The Swiss Difference: A Gun Culture That Works

The country had one mass shooting in 2001, but a resulting anti-gun referendum failed to pass. The Swiss will not give up the gun. Can their system work in the U.S.?

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Michael Buholzer / Reuters

Swiss marksmen shoot at targets over 300 m away during an annual shooting-skills exercise near Bern

Even as the gun-control debate rises again in the U.S. in the aftermath of the horrific school shooting in Newtown, Conn., the gun-loving Swiss are not about to lay down their arms. Guns are ubiquitous in this neutral nation, with sharpshooting considered a fun and wholesome recreational activity for people of all ages.

Even though Switzerland has not been involved in an armed conflict since a standoff between Catholics and Protestants in 1847, the Swiss are very serious not only about their right to own weapons but also to carry them around in public. Because of this general acceptance and even pride in gun ownership, nobody bats an eye at the sight of a civilian riding a bus, bike or motorcycle to the shooting range, with a rifle slung across the shoulder.

(MORE: The World’s Best — and Worst — Places to Live)

“We will never change our attitude about the responsible use of weapons by law-abiding citizens,” says Hermann Suter, vice president of Pro-Tell, the country’s gun lobby, named after legendary apple shooter William Tell, who used a crossbow to target enemies long before firearms were invented.

Switzerland trails behind only the U.S, Yemen and Serbia in the number of guns per capita; between 2.3 million and 4.5 million military and private firearms are estimated to be in circulation in a country of only 8 million people. Yet, despite the prevalence of guns, the violent-crime rate is low: government figures show about 0.5 gun homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2010. By comparison, the U.S rate in the same year was about 5 firearm killings per 100,000 people, according to a 2011 U.N. report.

Unlike some other heavily armed nations, Switzerland’s gun ownership is deeply rooted in a sense of patriotic duty and national identity. Weapons are kept at home because of the long-held belief that enemies could invade tiny Switzerland quickly, so every soldier had to be able to fight his way to his regiment’s assembly point. (Switzerland was at risk of being invaded by Germany during World War II but was spared, historians say, because every Swiss man was armed and trained to shoot.)

(MORE: Switzerland: Are Its Days as a Tax Haven for Foreigners Numbered?)

But the “gun in every closet” tradition was challenged in 2001, after a disgruntled citizen opened fire with his army rifle inside a regional parliament, killing 14 and injuring 14 others — the only mass shooting in Switzerland’s recent history. The subsequent opposition to widespread gun ownership spearheaded a push for stricter arms legislation. The government and pro-gun groups argued, however, that the country’s existing laws regulating the sale, ownership and licensing of private guns, which includes a ban on carrying concealed weapons, are stringent enough. The law allows citizens or legal residents over the age of 18, who have obtained a permit from the government and who have no criminal record or history of mental illness, to buy up to three weapons from an authorized dealer, with the exception of automatic firearms and selective fire weapons, which are banned. Semiautomatics, which have caused havoc in the U.S., can be legally purchased.

The authorities made one concession, though: since 2008, all military — but not private — ammunition must be stored in central arsenals rather than in soldiers’ homes. The debate culminated in a nationwide referendum last year, when 56% of voters rejected the proposal initiated by anti-gun organizations to ban army rifles from homes altogether.

Although guns are responsible for between 200 and 300 suicides each year in Switzerland, Pro-Tell’s Suter says these statistics have to be put in a wider perspective. He points out that the bullets used in suicides are only a tiny fraction of the 75 million rounds of ammunition that are fired each year in Switzerland during military and civilian target practice.

