"On March 13, 1995, in the small Scottish town of Dunblane, a forty-three-year-old man, Thomas Hamilton walked into a primary school with four handguns and opened fire, methodically killing sixteen children and one adult teacher before killing himself. The unprecedented massacre of children led, within two years, to legislation that imposed a total ban on the private ownership of handguns in the United Kingdom. Today, no one in the United Kingdom can privately own a handgun or a semiautomatic weapon. There was not much hand wringing or heated debate over this legislation. It was discussed, and enacted, with overwhelming public support, in response to the mood of national shame and grief over the killings."
The New Yorker: “Guns and the limits of shame” (via lauraolin)
I remember. Mostly, the people in the UK felt that not having things like this happen was a good thing. I wish these massacres would persuade the American voting public of the same thing.
(The UK had 14 Firearm-related murders last year; the US, with a population only 5 times that of the UK, had 9,369. Per this website.)
[Joe here, adding this:] What Neil doesn’t mention is that homicide is just one number. In 2008, the UK only had 68 gun deaths total… that includes suicide and accident. It was around 30,000 in the US. That is quite a pile of dead folk. Something like 400 for every 1 in the UK.