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Hand Grenades and Gang Violence Rattle Sweden’s Middle Class

Old 03-04-18, 07:35 PM
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Hand Grenades and Gang Violence Rattle Sweden’s Middle Class

Apparently, among western nations, Sweden holds the title for having the biggest hand grenade problem. This New York Times article quotes a lecturer in criminology at Malmo University as saying “I don’t know of any Western country with a similar use of hand grenades."

The article says it's due to their gangs, and that the going street price for one is only "100 kroner, or $12.50."

My unreliable right wing sources have been talking about this for years. It's nice to see that the New York Times is only a few years behind them, as opposed to never reporting on it.


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/03/w...-grenades.html

Hand Grenades and Gang Violence Rattle Sweden’s Middle Class

March 3, 2018

STOCKHOLM — In the Stockholm suburb of Varby Gard, it was not unusual to see the figure of a 63-year-old man pedaling a bicycle home after the end of his shift as an aide for disabled adults, hunched against the icy wind of a Swedish winter.

Daniel Cuevas Zuniga had just finished a night shift on a Sunday last month, and was cycling home with his wife, when he spotted a spherical object lying on the ground, stopped and reached down to take it in his hand.

It was an M-75 hand grenade. Manufactured in great numbers for the Yugoslav national army, and then seized by paramilitaries during the civil war in the 1990s, the grenades are packed with plastic explosives and 3,000 steel balls, well suited for attacks on enemy trenches and bunkers. When Mr. Zuniga touched it, he set off the detonator.

The shock wave was so powerful that Mr. Zuniga’s wife, Wanna, riding ahead of him, was blown off her bicycle and sprawled on the ground, mottled with shrapnel wounds. She turned and tried to crawl toward her husband, she told a reporter later, but the police, who had been patrolling nearby, kept her back.

Weapons from a faraway, long-ago war are flowing into immigrant neighborhoods here, puncturing Swedes’ sense of confidence and security. The country’s murder rate remains low, by American standards, and violent crime is stable or dropping in many places. But gang-related assaults and shootings are becoming more frequent, and the number of neighborhoods categorized by the police as “marred by crime, social unrest and insecurity” is rising. Crime and immigration are certain to be key issues in September’s general election, alongside the traditional debates over education and health care.

Part of the reason is that Sweden’s gang violence, long contained within low-income suburbs, has begun to spill out. In large cities, hospitals report armed confrontations in emergency rooms, and school administrators say threats and weapons have become commonplace. Last week two men from Uppsala, both in their 20s, were arrested on charges of throwing grenades at the home of a bank employee who investigates fraud cases.

An earlier jolt came with the death of Mr. Zuniga, who on Jan. 7 picked up the grenade, which the police believe had been thrown by members of a local gang targeting a rival gang or police officers.

Paulus Borisho, 55, was in his kebab shop around 50 feet away, and the explosion made his windows shudder. He ran outside to see a thin column of black smoke rising. Mr. Zuniga lay on the bike path, curled on his side.

Like many of his neighbors in Varby Gard, Mr. Borisho had sought asylum in Sweden to escape a war. He knew what a grenade sounded like. As a commando in a Lebanese militia, he had handled grenades, and remembered the strict protocols he complied with, locking up the weapons for safe keeping the minute he returned to camp.

That a grenade should be found on the sidewalk outside a kebab shop, a few steps from an elementary school, was difficult for him to take in.

“Now, when I think of the future, I am afraid,” he said. “I am afraid for Europe.”

Illegal weapons often enter Sweden over the Oresund Bridge, a 10-mile span that links the southern city of Malmo to Denmark. When it opened, in 2000, the bridge symbolized the unfurling of a vibrant, borderless Europe, but in recent years it has been more closely associated with smuggling, of people, weapons and drugs.

The influx of heavy weapons has caught Sweden’s criminal justice systems unprepared.

