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Dunblane massacre

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The Dunblane massacre occurred at a primary school in the small town of Dunblane[?], Stirling region, Scotland, UK. On Wednesday, March 13, 1996, spree killer Thomas Hamilton (43), walked in to the school armed with two pistols, two revolvers and 743 cartridges and opened fire. He fired 105 rounds with one of his two 9 mm Browning semi-automatic pistols within about 3-4 minutes. Sixteen children of 5-6 years of age and one adult teacher died as a result. Hamilton then committed suicide.

After gaining entry to the school, Hamilton made his way to the gym hall and opened fire on a class, killing or wounding every person present. Fifteen children (all aged between 4 and 5) and a teacher died at the scene. Hamilton then fired one shot with one of his two .357 Smith & Wesson revolvers into his mouth, pointing upwards and dying instantly. A further fifteen children and three adults were rushed to hospital as soon as the emergency services arrived, however one of these children was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. For a thorough timeline of the event, see [1] (http://www.archive.official-documents.co.uk/document/scottish/dunblane/dun03a.htm).

As a result of the tragedy, a government inquiry was held, led by Lord Cullen. Taking into account that Hamilton possessed the firearms legally, this inquiry led to restrictions on centre-fire hand-guns in the United Kingdom. Ironically this angered both the pro-gun lobby (who opposed any restrictions) and the anti-gun lobby (who felt the restrictions were too weak). With the consent of Bob Dylan, a Dunblane musician named Ted Christopher wrote a new verse for "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" in memory of the Dunblane school children and their teacher. The recording of the revised version of the song, which included surviving school children singing chorus and Mark Knopfler on guitar, was released on December 9, 1996 in the UK. The proceeds went to charities for children.

See also: list of massacres, school massacres, Cullen Inquiry[?]

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