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Dunblane tragedy: Scots families support US gun victims

The families of the Dunblane shooting victims have sent a message of support.

The families of the Dunblane shooting victims have sent a powerful message of support to high school students in America, 22 years after the Scottish rampage.

A message from the loved ones of those killed in the shooting has been sent to students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, following their own tragedy.

The attack, which left 17 students and staff members dead, was the deadliest US school shooting since 2012.

Nikolas Cruz, an expelled former pupil at the school, has been charged with 17 counts of murder after the incident last month.

The letter marks 22 years since teacher Gwen Mayor and 16 of her pupils were killed when Thomas Hamilton opened fire on them at Dunblane Primary School on March 13, 1996.

Tragedy: Teacher Gwen Mayor and her class.
Tragedy: Teacher Gwen Mayor and her class.

On behalf of Dunblane Stands with Parkland, the message states: "Dear Students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas School, on the most poignant day of the year for us we wanted to reach out and offer our deepest and most heartfelt sympathy to you and your teachers and to all the families and friends of those who died at your school on February 14.

"We have watched and listened with tremendous admiration as you have spoken out for what you believe should happen now, a significant change of attitude towards the availability of guns in your country."

'We have watched and listened with tremendous admiration as you have spoken out for what you believe should happen now.'
Dunblane Stands with Parkland

The killings in Dunblane led to the UK enforcing some of the strictest firearms legislation in the world.

The letter adds: "22 years ago today, our own lives were devastated when a gunman walked into Dunblane Primary School in Scotland and shot dead 16 five and six-year-old children and their teacher and injured many more.

"The children who were killed or badly injured were our daughters and sons, our grandchildren, our sisters and brothers, our nieces and nephews, our cousins.

"The teacher was our wife, our sister, our mother.

"Five of us are survivors. The gunman owned his four handguns legally, and we knew it had been too easy for him to arm himself with lethal weapons.

Dunblane: Flowers outside school.
Dunblane: Flowers outside school. Stefan Rousseau / PA Archive/PA Images

"Like you we vowed to do something about it. 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 what the majority of the British people wanted.

"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."

https://youtu.be/k--YHjlDEqM | default

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have publicly lobbied lawmakers for policy change.

They have organised the March For Our Lives on Washington on March 24.

Florida: Protests have been organised.
Florida: Protests have been organised.

The letter continues: "We want you to know that change can happen. It won't be easy, but continue to remind everyone of exactly what happened at your school and of the devastation caused by just one person with one legally-owned gun. Never let anyone forget.

"There will be attempts to deflect you, to divide you and doubtless to intimidate you, but you've already shown great wisdom and strength.

"We wish you more of that wisdom and strength for this toughest of tasks, one that will be so important in order to spare more of your fellow Americans from having to suffer the way you have. Wherever you march, whenever you protest, however you campaign for a more sensible approach to gun ownership we will be there with you in spirit.

"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."

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