(MORE: When the Swiss Aren’t Neutral: Chocolates and the CIA)

One of the reasons the crime rate in Switzerland is low despite the prevalence of weapons — and also why the Swiss mentality can’t be transposed to the current American reality — is the culture of responsibility and safety that is anchored in society and passed from generation to generation. Kids as young as 12 belong to gun groups in their local communities, where they learn sharpshooting. The Swiss Shooting Sports Association runs about 3,000 clubs and has 150,000 members, including a youth section. Many members keep their guns and ammunition at home, while others choose to leave them at the club. And yet, despite such easy access to pistols and rifles, “no members have ever used their guns for criminal purposes,” says Max Flueckiger, the association’s spokesperson.

“Social conditions are fundamental in deterring crime,” says Peter Squires, professor of criminology and public policy at the University of Brighton in Great Britain, who has studied gun violence in different countries and concluded that a “culture of support” rather than focus on individualism, can deter mass killings.

“If people have a responsible, disciplined and organized introduction into an activity like shooting, there will be less risk of gun violence,” he tells TIME.

That sense of social and civic responsibility is one of the reasons the Swiss have never allowed their guns to come under fire.

MORE: Switzerland: A Painful History

488 comments
JonRoland
JonRoland

Discrimination factor?


Discrimination by much of society is sometimes blamed, either for creating the conditions that encourage crime, or by provoking crime as acts of resistance or retaliation. We can identify several of the most important bases for discrimination that might do that:
  1. Appearance. That includes race, ugliness, deformity, height, and other attributes over which the target has little or no control.
  2. Ability. Sometimes important for some role in society, and sometimes not.
  3. Class, culture. Behaviors deemed undesirable, such as habits of speech, dress, grooming, cleanliness, vulgarity, manners, rejection of education, or disrespect.
  4. Morality. Behaviors that are harmful to others, negligent, fraudulent, sociopathic.
  5. Ethnicity, nationality. Behaviors that seem strange, threatening, or distasteful.

Discrimination on the basis of each of these may be acceptable in some situations, and unacceptable in others. They are sometimes combined, but discrimination on the basis of one may be misattributed to one or more of the others.
A common misattribution is to accuse someone of discriminating on the basis of race when the discrimination is really on the basis of class or culture.
A classic exposition of this theme is the play Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw, and its musical version, My Fair Lady. In class-conscious British society, the character Eliza Doolittle is looked down upon, not because of her economic condition or occupation as a street vendor, but because of her dialect. The character Henry Higgins raises her social status by teaching her how to speak upper-class English. The play is somewhat contrived, but it makes a valid point. Everyone engages in profiling to some degree, based on first impression, when there is not time to get to know someone well. Therefore, making a good first impression is critical to social acceptance. 
Discriminating on the basis of class or culture is often regarded as improper, but the signs of being low class are strongly associated with immorality or inability, and it is to be expected that profiling will be done on that basis.
Rebellious adolescents will often adopt low-class behaviors as a way to irritate adults, and defend their behavior by arguing they have a right of free expression. Of course they have the legal right, against the coercion by government, But if their nonconformity to social mores reaches the level that most high class adults regard as threatening or disgusting, then, then they have no one to blame but themselves if they are treated badly. 
So, for example, it is one thing for Blacks to speak a ghetto dialect (that some have called "Ebonic"), or dress or act like a "gangsta", in an artistic performance, such as a stage play, but it is quite another to be unable or unwilling to speak in refined, educated English, or dressing in at least business casual, being well groomed and clean, when trying to get a job or talking to a police officer in an intense street confrontation.
Indeed, it is generally not a good idea to act like an adolescent, especially when one is too old for it. We live in a culture that celebrates adolescence, mainly because now they have enough money to buy things that appeal to that aberrant state of (hopefully) temporary insanity, but things were generally better before they had any money they didn't work for doing socially responsible things. We might want to regard adolescence as charming and mostly harmless, but in today's world it too often is seriously dangerous. 
So to people, especially young people, we can offer some words of advice:
  1. Speak and write proper, educated, English, without a dialect or accent.
  2. Dress in good, clean, clothes in good condition, at least business casual and preferably in suits. Push schools to require school uniforms.
  3. For males, get short, neat haircuts, and shave every day.
  4. Blend in. Don't flash bling. Don't call attention to yourself unless it is raising your hand in class with a question or an answer.
  5. Exhibit good manners to all persons at all times. Never show disrespect, even when you are disrespected.
  6. Embrace and seek as much education as you can. Don't show disdain for learning or self-improvement, or disrupt the learning of others. Become very good at doing things, and work hard.
  7. Focus on helping others, and yourself only to the extent you must to enable you to help others. It's not about you.
  8. Don't tolerate misbehavior by others. Stay away from misbehavior and addiction.
  9. Defer gratification. When in doubt, do without. Instead of satisfying your desires, eliminate the desires.
  10. Don't hang with your peers. Hang with your betters, such as responsible adults. Learn by the example of people who know things instead of those who don't.

