While I do feel that the shooting at the Finnish school was tragic, Max Lyons comment is completely out of line as was Megan Meadows’ implication that his “license” was the same as one that would be obtained in the United States. When you examine the facts, this story doesn’t support the SGFS’s central claim that “gun-free zones” prevent crime.
First and foremost, the student’s “license” was not the same thing as a Concealed Handgun License, Carry Permit, etc. in the U.S. It was a registration card. Unlike in the U.S., Finnish citizens are not allowed to purchase weapons without a government “license.” These “licenses” may be purchased from local police offices for €32. A separate license must be purchased for each weapon which may only be legally used by the license holder, or parallel license holders.
According to Finnish law, gun owners must keep their guns securely stored, unloaded, and with critical components removed. They are not allowed to transport their weapons outside of the home except directly to and from a hunting area or range. The gun may not be loaded, and must be kept in a gun case until the owner has arrived at the range or hunting area. In essence, Finland is one big “gun-free zone.”
Given Finland bans guns in public places, whether they are loaded or not, you would think the SGFS would be overjoyed. By their own logic, this shooting was impossible because guns were not allowed on the campus. Instead, we are reminded yet again that criminals do not heed the law. These students were left defenseless in the name of gun control, a decision that resulted in the murder of ten students, Finland’s deadliest school shooting yet.
AFP and Arjun Ramachandran. “Ten Killed as Gunman Goes Berserk in Finland College Rampage.” The Sydney Morning Herald. 24 Sept. 2008. 24 Feb. 2009. <http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/ gunman-goes-berserk-in-murderous-rampage/ 2008/09/24/1222193830488.html>.
“Gun Politics in Finland.” Nation Master Encyclopedia. 24 Feb. 2009. <http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Gun-politics-in-Finland>.
“Gun Politics in Finland.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. 9 Feb. 2009. 24 Feb. 2009. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_Finland>.