GUN Finland defends gun laws

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by TL1000RSquid, Nov 10, 2007.

  1. TL1000RSquid

    TL1000RSquid ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    By JARI TANNER, Associated Press Writer Fri Nov 9, 5:15 PM ET

    HELSINKI, Finland - A teenage killer's deadly school rampage has put Finns on the defensive about their relationship to guns.

    With 1.6 million firearms in private hands, the Nordic nation is an anomaly in Europe, lagging behind only the U.S. and Yemen in civilian gun ownership, studies show.

    The government said Friday it would raise the minimum age for buying guns from 15 to 18, but insisted there was no need for sweeping changes to gun laws shaped by deep-rooted traditions of hunting in the sub-Arctic wilderness.

    "If you look at the rate of homicides with firearms (in Finland), the figure is very low," Interior Ministry spokesman Ilkka Salmi said. "People using guns are hunters. They live in rural areas. It's part of the life over there."

    According to a government study in 2002, 14 percent of homicides in Finland are gun-related.

    International gun control activists have urged the Finns to rethink their laws in the wake of Wednesday's tragedy.

    Finns are sensitive to their international image, and often complain their country is portrayed as a gloomy northern outpost of Europe, where long dark winters drive people to binge drinking, suicide or random outbursts of violence.

    Wednesday's bloodshed did little to help. Pekka-Eric Auvinen, described by police as a bullied 18-year-old outcast, opened fire at his high school in southern Finland. He killed six students, a school nurse and the principal before ending his own life with a gunshot to the head.

    "There are all kinds of people living in Finland, like everywhere else," said Tero Aaltonen, a customer in a Helsinki gun shop. "But I rather think it's the influence of the media and all the things people are exposed to that might make someone do a thing like that."

    Auvinen, who had no previous criminal record and belonged to a shooting club in central Helsinki, shot the victims with a .22-caliber pistol that he bought from a local gun store days before the attack.

    Police revealed Friday that Auvinen had settled for the pistol after being denied a license for a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun.

    "The application was rejected because a 9 mm gun is considered too powerful ... for target practice shooting," Detective Superintendent Tero Haapala told The Associated Press. "He was recommended to get a .22-caliber gun."

    After Wednesday's shooting drew international attention to Finland's gun culture, the Interior Ministry issued a statement saying firearm sales were "strictly controlled."

    Before granting a weapons permit, police "assess the applicant's suitability to posses a firearm, his or her way of life, behavior and possible mental health problems," the statement said. Applicants must prove also they have a legitimate need for a gun, such as hunting or target practice. Self-defense is not a valid reason.

    Following the school shooting, police found Internet postings by Auvinen that seemed to predict the massacre.

    Gun control activists said the shooting at the Jokela High School in Tuusula, some 30 miles north of Helsinki, proved the need for stricter gun laws in Finland.

    "Compared to other European countries, Finland has a serious gun problem," said Rebecca Peters, director of the London-based International Action Network on Small Arms.

    Finland has some 650,000 licensed gun owners, about 13 percent of the population of 5.2 million, many of them hunters, the Interior Ministry said.

    "Almost every Finnish family has a hunting gun at home," said William Wadstein, a gun shop owner in Helsinki. "We are used to seeing guns."

    He added that Finnish children are brought up knowing that guns are not toys: "Guns are very, very dangerous things. They are used for hunting, not murdering."

    Studies by the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey rank the country third in the world in civilian gun ownership. In Europe, only Switzerland comes close — and each member of Switzerland's militia army is allowed to keep his gun after completing military service.

    Efforts to tighten gun control started some years ago, led by left-wing and pacifist groups. But the anti-gun lobby in Finland is weak, and the country has been known to defend its traditions of widespread gun ownership in the European Union.

    Finland had previously insisted on keeping an age limit of 15 years for gun purchases in discussions with other EU nations about common rules on firearms.