The border with Denmark is open, with insufficient personnel to search every vehicle entering the country. Hand grenades were, until last year, classified as “flammable products” rather than weapons, so sentences for detonating them were mild. The police are struggling to gather information in immigrant neighborhoods, and clearance rates for gun homicide cases have fallen steadily since the 1990s.

“We have lost the trust from the people who lived and worked in this area,” said Gunnar Appelgren, a police superintendent and specialist in gang violence.

Sweden’s far right-wing party blames the government’s liberal immigration policy for the rising crime, and will thrust the issue to the fore in the fall campaign.

Last year, Peter Springare, 61, a veteran police officer in Orebro, published a furious Facebook post saying violent crimes he was investigating were committed by immigrants from “Iraq, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Somalia, Syria again, Somalia, unknown country, unknown country, Sweden.” It was shared more than 20,000 times; Mr. Springare has since been investigated twice by state prosecutors, once for inciting racial hatred, though neither resulted in charges.

Even President Trump weighed in on the issue, saying that after taking in “large numbers” of immigrants, Sweden was “having problems like they never thought possible.”

Police officials are more likely to attribute gang violence to a failure of integration, citing a recent study of a Swedish street gang that found 24 percent of its members were ethnic Swedes, and 42 percent had been born in Sweden.

But they, too, see an urgent problem.

Affixed to the wall in Mr. Appelgren’s office in Stockholm’s Police Headquarters is a chart showing the increase in the use of hand grenades. Until 2014 there were about a handful every year. In 2015, that number leapt: 45 grenades were seized by the police, and 10 others were detonated. The next year, 55 were seized and 35 detonated. A modest decrease occurred in 2017, when 39 were seized and 21 were detonated.

Mr. Appelgren has watched the trend apprehensively, calling it an arms race among gangs.

“I think we’re going to see, if we don’t stop it, more drive-by shootings with Kalashnikovs and hand grenades,” he said. “They throw rocks and bottles at our cars, and they trick us in an ambush. When will it happen that they ambush us with Kalashnikovs? It’s coming.”

Much of the problem is the supply of surplus weapons. The Dayton peace agreement, which ended the Bosnian war, required paramilitaries to disarm and decommission their arsenals. Sellers in Bosnia and Serbia have networks in Sweden’s diaspora and are so eager to unload excess grenades, often rusted from decades in storage, that they throw them in free with the purchase of AK-47s, Mr. Appelgren said. In Sweden the street price of a hand grenade is 100 kroner, or $12.50.

“It’s odd,” said Manne Gerell, a lecturer in criminology at Malmo University. “I don’t know of any Western country with a similar use of hand grenades. Our hypothesis is that they are used to send a message. Not so much as a weapon, as a tool for intimidation. You don’t need perfect aim. You are not trying to kill a particular person.”

As for Mr. Zuniga, on the January morning when he spotted the object in his path, he had finally made a big decision.

Sweden had been good to him. He had emigrated from Chile in 1985, as part of a wave of left-leaning Chileans allowed into Sweden by Olof Palme, a liberal prime minister and passionate opponent of Chile’s authoritarian president at the time, Augusto Pinochet.

Mr. Zuniga found work as a health aide, most recently caring for adults with severe disabilities and Alzheimer’s disease. He was a genial bear of a man who called everyone by a nickname — Bandito, Diablo, Loco, Feya — and no one, not even the stone-faced Swedish head nurses, could resist him.

But lately, Mr. Zuniga had complained that he did not feel safe in his neighborhood.

Varby Gard has produced a street gang, the Varby Gard Network, which the police have been monitoring for two years. It is led by a Tunisian man and populated by first- and second-generation immigrants from Finland, the Balkans and Africa, said Lars Broms, a detective who is investigating Mr. Zuniga’s death. Intent on protecting its monopoly on the local drug trade, it is fluid and loosely organized, but like other suburban gangs in Sweden, it is developing quickly, he said.

“Give them 20 years, and we’ll have the same as in L.A.,” Mr. Broms said.

