I'm not much surprised. There are hotheads and idiots about. A friend of mine told me that last fall, he bumped into this very man, Ibrahim Shkupolli, at a swimming pool in Espoo, and Mr. Shkupolli got raving mad, despite earnest and polite apologies. He cooled down later, though.
What saddens me is how this incident is used as a vehicle for various political motives:
- Gun control. Think about our children! Ban handguns immediately! What you miss, though, is that the gun that was used here was an illegal 9 mm pistol, possibly imported from former Yugoslavia. The shooter had been sentenced for gun possession crimes a couple of times, had convictions for threats, had a restraining order forbidding him to approach premises where his ex-woman was about, and definitely stood no chance of getting a gun license. But what good does it do to ban something that is already banned? Why don't we simply just ban any crime? Wake up.
- Immigration policy. Throw out all the immigrants right away! Silly. Most immigrants are not so different from the aboriginees here, and some are better in terms of handling interpersonal affairs. It would be sufficient to deport repeating offenders (which BTW Mr. Shkupolli was) if they are non-citizens. (Edit: look, even Jussi Halla-aho agrees that you shouldn't generalize this to all Muslims).
- Social policies. Throw more money at the welfare state! Think about our children! The issue of psychological services for children and youth was brought up with great haste, but while I am entirely symphathetic towards giving all possible support to any 43-old youths in this country, I think this argument is really a rather cheap pretext for wanting more public money here and there.
- Taxation. It wasn't difficult to guess that income equality was immediately pointed out as a reason for this tragedy. Force Jorma Ollila and other evil non-compliant (i.e. too rich) people out of country. Sheesh.
- Metal detectors into shopping center entrances. Umm.... no. Rather impractical.
- Armed guards to shopping centers. Umm... no. Rather impractical and dangerous.
- Allow everyove to carry a hand-gun for self-defence. Umm... no. Just dangerous, because the "everyone" includes hotheads and idiots.
- Urban sprawl. Someone was very happy that this happened in Espoo, which is known as a well-to-do area of detached houses, instead of "ecological, compact, green city". God forbid, so many people in Espoo (almost as many as in Vantaa...) drive private cars! Therefore this incident is the fault of urban planning, or lack of politically correct urban planning.
I should point out that the incident also happened in a center which is constructed in the politically correct way: rail connections, lots of blocks of flats, rather high population density. Mr. Shkupolli lived in a council flat in Suvela, a progressive creation of its time (and, although by reputation one of the less attractive areas in Espoo, still a long way from Brixton or Detroit). I don't think the incident had anything to do with urban planning (except for a possible minor impact by the Le Corbusier -inflicted houses in Suvela which are, although clean and architecturally consistent, still rather dull and can indeed depress people.)
All in all, I'd ask people to not care too much about individual incidents, and continue living. We have nutheads amongst us, but if we don't ourselves ruin our lives, they won't be able to, either. Mr. Shkupolli was violent and mentally deranged, but no practical amount of resourcing for the social services could prevent these incidents, because we would need a 5:1 ratio of hand-holders for everyone (three shifts of hand-holding, and don't forget the annual and sick leaves of hand-holders).
And then to fireworks. To protect our nutheads from themselves, the government (here "government" means not only the cabinet and the president, but also the parliament and ministries and other officials) is also clearly moving towards a full ban of all fireworks. We, the people cannot be trusted with such dangerous items. Think about our children! Some types of rockets are illegal after this year, and possessing any firework items requires the person to be 18 years old. This covers even toy torpedos and sparklers ("what we call star-rain sticks").
I have a picture of our son, 3 years old, looking fascinated holding a sparkler. So cute. Now my son is 17, and it is illegal for him to possess a sparkler like that. Let alone to light it. Or even acquire material needed to light it: should he set out on a Boy Scout trip, he could get most equipment (a backpack, clothes and boots, a tent, cooking equipment, and God forbid, an axe and a knife) from a shop with the money he has earned himself. But not a lighter, so he could only make a campfire with the primitive-nation methods taught at Boy Scouts. Because he is a minor, shops will not sell a lighter to him -- lighters are "tobacco smoking equipment". And many shops seem to count matches as "tobacco smoking equipment" as well, even though the law enforcement (so far) explicitly says they're not.
PS. Edit: With all these "extended suicides", couldn't the suicidal person start from himself and then continue to others, if he still feels like it? See how the "violent Finnish culture" impacts even Frenchmen who haven't ever been here: news from Haguenau.