If all "disadvantaged" people were to take the above advice, they might be surprised at how fast what they now perceive as racial discrimination would fade away. 

Commissar0617
Commissar0617

@JonRoland i agree with most of your points, and some of the rest conditionally. it depends on your occupation as to how one should dress at work. if a plumber were to show up in a suit and tie, no way am I letting him in the front door.

every day, no way in hell am I going to wear a suit, or even business casual, i'd end up ruining most of said clothing. if I am going to work (retail), or a job application, i'll usually go business casual. suits are too expensive. 

TrimeldaMcDaniels2
TrimeldaMcDaniels2

@JonRoland My parents were a college educated couple from parents who were college educated also. Don't you think that the daughter of one of the founding supporters of Lane College in Jackson, TN would be treated better than an animal? She wasn't.  She was regularly spat on, laughed at, and told she was a "little Black Monkey." My father was denied coaching jobs after he made the all Star Basketball and Football teams, graduated in physical education and served . He was told by no less than Ray Myers of the De Paul Blue Demons that he would never be employed as a coach because "he was the wrong color." He was very apologetic about it, but what could he say? 


What did they do wrong? Isn't being able to speak French, Latin and perfect English good enough? Guess not.


So then comes my generation. We were trained to speak perfect English, along with Latin and Spanish within a Roman Catholic school system. My father ran his own business after he gave up on his coaching dreams and education and I and my older siblings worked with him. We did everything you suggested on your list,. My parents also saved up to send me to England and Paris, France. after my sister moved there. I saw Westminster Cathedral, Notre Dame and the Louvre. I got into Marquette University at the age of 17 and later graduated with honors.


Guess what? I got jumped by cops and slammed against a brick wall because I "looked like I stole an electric typewriter."  when I was a freshman. Everywhere I went I had to deal with police officers who regularly harassed me, beat and hurt my boyfriends, and did the same to my hard working, God fearing, well spoken, well educated parents. 


Then the next generation comes along. My niece marries an ex Army officer who becomes a member of the Cook County Sheriff''s Office. he uncovers some corruption in the Chicago Police Department. After they end up in jail, their superiors set him up as a dope dealer. he was disgraced and jailed. They were able to clear his name and sue the police. But for years afterwards people told him, "What do you expect? Look at you! You look like a thug." 

In a suit. With perfect English. With a good service record. 


I would like to know what ELSE could my family do to be "respectable"? My sister got a scholarship to the University of Jerusalem at Tel Aviv. She speaks Hebrew. People still call her the N word. My brother is a decorated Marine who served in Vietnam. He lost the bottom part of his face and his left arm in that conflict.

Guess what he STILL gets called?


I am sure you are a nice man. I am also sure you mean well. But if you think that dressing "nice" and speaking perfectly styled English without a "Black" accent with lovely manners and education is the key to making people like Black, let me say: Good Luck.


By the way, the nice people I met in the UK and Paris told me that they "just didn't understand why I was treated so badly. "You are obviously well bred and gently raised," said one lovely war widow. "I think Americans are stupid."


I love my country but I think she was right.