On Tuesday, the police arrested two 18-year-old men on suspicion of throwing the grenade that killed Mr. Zuniga.

Mr. Zuniga had complained about the changes in Varby Gard, frustrated that the police did not have better control, friends said. A music lover, he no longer went out to concerts at night, said Hugo Garrido, 60, a close friend.

Crime is increasing and increasing, and they aren’t doing anything about it,” Mr. Garrido said. “It’s denial. Swedes are very good people and they want to change the world. They want the rest of the world to be like Sweden. And the reality is that it’s completely different.”

So Mr. Zuniga, who was nearing retirement, had planned his exit, squirreling money away to build a house in Thailand, where his wife’s family lived. He told friends he planned to go in April.

Instead, on a recent Sunday his mourners streamed into an unadorned stone-colored chapel in a Stockholm cemetery, overflowing the pews and standing in the aisles. A light snow was falling outside. His son, Daniel, sent a note from Chile, calling him “my old sea wolf.”

His daughter, Natalia, said she would give anything to drink one more cup of coffee with him. Wanna, a tiny woman with hair nearly down to her waist, stood at the foot of the coffin, her face stretched into a mask of grief. After that she collected herself.

“He reiterated that if he died, I must return to Thailand,” she said of her husband. “He didn’t want me to live here after he died. He told me to sell the house and just leave.”
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Old 03-04-18, 08:05 PM
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Re: Hand Grenades and Gang Violence Rattle Sweden’s Middle Class

This will undoubtedly cause the President to reverse his affinity for Swedish immigrants and declare a new travel ban.

It recalls the old Bob Hope movie "If It's Boomsday, It Must Be Sweden."
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Old 03-04-18, 08:57 PM
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Re: Hand Grenades and Gang Violence Rattle Sweden’s Middle Class

I've been to Malmo, Sweden, and it is a phenomenal place. The story plays as if it's war in the fucking streets and that's total horse shit.
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Old 03-04-18, 09:25 PM
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Re: Hand Grenades and Gang Violence Rattle Sweden’s Middle Class

I "know" Malmo but only because of the great Danish/Swedish TV series, The Bridge.



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Old 03-04-18, 09:30 PM
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Re: Hand Grenades and Gang Violence Rattle Sweden’s Middle Class

^ We took the train from Copenhagen Airport into Malmo Central Station. It was a 30 minute ride. It was great. I'll need to watch the original Bridge series then.
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Old 03-05-18, 02:45 AM
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Re: Hand Grenades and Gang Violence Rattle Sweden’s Middle Class

Originally Posted by Why So Blu? View Post
^ We took the train from Copenhagen Airport into Malmo Central Station. It was a 30 minute ride. It was great. I'll need to watch the original Bridge series then.
Yes, yes, yes.

It's vastly superior to the American version. The French/British version, The Tunnel, is also excellent.
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Old 03-05-18, 04:50 AM
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Re: Hand Grenades and Gang Violence Rattle Sweden’s Middle Class

Well everyone knows the only way to stop a bad guy with a hand grenade is a good guy with a hand grenade. I say arm everyone in Sweden with more hand grenades. It's the only logical solution to ending this hand grenade violence epidemic.
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Old 03-05-18, 05:29 AM
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Re: Hand Grenades and Gang Violence Rattle Sweden’s Middle Class

Originally Posted by JTH182 View Post
Well everyone knows the only way to stop a bad guy with a hand grenade is a good guy with a hand grenade. I say arm everyone in Sweden with more hand grenades. It's the only logical solution to ending this hand grenade violence epidemic.
And let's start with the teacher. I mean, come on. Think of the kids!
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Old 03-05-18, 06:29 AM
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Re: Hand Grenades and Gang Violence Rattle Sweden’s Middle Class

Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
And let's start with the teacher. I mean, come on. Think of the kids!
Didn't ABBA record a song about this? "Everybody screamed, when I blitzed the teacher..."
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Old 03-05-18, 07:24 AM
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Re: Hand Grenades and Gang Violence Rattle Sweden’s Middle Class

