Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

UK parents demand US gun control

Dylan Hockley's parents Ian and Nicole called for the introduction of new gun control laws (AP)

The parents of a British boy shot in last month's United States school massacre have called for gun control laws to be passed immediately.

Dylan Hockley was one of 20 children and six teachers killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, by gunman Adam Lanza.

The six-year-old had moved to the US with his family, including older brother Jake, from Eastleigh in Hampshire two years ago.

Talking to the BBC, his father Ian said: "The unthinkable has happened. All the shootings that have come before have indeed been terrible tragedies, but now it's sunk so low that very small children have now been the target of this.

"How could it possibly get worse? If they cannot address this now, it's as if they think they can never address it and they will give up and this will go on."

During the interview, Dylan's mother Nicole told how she looked for her son at the school after the shootings. "After a while, as the kids were all leaving with their parents, you just start wandering around thinking, 'Where's mine?'," she said.

"The police confirmed that 20 children had been shot and the room erupted. And I remember I started shaking - and I just couldn't stop for the life of me," said Mrs Hockley.

Dylan's body was found in the embrace of his classroom assistant, Anne Marie Murphy.

"Dylan was wrapped in Mrs Murphy's arms," said Mrs Hockley. "She was protecting several children, but Dylan was the one that was actually in her arms. And that helps a little bit."

President Barack Obama is expected to put pressure on Congress to come up with "concrete proposals" on tighter gun control, a spokesman said. But the move is certain to spark opposition from Republicans in Congress and from pro-gun lobby organisation the National Rifle Association.

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