Sunday, September 28, 2008

Finland may ban guns in wake of school shooting

In the wake of a mass school shooting in Finland, the country's Prime Minister has suggested banning private handgun ownership:
FINLAND'S Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen yesterday raised the prospect of radical reform of the country's gun laws in the wake of Tuesday's mass college shooting in which 11 people died, suggesting private handgun ownership should be banned.

Declaring a day of national mourning, Mr Vanhanen said: "We have to tighten the law significantly ... handguns should no longer be used outside shooting ranges.

"In terms of handguns that can easily be carried about, we have to think about whether they should be available for private people."

The country has a long tradition of hunting and weapons-bearing, with about 1.6 million firearms in private hands - the third in the world behind the US and Yemen, studies say.

But Tuesday's mass shooting, the second rampage in 10 months, has prompted renewed controversy about the role of guns in Finnish society.

Matti Juhani Saari, 22, on Tuesday shot fellow students at a vocational college in Kauhajoki, western Finland, where he was studying hospitality.

Article here. Not to make light of this tragic event, but doesn't it seem ironic that the mass-murderer was a college student studying "hospitality"?

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