We're told that if you ban a weapon, only criminals will use that weapon. Why aren't American criminals using hand grenades?
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Old 03-05-18, 10:15 AM
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Re: Hand Grenades and Gang Violence Rattle Sweden’s Middle Class

Originally Posted by JTH182 View Post
Well everyone knows the only way to stop a bad guy with a hand grenade is a good guy with a hand grenade. I say arm everyone in Sweden with more hand grenades. It's the only logical solution to ending this hand grenade violence epidemic.
I've always been for banning vehicles, due to them being responsible for killing tens of thousands of innocent Americans every year...but my Liberal politicians tell me that's not a priority.
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Old 03-05-18, 10:16 AM
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Re: Hand Grenades and Gang Violence Rattle Sweden’s Middle Class

Originally Posted by DVD Polizei View Post
I've always been for banning vehicles, due to them being responsible for killing tens of thousands of innocent Americans every year...but my Liberal politicians tell me that's not a priority.
Cars are designed to kill people? Because that's the only way your analogy between cars and hand grenades works.
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Old 03-05-18, 10:20 AM
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Re: Hand Grenades and Gang Violence Rattle Sweden’s Middle Class

Originally Posted by Why So Blu? View Post
I've been to Malmo, Sweden, and it is a phenomenal place. The story plays as if it's war in the fucking streets and that's total horse shit.
Have you hung out in the Rosengard district.
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Old 03-05-18, 10:23 AM
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Re: Hand Grenades and Gang Violence Rattle Sweden’s Middle Class

Like clockwork - the stupid "cars kill people" argument gets brought up. Such a ridiculous comparison.
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Old 03-05-18, 10:24 AM
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Re: Hand Grenades and Gang Violence Rattle Sweden’s Middle Class

Originally Posted by DVD Polizei View Post
I've always been for banning vehicles, due to them being responsible for killing tens of thousands of innocent Americans every year...but my Liberal politicians tell me that's not a priority.
Serious question, are you capable of making a post that isn’t a whataboutism?
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Old 03-05-18, 10:25 AM
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Re: Hand Grenades and Gang Violence Rattle Sweden’s Middle Class

Originally Posted by Supermallet View Post
Serious question, are you capable of making a post that isn’t a whataboutism?
Serious response. Are you capable of responding to a post without the word whataboutism?

And just because my response doesn't fit your predictably biased tunnel-visioned view of the world, doesn't mean your whataboutism accusation would apply anyway. Or would it....

...does everything you don't agree with mean it's a whataboutism?
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Old 03-05-18, 10:27 AM
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Re: Hand Grenades and Gang Violence Rattle Sweden’s Middle Class

Originally Posted by Coral View Post
Like clockwork - the stupid "cars kill people" argument gets brought up. Such a ridiculous comparison.
Why is it. You going to bring in the stupid argument that weapons are meant for killing but cars are not?


Death is death. And it appears you're only concerned with one specific type, within another type, within another.

That appears to be bias, simply due to learned political prejudices that have been absorbed by one's environment.
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Old 03-05-18, 10:28 AM
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Re: Hand Grenades and Gang Violence Rattle Sweden’s Middle Class

Originally Posted by DVD Polizei View Post
Serious response. Are you capable of responding to a post without the word whataboutism?

And just because my response doesn't fit your predictably biased tunnel-visioned view of the world, doesn't mean your whataboutism accusation would apply anyway. Or would it....

...does everything you don't agree with mean it's a whataboutism?
Whataboutism in a specific thing - that you are doing.

