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Washington correspondent Stephen Sakur reports
"Many who had been personally affected took part in the rally"
 real 28k

Sunday, 14 May, 2000, 22:59 GMT 23:59 UK
Dunblane mothers join anti-gun march
DC rally
Part of the huge Washington DC anti-gun protest
The mothers of some of the children murdered by Thomas Hamilton in the Dunblane massacre have taken part in an anti-gun protest in the United States.

Kareen Turner, Alison Crozier and Karen Scott, who each lost a daughter in the 1996 shootings, were in Washington DC for the Million Mom March.

The rally was held to call for a tightening of American gun laws following a series of high-profile killings and shootings involving young people.

Sixteen children and their teacher were killed when Hamilton opened fire at Dunblane Primary School in 1996.

Dunblane mums
The three UK mothers show cause at the rally
The protest in Washington was among 60 which took place across the US, and was expected to draw up to one million marchers.

Mrs Scott, whose five-year-old daughter, Hannah, was killed at Dunblane, gave the opening address at that rally.

She told tens of thousands of grieving mothers, husbands and children: "I know those angels, our angels, are here today.

"They have given us the strength to fight for change.

"We just kept chipping, chipping, chipping and eventually we got what we wanted."

Mrs Crozier told BBC Radio: "The National Rifle Association is huge but mums are bigger.

"There are more mums who want something done. We did it in Scotland, they can do it here if they just stand up and do something about it."

Mrs Turner added: "We want to offer our support to say that we achieved what we actually set out to do after our children were killed at Dunblane.

We have been astounded by the lack of laws

Kareen Turner

She was shocked by American gun laws, and she said: "Since we have been here we have been astounded by the lack of laws.

"You do not have to register guns here in America."

The strength of the gun lobby was also something she criticised. Mrs Turner said: "There is huge resistance. I think people in the street are going to be saying no - this is not acceptable.

"I really believe that they are not far from getting what they are asking for - common sense laws and registration of gun ownership.

"We are not saying we are going to throw these guns away, we are saying if you own a gun we want you to register it."

Bill Clinton
The US President consoles one grieving mother

Ted Christopher, the musician who had a number one hit with the anti-gun song Knockin' On Heaven's Door after the Dunblane shootings, performed on a special stage at the rally.

The marchers called for laws to register and license gun owners, mandatory safety gun locks, limits on gun purchases to one a month, and extensive background checks and "cooling off" periods for buyers.

President Bill Clinton backed the Million Mom March but said "our nationwide fight won't be over tomorrow, no matter how many march".

The National Rifle Association, which represents the US gun rights lobby, denounced the Million Mom March for politicising the issue.

NRA spokesman Bill Powers said his association had pledged $1m this week to start gun safety educational programmes in elementary schools.

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14 May 00 | Americas
Million Mom March against guns
21 Apr 99 | Education
Dunblane offers expert help
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