HelloA
HelloA

@JonRoland So just act more like the mainstream population (which contributed to your sub-culture and marginalized status in the first place), and the mainstream will like you more. Done.


You wouldnt happen to be a person born/raised/acculturated by the prevailing mainstream population, would ya?

QuicoReed1
QuicoReed1

If they were as "ethnically diverse" as the USA there would be more gun crime. It isn't the guns, it's the "diversity".

vprajapa
vprajapa

@DaveKox Fatherless men below the poverty line don't go to the school and kill innocent children and that is what we are talking about. We are not talking about criminals killing criminals.

JudyBernegger
JudyBernegger

@QuicoReed1 Switzerland has about 8 million people in total population.  There are almost 2 million immigrants.  You do the math.  If you don`t read German or French, use google translate, but the charts are telling.  These stats are as of 2013, the number with all the asylum seekers has only increased. And even with this we have a low incidence of crime.  It`s the guns, not the diversity.

MarilynN.Rine
MarilynN.Rine

@QuicoReed1 - interesting...diversity????  Seems these mass shootings here in the USA were committed mostly by white, 20ish boys...aurora, columbine, sandy hook, charleston,

DaveKox
DaveKox

It's not the guns. It's the economic diversity compounded by absent fathers/broken homes. Check the statistics on convicted perpetrators of gun violence in U.S. prisons and the VAST majority grew up without a father and below the poverty line.

JayCee2
JayCee2

@JudyBernegger @QuicoReed1, yeah judy and most of the immigrants are from europe....ie:white. with the biggest non european  immigrant group being asians at 122,000. dont tell me you are that intellectually dishonest.

HelloA
HelloA

@DaveKox So the problem isnt fatherless men, its the conditions the mainstream populations create that leads to high numbers of fatherless men below poverty. 

DaveKox
DaveKox

And what percentage of all shootings in the U.S. are considered mass shootings? I'd venture to say less than 1%. The other 99+% of the roughly 33,000 gun-related murders in the U.S. are committed by fatherless men below the poverty line.

I_knew-_it
I_knew-_it

If we take away the gun violence from Blaks and Hispanics, we would be below most of the European countries.

ScottSmith2
ScottSmith2

@I_knew-_it - Whites are responsible for the majority of the worst mass shootings in America. 

BryanPattonOH
BryanPattonOH

@ScottSmith2 @I_knew-_it Do you actually understand statistics?  'Mass shootings' represent a tiny, tiny % of the overall homicide rate. Perhaps you should start your education there, first.



LarrySaffioti
LarrySaffioti

While your article makes some valid points, I am afraid that you have missed the target (pardon the pun) in that you fail to realize that the genie is long out of the bottle here in the U.S.A. and "bad" people have absolute access to illegal guns and couldn't care less what restriction the government might try to impose on law abiding citizens. Given the environment we live in which as far away from Switzerland culturally and it is geographically, I cannot see the application of their modus operandi to this country. Given the ubiquitous nature of violence in this country that results in many people accepting the creed of  "When seconds count, the police are only minutes away!" - it is simply not a viable concept.


L.S.


ElvisX
ElvisX

There is one reason the US has a higher gun violence problem than Switzerland. One obvious but verbotten to speak of detail is that the majority of gun violence in the US comes from the inner city.


Switzerland doesn't have a inner city - Detroit, Chicago, Newark, Compton, Oakland, Camden, etc. 


These are the hubs of US gun violence and if these cities populations were in Switzerland then it too would be rife with  gun violence. It's not the guns that kill but the people who wield them.

VanIsle
VanIsle

@brocklanders52 @ElvisX

One should also point out that a major difference between the US and Switzerland is that the US borders Mexico. Gun crime per capita between the US and Canada is quite different, but I think that if Canada bordered Mexico, we would see a a spike in gun violence. Switzerland doesn't border a nation with the population density, the poverty, and organized crime level the way that the US does. 