Whataboutism (also known as whataboutery) is a variant of the tu quoque logical fallacy that attempts to discredit an opponent's position by charging them with hypocrisy without directly refuting or disproving their argument, which is particularly associated with Soviet and Russian propaganda. When criticisms were leveled at the Soviet Union, the Soviet response would be "What about..." followed by an event in the Western world.
Huh. There's Russia rearing its head again. It's downright Presidential in here.
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Old 03-05-18, 10:31 AM
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Re: Hand Grenades and Gang Violence Rattle Sweden’s Middle Class

So, now you're saying I'm spreading Russian propaganda.

























Well, I think you and others are double-agents.
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Old 03-05-18, 10:36 AM
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Re: Hand Grenades and Gang Violence Rattle Sweden’s Middle Class

Originally Posted by DVD Polizei View Post
Why is it. You going to bring in the stupid argument that weapons are meant for killing but cars are not?


Death is death. And it appears you're only concerned with one specific type, within another type, within another.

That appears to be bias, simply due to learned political prejudices that have been absorbed by one's environment.
It's stupid because

1. Cars aren't meant to kill
2. We regulate the shit out of cars. Requiring licencing, registration, etc.
2. No one is trying to ban all guns, just certain guns
3. We FUCKING do ban cars. Cars made overseas that don't meet our strict safety and environmental regulations are not allowed to be sold/operated here.


It's like NRA 101....do a strawman arguement (suggesting some are trying to ban all guns) and next throw in a "whataboutism".
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Old 03-05-18, 10:36 AM
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Re: Hand Grenades and Gang Violence Rattle Sweden’s Middle Class

I believe that civilians should be able to purchase hand grenades.
They have other uses besides killing people.

Pest control is one of them.

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Old 03-05-18, 10:39 AM
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Re: Hand Grenades and Gang Violence Rattle Sweden’s Middle Class

I think all cars should be made into highly sensitive explosive devices, such that a bump to the fender or hitting a pothole will cause them to blow up, destroying a one-block radius. They should then be freely available, unregulated, and all citizens should be forced to drive them slowly around playgrounds on a daily basis.
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Old 03-05-18, 10:42 AM
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Re: Hand Grenades and Gang Violence Rattle Sweden’s Middle Class

Originally Posted by Kurtie Dee View Post
I think all cars should be made into highly sensitive explosive devices, such that a bump to the fender or hitting a pothole will cause them to blow up, destroying a one-block radius. They should then be freely available, unregulated, and all citizens should be forced to drive them slowly around playgrounds on a daily basis.
As a proud member of C4 For Freedom PAC, I support your idea. Here's four million dollars.
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Old 03-05-18, 10:44 AM
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Re: Hand Grenades and Gang Violence Rattle Sweden’s Middle Class

Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
It's stupid because

1. Cars aren't meant to kill
2. We regulate the shit out of cars. Requiring licencing, registration, etc.
2. No one is trying to ban all guns, just certain guns
3. We FUCKING do ban cars. Cars made overseas that don't meet our strict safety and environmental regulations are not allowed to be sold/operated here.


It's like NRA 101....do a strawman arguement (suggesting some are trying to ban all guns) and next throw in a "whataboutism".
So, how do you regulate guns that are already regulated, instead of picking and choosing parts and pieces of a weapon that were used in a shooting event but will likely never be used in even most of the shootings themselves. Bump Stocks for example.

Or do you finally wake up and focus on mental health issues and start making LE responsible for not acting on tips and investigating people more thoroughly.

So, let me ask on the latest shooting where a kid took a weapon from his parents and then went to school and shot them. How would banning an assault rifle help that situation? Bump stocks?

Once again...the person is the problem.
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Old 03-05-18, 10:45 AM
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Re: Hand Grenades and Gang Violence Rattle Sweden’s Middle Class

Originally Posted by Kurtie Dee View Post
I think all cars should be made into highly sensitive explosive devices, such that a bump to the fender or hitting a pothole will cause them to blow up, destroying a one-block radius. They should then be freely available, unregulated, and all citizens should be forced to drive them slowly around playgrounds on a daily basis.
Include the requirement that all vehicles must explode next to windmills and you have my vote for President.
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