A pro-weapons advocate, Otso Vainio claims that the hysterical media has distorted the scope of the problem.
â€œThe [average] amount of people killed with legal guns in Finland, I canâ€™t remember exact figures, but it was two point something annually. Thirty-nine people die from the heat of the sauna annually.â€
The gun debate will continue to divide Finland, but if further shooting tragedies happen, it may eventually spur Finnish lawmakers to make citizens surrender their firearms.
If the Finns want to keep their guns, they are going to have to fight to keep them. One of the big problems I think European gun owners have had is they fall backÂ reflexivelyÂ to the sporting position. The problem with that is, no one is going to agree to preserve your sport over what they see as social ills. Pit sports against the public good and sports are going to lose.
It becomes a very different argument when you frame it as removing people’s ability to defend their own lives. Having spoken with some Europeans about this issue, I will say I don’t know how much this will resonate with them versus how much it resonates with Americans. Some Europeans I’ve spoken with are very committed to the idea that protection is a community function rather than an individual function. In the US, even fairly liberal, lefty people fundamentally believe in the right to use lethal force in self-protection, even if they aren’t completely comfortable with the idea of guns. A big aspect to our success here has been to get ourselves on the side of individual self-protection, and our opponents on the other side of that debate. In any political struggle, you want to pass your position off as the mainstream position, and paint your opponent as a nutty extremist. What’s the issue in Finland? I don’t know. Defense against bears maybe? Then there’s also this kind of bear, which has occasionally been known to wander into Finland.