years all handguns had been prohibited.

This essay outlines events which led to the landmark legislative changes and summarizes their impact. Only the key elements are included and more details can be found in North (2000). Inevitably, this is an insider's account and a more thorough analysis of the issues is provided by Squires (2000).

ID: Q11334

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