School Shooting in Finland Shatters Myths

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Over and over again, we're told we need to pass gun control laws to prevent mass shootings and things that could easily become mass shootings. After all, we're told, these things just don't happen in other countries.


That's an absurd comment on the surface because, well, we've seen them happen, most recently in Russia, but in plenty of other places before that.

This brings us to school shootings, which are generally thought of as a subset of mass shootings, though the anti-gunners who count them count anytime a bullet crosses school property. Still, we're told over and over that we really should pass more gun laws.

You know, like Finland. There, they have permit requirements to purchase and own firearms and they have gun registration. While Finland used to allow people to get guns for the purposes of personal defense, those days are over. You have to have a good reason to buy a gun.

And we can now see just how well all of that worked:

A 12-year-old student opened fire at a secondary school in southern Finland on Tuesday morning, killing one and seriously wounding two other students, police said. The suspect was later apprehended.

Heavily armed police cordoned off the Viertola school — a large educational institution including lower and upper secondary schools with a total of about 800 students — in the city of Vantaa, just outside the capital, Helsinki, after receiving a call about a shooting incident at 09:08 a.m.

Police said both the suspect and the victims were 12 years old.

One of the students had died instantly after being shot, Chief of Police Ilkka Koskimäki from the Eastern Uusimaa Police Department told a news conference. The other two were seriously wounded, he said.

The weapon used in the shooting was a registered handgun that was licensed to the suspect’s relative, Detective Inspector Kimmo Hyvärinen said.

The suspect was detained in the Helsinki area less than one hour after the shooting with a handgun in his possession, police said. He admitted to the shooting in an initial police hearing but there is no immediate word of the motive, police said, adding that the case is being investigated as a murder and two attempted murders.


Now, in fairness, this wouldn't be counted as a mass shooting by anyone in this country. Even the Gun Violence Archive folks wouldn't count this one.

Yet, let's be perfectly honest for a moment. If they're not going to count this, why count gangland shootings where four or more people are simply shot? The line differentiation seems arbitrary, doesn't it? After all, this one cost someone their life while two others were injured.

Regardless, it very well could have been raised to that level of horror. The reason it didn't had nothing to do with gun control in Finland.

See, they've got almost every gun control law you care to name. Buying and owning a firearm is no simple matter, and yet, a 12-year-old kid got ahold of a gun and killed another with it.

You know, the kind of thing all those regulations are supposed to prevent?

See, the problem here, like most places, is that people think gun control works when the truth of the matter is that there's a lot more going on under the surface.

European nations are safer across the board. Our non-gun homicide rate is higher than many European nations' total homicide rate, for example. That holds true with comparisons to Finland as well.

Gun control isn't the answer because, as in this case, people who want to hurt others can still find a way. For better or worse, European nations have less of a problem with people who want to hurt others.


But that doesn't mean no one there does.

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