As of this writing, 11 are dead in a shooting in a college in central Finland.
Yes, the tools were readily available — there are some 2 million firearms in this country of 5 million. And yes, there was no lack of models, as any expert on school killings will tell you. But I’m afraid the real reason is much more complicated, something that cannot be fixed with laws and metal detectors.
Since Finland emerged from a record-breaking recession in the early 90s, successive governments have all but obliterated what was once a welfare state, and the results are here for all to see. We have watched helplessly as the essential functions of our society have been privatised and outsourced. Finland is now run like a corporation, except that no corporation today would get away with such callous disregard for common decency. No one cares if schools are shuttered or daycare strangled by budget cuts, or if a 22-year-old goes on a killing spree because the system that was supposed to detect his illness no longer exists.
Tomorrow, the detective who spoke with the would-be killer on Monday and let him go will be publicly lynched, and the evening papers will shed crocodile tears while enjoying record sales, and the rest of us will wonder what’s next in store for this wreck of a country.