Saturday, November 10, 2007

The School Shooting in Finland

Finnish gun law:
"The ownership and use of firearms is regulated by the Firearms Act of 1998.Firearms can only be obtained with an acquisition license, which can be applied for at the local police for €32. A separate license is required for each individual firearm and family members can have parallel licenses to use the same firearm. According to law, the firearms must be stored in a locked space..."
These are tighter controls than in most US states.

Someone writes:
I'm quite sure guns are not allowed in schools (what country are they allowed in?).

Switzerland for one.

Where, interestingly enough, we rarely if ever hear of a school shooting, and crime rates are quite low (far lower than gun-free Britain, in fact).

Who would try to shoot up a school where the staff can be armed?

The US was once constituted in the same way, in most jurisdictions... school shootings in the US became a visible problem only after a federal law was passed some years ago that forbade guns on school grounds.

What maniac can resist a building full of defenseless children and adults?

As the EU began to emerge as a political union, a condition of membership in this new club was a tightening of member countries' gun laws (in some cases they were already strict, in others, less so). I believe the restrictive 1998 Finnish law is an artifact of that process.

Create a corral full of defenseless people, and you can guarantee that sooner or later a maniac will show up to harm them, with or without a gun.

If they show up with a gun, some politicians will use this as a pretext for further "reasonable" gun control measures (and other "protective" powers), creating more defenseless people in the process (except for the politicians, of course, who get armed guards, but their lives are worth more than those of mere peasants).

As crime (including shootings) climbs, the cycle continues.

In whose interest could such seemingly counterproductive laws be? Whose indeed:

Such concerns are among those that have led Switzerland and Norway NOT to join the EU.

Both countries have similarly unrestrictive gun laws, low crime, and few shootings. Much like most of the US, outside of a few crime and corruption hellholes like New York, Chicago, LA and DC, where legal guns are either banned or tightly restricted.

Norway, in addition, has had the experience prior to WWII of one of its politicians reassuring them they did not need their guns anymore, then inviting the Nazis in for a feast at the corral. (You can read about this politician by googling "Quisling". You can find out about the man, as well as the species of politician he represents, a species that is global in range and far from extinct).

Such lessons were not lost on the postwar Norwegians, though they seem to have been lost (or never considered) on the part of some other folks.

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