Americans Against Gun Violence president, Dr. Bill Durston, interviewed Dr. Michael North on November 7, 2021, during a meeting conducted via Zoom that was open to the general public. The one hour interview can be viewed by clicking on this link.
Dr. North, who prefers to be addressed by his nickname, “Mick,” lost his five year old daughter, Sophie, in the mass shooting at the elementary school in Dunblane, Scotland, in 1996, in which fifteen other children and their teacher were also killed by a man who legally owned the handguns he used to commit the mass murder. The shooter also wounded three other teachers and 12 other students before shooting and killing himself. In the aftermath of the horrific shooting, Mick helped lead a successful campaign to completely ban civilian ownership of handguns in Great Britain. (Britain already had a ban on civilian ownership of automatic and semi-automatic long guns.) There have been no further school shootings since the handgun ban went into effect, and the rate of gun related deaths in Britain is currently 1/60th the rate in the United States.
Mick wrote a book, Dunblane: Never Forget, that was published in 2000. In the book, Mick discusses the circumstances surrounding the Dunblane massacre and the response to the shooting in detail, including how he and . In the book also reveals that his wife, Barbara, died of breast cancer less than three years before their daughter and only child, Sophie, was murdered.
The November 7 interview begins with Mick reading the title of Chapter Four in Dunblane: Never Forget, “The Thirteenth of March,” and the subtitle “Bye, Soph, see you this evening,” the last words that he spoke to his five year-old daughter on the morning of March 13, 1996, as he dropped her off at school. The interview continues with Mick discussing other chapters in the book, including how he and the other grieving Dunblane parents eventually overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles in getting a complete ban on civilian handgun ownership adopted within less than two years after the Dunblane massacre. In the interview, Mick also reflects on the failure of the United States to take similar measures after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.
Dunblane: Never Forget is out of print, and hard copies are being re-sold at high prices, but an electronic version can be acquired for about $10. Americans Against Gun Violence urges everyone who seriously interested in ending our country’s shameful epidemic of gun violence to read the book and to view the interview with Mick North.