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US can learn lessons from Dunblane tragedy, say families

Relatives and survivors show solidarity with American students following Florida shooting.

The brother of one of the victims of the Dunblane massacre hopes the USA can change its attitude towards guns in the wake of the Florida school shooting.

Jack Crozier's sister Emma died along with 15 of her school friends and one of their teachers in the shooting at Dunblane Primary School on March 13, 1996.

On the 22nd anniversary of the attack, relatives and survivors have sent a letter and video message to students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, following their own tragedy.

Mr Crozier said the message is a show of sympathy and solidarity with the friends and families of the victims.

He also hopes American authorities can learn lessons from the aftermath of the Dunblane shooting.

"We wanted to send a message to America, something that would really resonate," he said.

"The main thing is sympathy and solidarity from Dunblane to Parkland. We've experienced what you're experiencing, and we know it's the most terrible thing anyone can go through.

"We're here to show you've got our support, you've got support from Scotland.

"Also, it's a message of hope for change - not just to Parkland, but everyone in America."

Mr Crozier said the Dunblane families completely supported the March for Our Lives demonstration which will take place across the USA on March 24 to call for stricter controls on gun ownership.

https://stv.tv/news/west-central/1410217-dunblane-tragedy-scots-families-support-us-gun-victims/ | default

In the letter, they state: "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 gunman owned his four handguns legally, and we knew it had been too easy for him to arm himself with lethal weapons.

"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."

Mr Crozier added: "We want to show people in America that laws can change, society can change.

"We need people to look at guns differently, and the only way that can happen is by the new generation standing up for themselves - like the Parkland students.

"They're saying they're no longer happy to go to school in fear."   

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