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Today around noon, a 18-year-old gunman shot eight of his schoolmates and the school's female principal at Jokela secondary school in Tuusula, near Helsinki. He then proceeded to firing at police surrounding the building and finally shot himself in the head and is now hospitalized in critical condition. Here's a link to BBC story for more details.

I just turned on the news first time today and this was, quite naturally, the main item of the evening. It didn't come as a big shock, though. I've been following the school shootings in USA and Europe for the past few years and sort of knew it would happen here too, eventually. There's nothing really original about the deed, it's really a typical case of extended suicide, and that's what's the problem. It's very well for an angsty teenager to hate the world and all the people, but to start judging who deserves to live and who doesn't (which the gunman reputedly did in his on-line will) and finally, to start exercising that self-made judgment, that's beyond repulsive. The arrogance! I agree everyone has a right to top themselves up if they feel it's the proper choice, even though it's an extremely selfish thing to do, but to take uninvolved people with you just for the pomp and circumstance--- I'm at loss for words here, this simply makes me so incredibly angry and sad.

And the punchline is that he had a legal gun and was in fact a member of a well-known shooting club. Duh! This is what keeps happening until the people in charge realize it was a bad idea to cut resources from children's psychiatric services in the 1990s. This case got more publicity than the most, since usually they kill only themselves. I wish this one had been content with that, too. Maybe he was merely a coward and needed the extra adrenaline boost to get the courage to put the bullet through his own head. We'll never know. The hospital spokesman in the Yle news said that his chances of survival were "non-existent".

Sometimes I feel that the world would be a much better place without people in it. This is one of those times.


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March 2011

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