Here’s How Britain Responded After A Mass School Shooting. They Haven’t Had One Since (VIDEO/IMAGE)

While GOP lawmakers shrug their shoulders in the face of yet another mass shooting on U.S. soil, we can look to one of our closest allies to see that these shootings are entirely avoidable. Here’s how UK lawmakers responded when they suffered a major mass shooting in a school. They haven’t had one since.

The small Scottish town of Dunblane (home of tennis legend Andy Murray) is a close-knit community of only 8,000 people. Crime is almost nonexistent, with local police more likely to be rescuing a cat from a tree, and helping elderly people in distress, than intervening in serious crime.

But on the morning of March 14 1996, unspeakable tragedy hit the town. The local scoutmaster, 43-year-old Thomas Hamilton, armed himself with a handgun, and walked into the gym of the local primary school (kindergarten). Within three minutes, he had gunned down 29 children and their teacher, then turned the gun on himself.

In scenes all-too-familiar to us here in America, parents ran to the schoolyard, desperate to find their infant children safe. But for 16 families, their youngest member was dead, their teacher massacred alongside them.

In Britain, there is no equivalent to the NRA, lobbying for more Thomas Hamiltons to get their hands on deadly weapons. There was no Republican Party, in the pay of the NRA, twisting an avoidable tragedy for political benefit. The response was swift, and unanimous.

Under a Conservative government, handguns were banned across the entire UK within 6 months, along with 23 other restrictions that gave Britain some of the toughest gun laws in the world. This movement was not partisan between liberals and conservatives – it was accepted as common sense in the pursuit of public safety. The entire political class, the public, and the media united to do everything to make sure the unbearable site of those tiny coffins in Dunblane would never be seen on British soil again.

How many school shootings have taken place in the UK since 1996?


In fact, there has been just one gun spree-killer in the UK since that time.

When UK citizens need a good guy with a gun, they call the cops. They don’t surrender their communities to the whims of armed psychopaths in the name of the Magna Carta (British constitution). Even their most conservative lawmakers chose to act in the public interest, not their personal interest, or the private interests of their donors.

This is the difference that has made on the UK’s homicide and gun death rate in comparison with the U.S.

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So America, know this. When Republican lawmakers and conservative pundits tell us that mass shootings in our schools, government buildings, college campuses and health centers are an unavoidable reality we should tolerate – they are lying. They could stop this relentless trail of death and injury tomorrow. They are making the political choice not to do so. They are knowingly and deliberately surrendering American society to domestic terrorists.

Featured Image via Flickr Creative Commons.