Saturday 20 October 2018

Dunblane families join US gun control protest

Jack Crozier, who lost his sister in the Dunblane shooting, speaks during the Edinburgh March For Our Lives anti-gun rally outside the US Consulate in Edinburgh. Pic: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
Jack Crozier, who lost his sister in the Dunblane shooting, speaks during the Edinburgh March For Our Lives anti-gun rally outside the US Consulate in Edinburgh. Pic: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
Ali Ross (centre), who lost her sister in the Dunblane shooting, attends the Edinburgh March For Our Lives anti-gun rally outside the US Consulate in Edinburgh. Pic: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
Protesters during the Edinburgh March For Our Lives anti-gun rally outside the US Consulate in Edinburgh. Pic: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Lynsey Bews

Relatives of Dunblane massacre victims were among hundreds of people who protested outside the US Consulate in Edinburgh on Saturday as part of a campaign for greater gun control in America.

The demonstration was one of more than 800 events taking place around the world as part of the March For Our Lives movement.

It was started following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in February in which 17 people were killed.

Protesters are calling on the US government to pass legislation to effectively address gun violence.

Protesters during the Edinburgh March For Our Lives anti-gun rally outside the US Consulate in Edinburgh. Pic: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
Protesters during the Edinburgh March For Our Lives anti-gun rally outside the US Consulate in Edinburgh. Pic: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Speakers at the Edinburgh rally included Jack and Ellie Crozier, whose sister Emma was killed in the Dunblane shooting, and Ali Ross, whose sister Joanna also died.

They read a letter of support to those affected by the Parkland tragedy.

Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney joins the rally during a
Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney joins the rally during a "March For Our Lives" demonstration demanding gun control in New York City, U.S. March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Emma Gonzalez, a student and shooting survivor from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, cries as she addresses the conclusion of the "March for Our Lives" event demanding gun control after recent school shootings at a rally in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Students and school shooting survivors embrace at the conclusion of the "March for Our Lives" event demanding gun control after recent school shootings at a rally in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Singer Ariana Grande performs during the March for Our Lives Rally in Washington, DC on March 24, 2018. Galvanized by a massacre at a Florida high school, hundreds of thousands of Americans are expected to take to the streets in cities across the United States on Saturday in the biggest protest for gun control in a generation. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSONJIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
Singer Miley Cyrus sings during the March for Our Lives Rally in Washington, DC on March 24, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSONJIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
Looking west from the stage area, the crowd fills Pennsylvania Avenue during the "March for Our Lives" rally in support of gun control, Saturday, March 24, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Martin Luther King Jr.'s 9-year-old granddaughter Yolanda Renee King holds hands with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student and shooting survivor Jaclyn Corin (R) as they address the "March for Our Lives" event demanding gun control after recent school shootings at a rally in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
People hold banners during the "March For Our Lives" event in Paris, France, Saturday, March 24, 2018. The march is one of hundreds happening across the U.S. and the world to urge U.S. lawmakers to pass stricter gun safety legislation after deadly school shootings. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Attendees are seen as students and gun control advocates hold the "March for Our Lives" event demanding gun control after recent school shootings at a rally in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Thayer
People hold signs while rallying in the street during the "March for Our Lives" demanding stricter gun control laws at the Miami Beach Senior High School, in Miami, Florida, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Javier Galeano
Delaney Tarr, a survivor of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., speaks during the "March for Our Lives" rally in support of gun control in Washington, Saturday, March 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and student organizers lead the "March for Our Lives", an organized demonstration to end gun violence, in downtown Houston, Texas, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Loren Elliott
Students hold a banner with the victims of Parkland School while rallying in the street during the "March for Our Lives" demanding stricter gun control laws at the Miami Beach Senior High School, in Miami, Florida, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Javier Galeano
A young girl stands on a tree as people gather to walk with the "March for Our Lives", an organized demonstration to end gun violence, in downtown Houston, Texas, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Loren Elliott
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and student organizers lead the "March for Our Lives", an organized demonstration to end gun violence, in downtown Houston, Texas, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Loren Elliott
A man holds an anti-gun control sign during a "March For Our Lives" demonstration demanding gun control in New York City, U.S. March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
A student of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school, site of a February mass shooting which left 17 people dead in Parkland, Florida, carries a sign as she joins students and gun control advocates holding the "March for Our Lives" event demanding gun control after recent school shootings at a rally in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
A girl holds a sign while rallying in the street during the "March for Our Lives" demanding stricter gun control laws at the Miami Beach Senior High School, in Miami, Florida, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Javier Galeano
A girl holds a sign while rallying in the street during the "March for Our Lives" demanding stricter gun control laws at the Miami Beach Senior High School, in Miami, Florida, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Javier Galeano
Attendees are seen before students and gun control advocates hold the "March for Our Lives" event demanding gun control after recent school shootings at a rally in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Thayer
Attendees are seen before students and gun control advocates hold the "March for Our Lives" event demanding gun control after recent school shootings at a rally in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Thayer
A sign is seen before students and gun control advocates hold the "March for Our Lives" event demanding gun control after recent school shootings at a rally in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Thayer
As seen from the Newseum building, students and gun control advocates participate in the "March for Our Lives" event demanding gun control after recent school shootings at a rally in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
Participants hold up signs as students and gun control advocates hold the "March for Our Lives" event demanding gun control after recent school shootings at a rally in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
Attendees are seen before students and gun control advocates hold the "March for Our Lives" event demanding gun control after recent school shootings at a rally in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Thayer
Attendees are seen before students and gun control advocates hold the "March for Our Lives" event demanding gun control after recent school shootings at a rally in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Thayer
Attendees are seen before students and gun control advocates hold the "March for Our Lives" event demanding gun control after recent school shootings at a rally in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Thayer
A protester holds a gun control sign during a "March For Our Lives" demonstration demanding gun control in New York City, U.S. March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Young girls wave down at marchers from the balcony of the Newseum building as students and gun control advocates hold the "March for Our Lives" event demanding gun control after recent school shootings at a rally in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
Participants carry signs and show slogans on their hands as students and gun control advocates hold the "March for Our Lives" event demanding gun control after recent school shootings at a rally in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein TEMPLATE OUT.
Participants carry signs and show slogans on their hands as students and gun control advocates hold the "March for Our Lives" event demanding gun control after recent school shootings at a rally in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
People take part in the "March for Our Lives", an organized demonstration to end gun violence in the United States, outside the U.S. Consulate in Sao Paulo, Brazil, March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Nacho Doce
People take part in the "March for Our Lives", an organized demonstration to end gun violence in the United States, outside the U.S. Consulate in Sao Paulo, Brazil, March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Nacho Doce
Participants carry signs and show slogans on their hands as students and gun control advocates hold the "March for Our Lives" event demanding gun control after recent school shootings at a rally in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Participants hold up signs as students and gun control advocates hold the "March for Our Lives" event demanding gun control after recent school shootings at a rally in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
People take part in the "March for Our Lives", an organized demonstration to end gun violence in the United States, outside the U.S. Consulate in Sao Paulo, Brazil, March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Nacho Doce
As seen from the Newseum building, students and gun control advocates participate in the "March for Our Lives" event demanding gun control after recent school shootings at a rally in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
As seen from the Newseum building, students and gun control advocates participate in the "March for Our Lives" event demanding gun control after recent school shootings at a rally in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
As seen from the Newseum building, students and gun control advocates participate in the "March for Our Lives" event demanding gun control after recent school shootings at a rally in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
Nicole Spriggs, left, and April Amarsh, right, cry as they arrive at the "March for Our Lives" rally in support of gun control in Washington, Saturday, March 24, 2018. They were among friends and family attending in memory of college bound Jamahri Sydnor, 17, who was shot to death in August 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Participants hold up signs as students and gun control advocates hold the "March for Our Lives" event demanding gun control after recent school shootings at a rally in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Activists wear red robes and white bonnets based on "The Handmaid's Tale" before the "March for Our Lives", an organized demonstration to end gun violence, in downtown Houston, Texas, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Loren Elliott
People gather to walk with the "March for Our Lives", an organized demonstration to end gun violence, in downtown Houston, Texas, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Loren Elliott
Protesters hold photos of victims of school shootings during a "March For Our Lives" demonstration demanding gun control in New York City, U.S. March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
A woman wears stickers in protest of gun violence before the "March for Our Lives", an organized demonstration to end gun violence, in downtown Houston, Texas, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Loren Elliott
People take part in a "die in" during a demonstration in favour of tighter gun control in the United States, outside the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
Demonstrators gather as students and gun control advocates hold the "March for Our Lives" event demanding gun control after recent school shootings at a rally in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
A demonstrator chants as students and gun control advocates hold the "March for Our Lives" event demanding gun control after recent school shootings at a rally in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
A woman walks past two military vehicles set up to block an entry road to Pennsylvania Ave. as students and gun control advocates gather to hold the "March for Our Lives" event demanding gun control after recent school shootings at a rally in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2018. . REUTERS/Leah Millis
A boy holds a sign while rallying in the street during "March for Our Lives," demanding stricter gun control laws, at the Miami Beach Senior High School in Miami, Florida, U.S. March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Javier Galeano
People hold signs while rallying in the street during "March for Our Lives," demanding stricter gun control laws, at the Miami Beach Senior High School in Miami, Florida, U.S. March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Javier Galeano
Students dance while rallying in the street during "March for Our Lives," demanding stricter gun control laws, at the Miami Beach Senior High School in Miami, Florida, U.S. March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Javier Galeano
People take part in a demonstration in favour of tighter gun control in the United States, outside the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
Demonstrators join students and gun control advocates for the "March for Our Lives" event demanding gun control after recent school shootings at a rally in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
People take part in a demonstration in favour of tighter gun control in the United States, outside the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
A woman holds a placard as she protests with school children during a rally to show solidarity with U.S. students in their attempt to end gun violence in America, in central Sydney, Australia, March 24, 2018. REUTERS/James Redmayne
Women hold placards as they protest with school children during a rally to show solidarity with U.S. students in their attempt to end gun violence in America, in central Sydney, Australia, March 24, 2018. REUTERS/James Redmayne
School children hold placards during a rally to show solidarity with U.S. students in their attempt to end gun violence in America, in central Sydney, Australia, March 24, 2018. REUTERS/James Redmayne
Women hold placards as they protest with school children during a rally to show solidarity with U.S. students in their attempt to end gun violence in America, in central Sydney, Australia, March 24, 2018. REUTERS/James Redmayne
Jack Crozier, who lost his sister in the Dunblane shooting, speaks during the Edinburgh March For Our Lives anti-gun rally outside the US Consulate in Edinburgh. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday March 24, 2018. See PA story PROTEST March. Photo credit should read: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

