Americans Against Gun Violence brought Dr. Michael North of Scotland to be our keynote speaker at our annual dinner in Sacramento, California on Saturday, October 21. Dr. North lost his five year-old daughter, Sophie, in the 1996 mass shooting at the elementary school in Dunblane, Scotland, in which Sophie’s teacher and 15 other children were killed and ten other students and three other children were wounded. Great Britain already had a ban on automatic and semi-automatic long guns, including so-called “assault rifles,” but the Dunblane massacre was committed by a man who legally owned the handguns he used to commit his horrific crime. Following the Dunblane mass shooting, Dr. North helped lead the successful campaign to completely ban civilian ownership of handguns within less than two years. There hasn’t been another school shooting in Britain since the handgun ban went into effect, and the rate of gun related homicides in Britain is currently 1/100th the rate in the United States.
In addition to speaking at our annual dinner, we lined up several other speaking engagements for Dr. North while he was in California, including an interview on Sacramento’s Capital Public Radio “Insight” program on the morning of Thursday, October 26. Coincidentally, the mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, in which 18 people were killed and 13 other people were injured, occurred on the evening of Wednesday, October 25, after the “Insight” interview had already been scheduled. You can listen to the interview with Dr. North by clicking on the “Listen” icon under the heading, “How Other Countries Reduce Mass Shootings” at this link.