Dunblane families join US gun law protest in Edinburgh


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Jack Crozier and his sister Ellie

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Jack Crozier and his sister Ellie support the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas school

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Relatives of the Dunblane shooting victims have joined a demonstration outside the US consulate in Edinburgh backing calls for tougher gun controls.

The event was one of more than 800 being staged around the world to show solidarity with the March For Our Lives movement in Washington DC.

It was set up after a gunman killed 17 students and teachers at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school in Florida.

Several hundred people also gathered outside the US embassy in London .

Speakers at the Edinburgh event included the family of Dunblane victim Emma Crozier.

Jack Crozier and his sister Ellie said they wanted to show change can happen and encourage the Parklands students in their campaign.

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

‘Message of hope’

Jack, 24, revealed he will be flying to Florida next week to speak to survivors of the Parklands shooting.

He said: “The momentum is so high in the US, we are here to show them they have support from all over the world.

“I’ve spoken personally to a few of the survivors and families and they say they take a lot of hope from the message we sent out to them.

“I am flying out for the week to tell them we’ve been through this, we know what they are feeling and to show them what it looks like 22 years later.”

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Andrew and Ali Ross lost their sister Joanna in the Dunblane shooting

Ali Ross and her brother Andrew – who lost their sister Joanna in the tragedy – said it was important to them to come and show support for those marching in America today.

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

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.”

Her brother Andrew told the BBC: “We want them to know we are with them and we want them to succeed. It won’t be easy but we show the support we can.”

Catherine Wilson, who lost her sister Mhairi in the 1996 mass shooting, also attended Saturday’s event which is supported by the Dunblane No Guns movement.

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Catherine Wilson has written moving poems about her experience of loss at Dunblane

She read her poem “For Parkland/The Public I”.

She said: “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.”

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PA

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Campaigners lay down on the ground in London

In London, several hundred people including American actor Josh Gad gathered outside the new US embassy in Vauxhall.

The crowd joined in chants and held banners with slogans including “protect kids not guns” and “books not bullets”.

Jon Cornejo, a campaigner from Amnesty International who was at the London protest, told BBC News: “I think what’s happened after the Parkland shooting is really important.

“This is the beginning of a movement. They are mobilising together to call on US politicians to bring in sensible gun control laws and I think this will be the start of something big.”

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@SabrinaParkerUK/Twitter

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Protesters in London fell silent for three minutes

The protesters in London also lay on the ground and fell silent for three minutes as part of a mass “die-in” to commemorate all the victims killed in US school shootings.

Among those at the rally was Julia Langfitt who moved to Surrey from Maryland two years ago. She said: “It’s ridiculous how many children are killed every week and still nothing is done about it.”

Ms Langfitt’s 16-year-old daughter, Kathrine, said her friends who still live in the US “go to class knowing they could be killed”.

“No-one should ever be that scared at school,” she added.

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EPA

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The Washington will see thousands march to the White House

Tens of thousands of students are expected to march on the White House for the main protest event in Washington.

Immediately following the MSD High School shootings, students demanded that the US government pass “meaningful” gun legislation.

They have called for “prioritising the lives and safety of American children over campaign donations from the National Rifle Association”.

Message of support

Earlier this month, survivors and relatives of the Dunblane tragedy, in which 16 children and a teacher were shot dead by Thomas Hamilton, sent a message of support to students affected by the Parkland school shooting .

A letter was sent to Marjory Stoneman Douglas School on the 22nd anniversary of the Dunblane murders.

Ten family members of victims and survivors also recorded a video message entitled Dunblane Stands With Parkland.



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