For once we can discuss a school shooting that did not occur in the USA. Yahoo News reports on the incident that took place today in Kauhajoki, 180 miles northwest of Helsinki. Nine people are reported dead and an undetermined number wounded. The gunman shot and killed himself. (Big hat tip to Il Principe)
The shootings happened almost a year after another gunman killed eight people and himself at a school in southern Finland, an attack that triggered a fierce debate about gun laws in this Nordic nation with deep-rooted traditions of hunting in the sub-Arctic wilderness.
With 1.6 million firearms in private hands, Finland is an anomaly in Europe, lagging behind only the United States and Yemen in civilian gun ownership, studies show.
Last year's shooter was named Pekka-Eric Auvinen, described as a bullied 18-year-old outcast. He opened fire at his high school in southern Finland on Nov. 7th, killing six students, a school nurse and the principal before ending his own life with a gunshot to the head.
Proponents of gun ownership naturally are reluctant to accept that proliferation of guns and their availability seem to go hand in hand with gun violence. Media coverage probably precludes the possibility of confirming if Yemen suffers from the same ills as Finland and the US, but I'll bet they do.
After Auvinen's rampage, the government said it would raise the minimum age for buying guns from 15 to 18, but insisted there was no need for sweeping changes to Finland's gun laws.
No need for sweeping changes, heaven forbid.
Here's the CNN take on it.
What's your opinion? What do you make of the Youtube connection? What about the bullying factor?
Here's the CNN update.