The 'Harry Potter' author reminds that many were 'stunned' there was no legislative action after Sandy Hook
J.K. Rowling is one of the many horrified by the Las Vegas shooting, and in her has reaction Monday the author provides a sharp comparison of the tragedy to her homeland where, after a massacre of schoolchildren, transformative gun legislation was enacted.
Rowling excerpted a CNN article originally published in December 2012 — just days after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School — which revisited a similar tragedy that took place in the Scottish town of Dunblane in 1996. The difference: In the aftermath, “UK lawmakers had passed a ban on the private ownership of all handguns in mainland Britain.”
“The massacre of schoolchildren in Dunblane led to UK gun law reform, which is why many [were] stunned that there was no US change after Sandy Hook,” Rowling tweeted alongside a screen grab of the aforementioned article. Rowling’s initial reaction came hours earlier, when she said, “Just emerged from a fictional world to news of more horror. Thinking of everyone affected by the terrible events in #LasVegas.”
Rowling, an outspoken critic of President Trump and advocate for gun control legislation, included a paragraph from the article that specifically underlines how these oft-discussed laws can make change. “Britain has never had a ‘gun culture’ like that of the United States, but there were about 200,000 legally-registered handguns in Britain before the ban, most owned by sports shooters,” CNN’s Peter Wilkinson writes. “All small-bore pistols, including the .22 caliber, were included in the ban, along with rifles used by target shooters. Penalties for anyone found in possession of illegal firearms range from heavy fines to prison terms of up to 10 years.”
Rowling also featured a quote from the Gun Control Network’s Gill Marshall Andrews: “I don’t think that it would have been possible to make the kind of progress that we have made without that tragedy.”
Sunday night’s mass shooting across the Las Vegas strip from Mandalay Bay, which resulted in at least 58 deaths and 500 more injuries, has prompted a similarly urgent call for legislative action, with celebrities and prominent politicians including Hillary Clinton calling for gun control reform. President Trump did not address the debate in his official remarks, however, and his press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later dismissed it outright, saying “There’s a time and place for a political debate, but now is the time to unite as a country.”