AP ignores Arab surname of Finnish shooter while urging more gun control

Some guy named Ibrahim Shkupolli allegedly killed his ex-wife, went to a shopping mall and randomly killed four more people, then went home and killed himself.  This all happened in Helsinki, Finland.

The Associated Press was not satisfied with simple reporting on this story, however.  It went on to note that Finland has 1.6 million firearms in private hands for a population of 5.3 million.  It also notes that "politicians, social workers and religious leaders have all urged tighter gun laws."

Let's go to the tape - the most recent International Crime Victimization Survey sponsored by the United Nations.  In overall crime victimization, Finland ranked 22 out of the 30 surveyed.  It's crime rate was below England's, Denmark's, Canada's, Sweden's, Norway's and that of 16 other countries - none of whom are famous for loose gun laws.

The city of Helsinki in particular had a lower overall crime rate than 11 other major cities, including London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo.

The ICVS does not seem to monitor murder, but it does monitor "contact" crimes, including robbery and assault.  In robbery, Finland came in with the 3rd lowest rate among 30 countries.  Only Japan and Italy had lower robbery rates.  Helsinki itself had an average robbery rate for major international cities, below that of London, Brussels, Lisbon and Zurich.

In sexual assault, Finland's rate was half the average rate - below its Scandinavian neighbors of Sweden and Norway, as well as Denmark and Canada.

In assaults and threats, Finland was once again well below average, and specifically below its Scandinavian neighbors.

The Guardian links to a spreadsheet that does have homicide rates for 199 countries.  Finland ranks 127 on that list.

If the AP wants to connect some dots, I suggest it pay more attention to the name "Ibrahim Shkupolli" and less to Finland's gun laws.


Reader Melvyn L. Bernstein informs us that Ibrahim Shkupolli is a Kosovar Albanian, not of Arabic descent.



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