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Finland school shooting sparks debate over gun ownership

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Flags across Finland are flying at half-mast Wednesday to observe a national day of mourning after a student killed nine fellow students and a teacher at a college in the western town of Kauhajoki, before killing himself. The incident – the second school massacre in less than a year – has sparked a national debate over whether to ban private handguns. Finland currently ranks in the top five worldwide for civilian gun ownership, with roughly 1.6 million firearms circulating among a population of about 5 million.

According to The Guardian, the school massacre has prompted the Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen to "push for stricter gun laws" and "consider if 'people should get access to handguns so freely.' "

Vanhanen said he was "very critical about the guns and during the next few months we will make a decision about it"....
"We must considerably tighten [gun controls]," Vanhanen said. "We should consider whether to allow these small arms for private citizens at home. They belong on firing ranges."

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