‘CHANGE CAN HAPPEN’

Survivors of Britain’s Last School Shooting Write to Parkland Students

On March 13, 1996, Thomas Hamilton walked into a small school in Dunblane, Scotland, and killed 16 children, one teacher, and himself in the deadliest mass shooting in British history. Twenty-two years to the day later, survivors of that shooting have written to Parkland students to throw their support behind the campaign for gun control in the United States. The Dunblane massacre completely changed Britain’s attitude toward gun control and private ownership of most handguns was outlawed in the wake of the killings—there have been no school shootings in the U.K. since. In an open letter, Dunblane survivors and relatives of those killed expressed their “tremendous admiration” for how the Florida high school’s students have organized following the murder of 17 of their classmates and teachers. The survivors wrote: “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.”