So with Switzerland, you see how a country can cleanly operate with lighter gun regulations and garner more support from their population. 

If the US government spent more on social programs to balance wealth distribution or opportunity by taking some (or a lot) of the military and law enforcement budget, and then if citizens became more informed about about guns and how to use/store them safely, I think we would see the change that the two sides of the gun debate could ultimately get behind. 

We know that there will be less innocent victims of gun crime if more of the population is armed. The anti-gun folk will always make a an effort to point out any and all gun crime, even on a drastic decrease in statistics. 

JudyBernegger
JudyBernegger

@ElvisX Switzerland also has some not so nice areas in the cities where I would not choose to live.  The difference between the US and Switzerland is that the Swiss endeavor to ASSIMILATE and INTEGRATE, the immigrants.  They are given courses in Swiss history, and Swiss culture.  The US at the moment has divided people into groups, white men, women, gays, latinos, blacks, and therefore you devop Chinatown, Germantown, Russian areas like Brighton Beach, where the people do not assimilate so easily, and can develop into something like gangs with their own turf.  Switzerland is part of the global community.....lose the Heidi image in your mind.

brocklanders52
brocklanders52

@ElvisX Yes and it should also be pointed out that places with the highest amount of gun crime like Chicago and DC have unconstitutionally been made gun free zones keeping law abiding citizens disarmed and at the mercy of gun wielding criminals.

JudyBernegger
JudyBernegger

@VanIsle @brocklanders52 @ElvisX 

"Switzerland doesn't border a nation with the population density, the poverty, and organized crime level the way that the US does. "  LOL.....what do you call the EU?


The most important difference is that the Swiss know who is in the country and where they live, and they are tracked.  For example, you can only rent an apartment or own a house, if you are registered with a town.  You can only register with a town, if you have health insurance.  To afford health insurance here you need a job, and THE JOB gets you the initial entrance into Switzerland.  With a job you can get various visas, and not the opposite as Obama wants to do.....import poor and uneducated people who are iliiterate in their own language who cannot assimilate so readily, find a job, and support themselves.  




JackLoach
JackLoach

Sods ----- Law.

April.---- 2015.


For almost two decades we have strived to get justice for the injustice we have suffered at the hands of a world renowned bank--- PICTET & CIE. BANK.


Two yorkshiremen both running their own small family businesses trying to resolve the problem by taking all the correct legal procedures to recover their monies.


The matter was raised in Parliament – twice-- the FSA investigated the matter concluding that PICTET had rogues operating in their London Bank --- but the rogues had left ---saying no one left to prosecute.??? ----- so there.


We then approached the Financial Ombudsman Service. (FOS) --- our case was dealt with by seven different people ---- then our numerous E-Mails were ignored --- nobody would speak to us -------so there.


We then asked the SFO ( Serious Fraud Office.) to investigate our case ---- the criteria of our case ticked all their boxes. --- we were instructed not to send them

any documents/evidence.------ in fact they wrote to us advising us to go to the Citizen's Advice Bureau.(CAB.)

Richard Alderman the SFO boss ---- who responded to our letter was the same man who would not investigate the “ Madoff” scandal or the “Libor” fiasco.

The MP's committee ---- said he was sloppy--- and the SFO was run like “ Fred Karno's Circus” ----- it was an office of fraud.----- so there.


Our M.P. approached our local Chief Constable to investigate----- he was called---- Sir Norman Bettison--- Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police ---- a force that made “ Dad's Army” look like the S.A.S. They were inept – corrupt ---malicious --- from top to bottom. We were criminally dealt with by the Forces Solicitor---- the Head of the Economic Crime Unit ----and the Chief Constable ----- so there.


We were then advised to pass our complaint against West Yorkshire Police to the I.P.C.C. – which we did --- they advised us to make our complaint to ---- the West Yorkshire Police --- we did with reluctance --- all we got was abuse and obfuscation. ----- so there.