The letter, first published on the 22nd anniversary of the Dunblane shooting, stated: "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."

Ms Ross also read out a message from Mick North, who lost his daughter Sophie in the 1996 massacre.

Ali Ross (centre), who lost her sister in the Dunblane shooting, attends the Edinburgh March For Our Lives anti-gun rally outside the US Consulate in Edinburgh. Pic: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
Ali Ross (centre), who lost her sister in the Dunblane shooting, attends the Edinburgh March For Our Lives anti-gun rally outside the US Consulate in Edinburgh. Pic: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

He said: "The only factor common to all mass shootings, indeed to all shootings, is that someone has a gun, and in the USA it is just far too easy to get hold of one.

"If the USA really wants to turn its thoughts, tears and prayers after each mass shooting into something positive, it has to deal with the easy availability of firearms."

Catherine Wilson, who lost her sister Mhairi in Dunblane, also took part in the event, reading her poem For Parkland/The Public I.

She said: "I am so overwhelmed and incredibly impressed by the teenagers in America who are walking out of schools and who are demonstrating today.

"Today is a really important mix of both showing that anger and fighting against something that is incorrect, but also offering that support and that love really, to the students in America."

She added: "I think we are at a breaking point, I think we're at the point where the generation that I am part of now and the younger generation who are at school... have seen so many school shootings in their lifetime.

"They have continually grown up in the shadow of school shootings, and they are the point where they just cannot take it any more."

While the Dunblane shooting led to the UK enforcing some of the strictest firearms legislation in the world, the US gun lobby has resisted change.

"I don't understand why the freedom to own a gun is seen as more important than seeing your grandchildren grow up, or feeling safe when you go and watch a film in the cinema, or being able to go to the park, or not having your children have to miss education because they're spending hours on these drills," Ms Wilson said.

"I don't understand what is so precious about your guns that is more precious than human life."

She added: "I am hopeful. I am praying that we make this change because it is a necessity."

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