Friday, March 19, 2010

Irony, Thy Name Is Finnish Gun Laws

Meet one of the baddest men who ever lived: Simo Hayha. He was a farmer when the Soviets invaded Finland in the 1939-1940 Winter War. He killed 700 invading soldiers in 100 days. The Soviets dedicated relatively huge amounts of resources to killing him. In the end he was shot in the face and fell into a thirteen-day coma. On the day he awoke, the war ended.
Häyhä stood just 5 ft 3 in (1.6 m) tall, which was one basis for his choice of weapon, an M/28 or M28/30 Soviet Mosin-Nagant rifle that suited his small frame. He also rejected a scoped rifle in favour of basic iron sights for other reasons: it meant he presented less of target as he could keep his head lower; it negated the risk of his position being exposed by sun glare in a telescopic lens; and lastly open sights were not prone to fogging up or breaking which was a concern in the snow and ice of the Winter War.
Really, an amazing story of a man fighting to defend his country, his home from invaders. This being 2010, I immediately wondered what Finland's gun laws looked like.

It turns out that Finland allows private gun ownership, requiring a license much like we do in the United States. One of the requirements is that the prospective owner must state a valid reason for owning a gun. There is a list of acceptable reasons. While hunting and target shooting are on the list, self-defense is not.

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