    But a government committee proposed changing the law Friday to prohibit minors from buying guns, although they would still be allowed to use them under parental supervision, the Interior Ministry said.

    "It's obvious that this kind of tragic incident has probably sped up the decision," Salmi said.

    He noted, however, that the change could not have prevented Wednesday's massacre: Auvinen was 18.

    ___

    Associated Press writers Tomislav Skaro in Helsinki, Karl Ritter in Stockholm, Sweden, and Bradley Klapper in Geneva contributed to this report.

    (This version CORRECTS that Auvinen did not have a hunting permit.)

    ===

    Sounds like their laws are already strict enough.
     
  2. JaimeZX

    JaimeZX Formerly of :Sep 2001: fame - Also: Sprout Crew OT Supporter

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    :werd: Sounds like they're as bad as Kalifornia already. But better than pretty much the rest of Europe.
     
  3. Dr. Fuckface

    Dr. Fuckface Wheelguns: when it absolutely, positively has to g

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    why isn't switzerland considered gun-rich? and israel?
     
  4. T0nyGTSt

    T0nyGTSt New Member

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    ' International gun control activists??? '

    who are these faggots?
     
  5. JaimeZX

    JaimeZX Formerly of :Sep 2001: fame - Also: Sprout Crew OT Supporter

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    The UN. :mamoru:
     
  6. TL1000RSquid

    TL1000RSquid ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    If they're going by privately owned firearms, they may not be counting the take home swiss guns since they are gov property.
    Israel wasn't in Europe last I checked thats probably why it wasn't mentioned, I'm curious about the fore E. Bloc country's though I hear some of them are pretty open firearms wise.
     
  7. TL1000RSquid

    TL1000RSquid ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    She's british since she already fucked over her own people, I guess it wasn't enough for her she wants to fuck over people in other countries too, I hope she gets cunt cancer.
     
  8. Paul Revere

    Paul Revere OT Supporter

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    :rofl: is he joking?
     
  9. D-FENS

    D-FENS New Member

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    Didn't the article just state how low Finlands gun crime rates were?
    So, regardless of the crime rates, allowing gun ownership is a "serious gun problem"?
    Why can't these asshole stick to fucking over their own countries?
     
  10. Dsking85

    Dsking85 New Member

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    "self defense is not a valid reason"

    w/e bitch
     
  11. Emfuser

    Emfuser Nuclear Moderator Super Moderator

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    Because they have a firm, yet entirely irrational conviction that disarming a law-abiding populace reduces crime.
     
  12. Dr. Fuckface

    Dr. Fuckface Wheelguns: when it absolutely, positively has to g

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    Yemen was mentioned. Last I checked, it wasn't europe, either. :dunno:
     
  13. TL1000RSquid

    TL1000RSquid ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    Gun ownership in Israel isn't as high as some people think, you see lots of pics from over there of people in civilian clothes with AR's but most of them are off duty military, I dont think getting paperwork for them is to easy there unless you live in one of the Israeli settlements in palistinian territory.

    Found some info

     
  14. VladTemplar

    VladTemplar New Member

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    Just further backs up my idea that Texas has the single most heavily armed citizenry in the world.
     
  15. TL1000RSquid

    TL1000RSquid ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    :dunno: per capita I bet alaska or montana might beat out Tx.
     
  16. 7lvis

    7lvis Guest

    same in australia.

    You can own guns to protect livestock n koalas.

    the only people who carry guns for self defence are police and cash in transit security guards.
     
  17. Paul Revere

    Paul Revere OT Supporter

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    i dont have a source, but i've heard that CA buys/owns a substantial percentage of firearms in the US :dunno:
     
  18. 7lvis

    7lvis Guest

    I heard there was a muslim immigration problem in finland to a degree because of their liberal immigration problems. I imagine less than Sweden and Norway though because it Finland is the smallest of the 3 I think. Something to consider when handing back firearms.
     

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