November 8, 2007
WELL, IT'S CERTAINLY ABOUT THE BEAR IN THE WOODS:
Packing Heat in Helsinki: Why do Finns own so many guns? (Michelle Tsai, Nov. 8, 2007, Slate)
Although gun violence is very rare in Finland, the country has the highest rate of firearm ownership in Europe and the third highest in the world, behind only the United States and Yemen. Why do so many Finns own firearms?
They're hunters. The Finns have hunted and fished for food for thousands of years, with agriculture only catching up as a major food source in the 20th century. Today, hunting (PDF) remains a popular weekend, or even after-work, activity. Finland is one of the largest European countries, and there are ample grounds for hunters. (Forests cover more than half of the country.)
According to the Finnish government, the country has 1.6 million registered weapons and 650,000 people with firearm permits. That means about 12 percent of the population owns a weapon of some kind. More than half the permits are for hunting, which is usually done with rifles and shotguns.
Stalin who? Posted by Orrin Judd at November 8, 2007 11:18 PM