Wednesday, Sept 24, 2008
Finland’s Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen calls for significant change in gun laws after a school shooting that claimed 11 lives.
“We have to tighten the law significantly,” Vanhanen told Finnish television late Tuesday.
“In terms of handguns that can easily be carried about, we have to think about whether they should be available for private people. In my opinion, they belong on shooting ranges,” he declared.
On Tuesday, 22-year-old Matti Juhani Saari, entered the Kauhajoki School of Hospitality just before 11am local time (0800GMT) on Tuesday, and started firing in a classroom where students were taking an exam.
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Jari Neulaniemi, the officer heading the investigation, said the gunman left two handwritten messages at the school dormitory saying he had planned the attack since 2002 and that he “hated the human race”.
According to Finland’s Interior Minister, Anne Holmlund, the man had been questioned by police on Monday for posting several videos on YouTube but was released because police had no legal basis to detain him.
With some 1.6 million firearms in private hands, Finland ranks fifth in the world for civilian per capita gun ownership, behind the United States, Yemen, Iraq and Switzerland.
Last November, 18-year-old gunman Pekka-Eric Auvinen killed six students, a school nurse and the principal before shooting himself in the head at a high school near Helsinki.
This article was posted: Wednesday, September 24, 2008 at 4:07 am