Professor of Criminology at & Public Policy, University of Brighton

On 13 March is the 25th anniversary Time the appalling massacre at a primary school in Dunblane, Scotland

The death of 16 young children and their teacher was a terrifying moment in the UK The tragedy ultimately resulted in an almost complete ban on private ownership of handguns And as many parts of the world continue to wonder what it takes to make similar bold considerations about gun control it’s worth taking a look back at how it happened

Britain’s first mass shooting took place a few years before Dunblane. In a small Berkshire town, a man had killed 16 people in 1987

This incident did not result in any major changes, however, as the gun lobby managed to fend off calls for stricter gun controls.Automatic rifles were banned (the Hungerford killer had used an AK47 assault rifle, hardly a civilian rifle), but the adviser Firearms Committee, full of representatives from the shooting lobby, was set up to advise the government on gun safety issues. “Safer shooting” was his priority, not gun control

After the Dunblane massacre, calls were made to ban handguns. This time lobbyists could not dismiss the tragedy as a “one-off” The fact that the victims were almost exclusively five- and six-year-old children sparked unprecedented outrage and made it difficult for lobbyists to decipher tighter controls than “knee-jerk reactions”

The government at the time attempted to resolve the issue through an in-depth investigation, but a grassroots campaign called Snowdrops forced MPs to reject the investigation’s cautious compromise proposals, and Parliament voted to ban handguns beyond 22 caliber (as used by Dunblane for such a lethal effect)

No part of the world remains untouched by mass weapon violence Political scientist Steffen Hurka has investigated mass shootings in Europe and found that only a few incidents prompt countries to tighten their gun laws. He has found that the emergence of a political “champion “(Like the Snowdrop Campaign, which had such a big impact after Dunblane) was particularly important to reform, especially when this champion is embraced by a mainstream party

In fact, it happened after Dunblane when Tony Blair’s New Labor accepted the call for change, Hurka says, change is even more likely if general elections loom New Labor won the UK general election in 1997, recognizing its commitment to legislation, which came in handy in 1998 all handguns prohibited

In contrast, reform can be thwarted if a powerful and organized gun lobby (and a significant firearms industry) offers strong resistance Widespread gun ownership and an active “gun rights culture” can also help thwart political changes

It has been argued that after mass shooting incidents in the US, it is possible to spot what is known as a “shooting cycle” at work. The opposition only needs to hold the pressure for change for a relatively short time to be effective as the days progress and weeks the most acute pressure for change tends to decrease, other news pushes the mass shootings from the front pages and the “shooting cycle” ends, the possibility of reform is lost

All of this explains the limited progress in gun control in the US and after Hungerford in the UK, and also the rather dramatic progress in gun control measures after Dunblane

A growing community of interdisciplinary weapons scientists are trying to learn from these earlier efforts. We are using the past to understand what needs to be done to protect the public and reduce the risks posed by underregulated weapons, including investigation of loopholes in gun legislation, insufficient enforcement of existing gun laws, and the spread and trade in small arms

We Learn More About Illicit Arms Markets, Including Supply, Demand, and Pricing While the field used to be dominated by often narrowly conceived American studies, a broad, emerging agenda is now in sight

A conference hosted by the University of Arizona in 2017 (ironically, just a week after the shooting in Las Vegas that killed 61 people) pushed this new agenda forward by developing a better understanding of a people’s bond Firearms can more effectively address the risks associated with poor regulation, firearms proliferation and abuse. Likewise, the links between an informed research community and political support for sensible gun law reform could increase the hegemony of the gun rights lobby in the US – so the National Rifle Association – question

The dangers of gun proliferation, firearm abuse and normalization of gun ownership in many parts of the world suggest that there is little time to lose. Nearly three quarters of a million people die (directly or indirectly) from the each year Consequences of Gun Violence It is believed that there are nearly 900 million firearms worldwide, with around 10 million being added each year, 95% of them in the hands of men

Even in the safest of societies, there is still much work to be done to stem the firearm tide. Horrible as it was, the horrific gunfire at Dunblane 25 years ago was a real wake-up call

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Dunblane

World News – UK – Dunblane 25 Years Later: How School Mass Shooting Changed British Gun Law

Source: https://theconversation.com/dunblane-25-years-on-how-a-mass-school-shooting-changed-british-gun-laws-156702