Thursday, September 25, 2008

Another school shooting in Finland;_ylt=Ak8Zq5uYyuympZKlE.xUDAZ0bBAF

The Scandinavian country suffered another attack on a school from a lone gunman. Both shooters posted videos on YouTube, both were obsessed with Columbine, and both ended their rampages by shooting themselves in the head. The last detail is a common occurrance in mass murders, and the Virginia Tech shooter shared these traits, although he sent his video to NBC News instead of posting it on YouTube. Finland officials are unsure if the latest attacker had a history of mental illness, but the shooter in the 2007 massacre had been treated for depression.
Finland has the second highest teen suicide rate in the European Union (behind Lithuania), and alcoholism is rampant. It is also one of the few European nations where civilian gun ownership rivals that of the US, although the recent shootings have caused some lawmakers to reexamine their gun policies. After the 2007 shooting, the goverment pledged to raise the legal age for buying a gun from 15 to 18, but never did. A 15-year-old in Finland can legally buy a gun. That doesn't seem right, but I'm sure rural Finns, as well as rural and Republican Americans, would disagree. The Finnish tradition of hunting is sure to be a spoke in the wheel of joining the rest of the EU in tighter gun control. Still, guns are not the only problem here. Compared to the US and the rest of Europe, Finland still has a relatively low violent crime rate. Maybe it's because Finland is an empty, cold country, but why is the teen suicide rate so high? As I've said before, mass murders are essentially suicides with a higher body count, and the two students who turned their rage on the schools were two more teen suicides in Finland, with innocent victims.

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