Seven national newspapers have rejected an ad for the British Shooting
Sports Council which argues that the police, rather than the shooting
community, were to blame for the Dunblane massacre.
The BSSC had planned to run the ad throughout the national press, but it
was turned down by the Daily and Sunday Express, the Daily and Sunday
Mirror, the People, the Daily Record and the Sun. However, the Daily
Mail and the Daily Telegraph have already run the ad.
Publishers have criticised the BSSC for rushing to release the ad and
for criticising the police. The copyline reads: ‘The shooting sports
community did not have the power to issue or revoke Thomas Hamilton’s
firearm certificate. The police did.’
The Daily Express’s editorial management team was consulted about the ad
and helped to decide not to run it.
The ban has been attacked by Graham Downing, a council member of the
BSSC: ‘Even when presented with a sensible and rational ad, a number of
papers are not prepared to countenance our views. I think that’s very
The Daily Mail ran the ad in all of its editions except the Scottish
Mike Ironside, ad director of the Daily Mail, said: ‘We would carry it
again. There is nothing wrong with it in terms of the law.’