This letter from Sir Peter Lampl was published in the New York Times following the Virginia Tech school massacre.

The people of Scotland will empathize with those who are grieving in Virginia.

On March 13, 1996, at a school in Dunblane, Scotland, 16 5- and 6-year-olds and their teacher were shot dead in three minutes by a man who legally owned a small arsenal of guns.

But out of this horrific carnage there emerged an opportunity for radical positive change. I had read that in the wake of this tragedy a campaign was being coordinated to ban handguns, so I contacted the organizers to see if I could help.

A couple of days later, I met two fathers who had lost their children in the massacre, and as a result ended up providing money for the campaign, which proved to be enormously successful.

It resulted in new legislation that banned the private ownership of handguns in Britain.

Surely the horror at Virginia Tech provides the opportunity for a similarly radical change in direction in the United States.

Read the original letter here

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