On the 13th of March 1996, Thomas Hamilton walked into Dunblane Primary School and killed 16 young children and their teacher, before turning the gun on himself.
This tragedy tore the country apart, it was the first such shooting in the UK since Michael Ryan started shooting up the town of Hungerford almost ten years before. This was worse though, Hamilton killed 16 children and their teacher, who died trying to protect them. At first there seemed no reason for the shootings, it later came out that Hamilton was a borderline pedophile who resented that he was no longer able to look after Scouts, who resented that he could no longer run his boys clubs or take his camping trips. He took his revenge on the community that had rejected him. When he had finished showing the world, he turned the gun on himself.
I remember hearing about it at school; the news came slowly but slowly it spread; 16 children and a teacher had been killed. I thought of my mother, who was working as a nursery teacher at the time, I thought of my younger siblings, who were not much older than the victims. The atmosphere at school changed that day, nobody really knew how to deal with this situation in school surroundings. Public grief was not for the playground.