US can learn from tragedy say Dunblane victim’s family

Jack Crozier's sister died in the shooting and he hopes Americans can learn from the tragedy.

US can learn from tragedy say Dunblane victim’s family PA Archive
Jack speaking to crowds in Parkland earlier this year.

The younger brother of a girl who was killed in the Dunblane massacre says that Americans could learn from the tragedy.

Jack Crozier was just two years old when his sister Emma was murdered by Thomas Hamilton in the gym hall of Dunblane Primary School on March 13, 1996.

The former Scout leader killed 16 young pupils and their teacher Gwen Mayor before turning the gun on himself.

It remains the deadliest mass-shooting in British history.

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Jack, who travelled to Parkland, Florida in America earlier this year to meet with students affected by the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School, is now planning a trip to Washington for the annual vigil for victims of gun violence.

He believes Americans can learn from the experience of those in Dunblane.

“What happened at Dunblane was horrible, but if we can bring any sort of positivity from that and use what platform we’ve got to help people in America to campaign for change then that’s what we’ll do,” he says.

Following the shooting, most handguns were banned in Britain thanks to campaigns led by families of those killed in the tragedy.

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“We’ve never had another school shooting and thats the real difference from the UK to the US,” Jack says.

“We want to keep this issue front of mind, that’s what’s really important, we want to keep the topic of conversation.

“There are so many things in American politics right now that are contentious issues, but gun control is something that is there to be fixed.”

When Jack, along with his mother, travelled to Florida in solidarity with students standing up against gun violence, he said he was impressed by the “energy” campaigners had for the issue despite their age.

“It was incredible to see the energy that the young campaigners have got,” he said of his time in Parkland following the deadly shooting, where 17 students were killed.

“They’re so engaged at such a young age, these are high school students and I remember what I was like in high school, I wasn’t particularly engaged in politics.

“These students are so angry at what’s happened to them and they’re fighting to change that.”

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Jack is planning to visit Washington in December as part of the annual National Vigil for All Victims of Gun Violence.

Invited by The Newton Foundation, Jack plans to travel alongside other families affected by the Dunblane massacre to the vigil held near Capitol Hill.

Despite part of the journey being subsidised by the The Newton Foundation, the families want to fundraise the money themselves, donating any extra money back to the foundation to help others attend the vigil.

They have set up a Go Fund Me page to ask for donations, with Jack himself participating in a 10K to raise funds.

Ahead of his journey to the US, Jack says that the people of Dunblane still feel a connection with victims of gun violence 22 years on.

“Dunblane happened quite a long time ago but it’s not ancient history, it’s still so close to the bone for us.” Jack adds.

“Everytime these horrible things happen in America, it brings it back home for us.

“I was just a child when Dunblane happened so I don’t know exactly what it was like but you feel what these communities are feeling so you want to support them in anyway you can.”

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