Father of Dunblane massacre victim has message for Florida students

Each mass shooting in America echoes in the hills of Scotland, reminding Mick North of his own past. In 1996, North and other parents rushed to Dunblane Primary School after a gunman armed with four handguns opened fire and killed 16 grade school children and one teacher. One of those children was North's five-year-old daughter, Sophie. 

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Mick North

CBS News

The tragedy devastated the entire country and led to a nationwide campaign to ban private handguns, reports CBS News' Roxana Saberi. In one year, North and other parents pushed politicians to pass some of the toughest gun legislation in the world. 

Now, North -- who has traveled to the U.S. to advocate for tighter gun control in the America -- has a message for Florida students calling for action: "Keep reminding people what happened to you. Don't take any notice of people who say you're only teenagers."

He wants them to know that while tragedy can tear families apart, it can also give people the power to create change.

Today in Britain, all handguns and semi-automatic firearms are prohibited. You can only use manually-loaded rifles and shotguns for hunting or at shooting clubs.

Sherman Strobel, a member of one of those shooting clubs, said getting a gun license from the police can take months.

"They check how many parking tickets you've had, whether you've ever had a drink and drive," Strobel said.

The police will also visit your home to make sure you store your gun in a safe and may ask your doctor about your mental health.

"If you have had depression or anything like that, you will not get a firearms license. Ever. Which is probably a bit harsh," Strobel.

At Beretta Gun Shop in central London, general manager Tim King said the regulations seem to be working.

"I've been selling guns for 40 years legally and as far as I know in that 40 years, none of those guns have caused a problem or our customers have caused a problem," King said.

Twenty-two years since the shooting in Dunblane, Britain has experienced only one deadly mass shooting. The U.S. has had more than 75.

In 1996, the same year as the mass shooting in Dunblane, a gunman in Australia killed 35 people, which led the country to pass sweeping gun reforms. Germany did the same after school shootings in 2002 and 2009. In those countries, gun violence has not disappeared, but deadly mass shootings are very rare.