Rare Gun Violence Erupts In Stockholm: 1 Dead, 3 Injured In Shooting And Stabbing In Sweden the headline at ibtimes.com proclaims, forgetting last March’s pub shooting in Gothenburg, the Malmö shootings, a more recent drive-by shooting in the same city and other firearms-related crimes. “After a rare case of deadly gun violence erupted in one of Europe’s safest capitals Sunday afternoon, three suspects entered a police station and were arrested on suspicion of their involvement. One person died, and three others were injured in Rinkeby, a neighborhood in the Swedish city of Stockholm, according to Swedish authorities, and just three hours later, three suspects turned themselves in, Swedish Television News reported.” As the Bard would say, methinks they doth protest too much. Like this . . .
“We regard it as an extraordinary event,” said Stockholm police spokeswoman Eva Nilsson. Yes, well, maybe not so rare or extraordinary going forward. The ethnic homogeneity that characterized the Scandinavian country of some ten million inhabitants – often cited as the reason for its low crime rate – has gone bye-bye. The country has opened its doors to Muslim immigrants and their violent crime is escalating, including rioting and firearms-related homicide.
Rinkeby is one of Stockholm’s most ethnically diverse neighborhoods, and it is also considered by locals to be one of the most unsafe neighborhoods in all of Sweden. According to the ICE Project, which examines European cities at a neighborhood level, educational attainment and income levels lag far behind the capital’s average. It also has been, in recent years, the site of severe unrest. Thirty fires were set in the neighborhood during riots that swept through Stockholm in 2013.
“Ethnically diverse.” Ahem. Rinkeby – nicknamed “Little Mogadishu” – is largely populated by Somali Muslim immigrants. It was also the scene of anti-government riots in 2010. The Stockholm suburb is now considered “a breeding ground for jihadists.” Anyway, International Business Times would like it to be known that this recent “rare gun violence” in “one of Europe’s safest capitals” does not reflect badly on its gun control policies.
Despite its reputation as an unsafe part of town, gun violence there, or anywhere in the country, is unusual. Sweden has some of the toughest gun laws in the world: adults cannot own or purchase guns without licenses, which can only be obtained through an application process that takes months. Sweden also has one of the lowest murder rates in the world. According to statistics compiled by the United Nations, Sweden’s murder rate is five times lower than that of the United States. Last year, there were just 87 cases of lethal violence confirmed by Sweden’s official crime prevention agency.
Seems the times they are a changin’ in Sweden.