Sir Norman Bettison ---- The Forces solicitor--- and the Head of the Economic Crime ---- have all been removed from their posts and facing criminal allegations.

------ so there.


We even sought justice through the Courts --- culminating in a visit to the Court of Appeal-London.--- On leaving the Courts of Appeal that day our barrister a “rising star” informed us --- that if that was British Justice then you can keep it. He quit the law and moved to Canada ----- so there.


A few years later we learned that one of the judges ( Lord Justice.) in our case at the Court of Appeal was related to a senior executive of the Pictet Bank -----so there.


The Ministry of Justice passed our case to Lord Myners to investigate --- we would rather have had Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck do it. --- to this day we don't know

---whether he did anything or not ---- probably not --- seeing that his wife was on the Pictet Prix Board.


Pictet & Cie .Bank --- voted private bank of the year 2013.

Ivan Pictet ---- Voted banker of the year 2012. ---- the senior partner --- lied on numerous occasions and had documents destroyed --- also said genuine documents were forgeries. ----- so there.


Ivan Pictet in Oct. 2013 ---- Given the Legion of Honour --- but saying that ---- honours were given to Hitler --- Eichmann --- Mussolini ---Franco --- he's in fitting company. ----so there.


MONTY RAPHAEL.Q.C. -- Peters & Peters.London. They were the banks lawyers.

Monty Raphael.Q.C. along with Ivan Pictet withheld crucial documents requested by the High Court ---- the FSA ---- and the police Fraud Squad. ----so there.


Monty Raphael.Q.C. became an Honorary Queens Counsellor in March. 2012.

Monty Raphael.Q.C. became a Master of the Bench in Nov.2012.

An expert in Fraud ---the Doyen of Fraud Lawyers. ----- so there.


This says a lot about Banks --- and their lawyers --the consensus of opinion is that they are highly paid “crooks” ---- no wonder they voted Ivan Pictet banker of the year. --- and Monty Raphael a Queens Counsellor – “crime does pay”?


It appears that crimes in the “establishment.” are honoured by their peers.

HONOURS AMONG THIEVES.”


Full Story.---- “google ”


Insert.----- The Crimes of ----- Pictet & Cie Bank.

or insert

Ivan Pictet/ Monty Raphael Q.C.

Quaggan
Quaggan

The one real difference is that they cannot use their military-issued gun to defend themselves. Plus, they do not have laws that permit killing people in self-defense like the castle law and crazy stand your ground laws in the US. So they don't have laws that promote the cowboy mentality that's pervasive in the US.

Swiss laws :

Article 15: Justifiable self-defense
If someone is unlawfully attacked or directly threatened with an attack, the attacked person or anyone else is entitled to ward off the attack in a manner appropriate to the circumstances.

Article 16: Excusable self-defense
If the defender exceeds the limits of self-defense under Article 15, the court shall mitigate his punishment.
If the defender exceeds the limits of self-defense due to excusable excitement or distress at the attack, he shall not be culpable.

Quaggan
Quaggan

Also of interest :
http://www.ssaa.org.au/research/1999/1999-12-07_swiss-response-self-defense-with-military-arms.html

"It's true that every Swiss soldier keeps his gun at his home. That does not mean, that he's got the right to use it whenever he wants to. On the contrary it's forbidden to use the gun for private purpose (exception: sport shooting in an official club). If a member of the Swiss Army nevertheless defends himself or his family with his army rifle, he's subject to the same rules as any other citizen who uses a gun. That means only in real danger of life and when no other defence possibilities exist, it can be allowed to make use of it. And even then the engagement must be always in proportion to the attack.

The unjustified use of a gun will be punished by the civil criminal law.

The penalties for killing a person is imprisonment from one to twenty years or even for life, for injury (grievous bodily harm) between six months and ten years. By the military criminal law there would be supplementary a punishment for misused application of military equipment."

ChuckSmith
ChuckSmith

@Quaggan Both article 15 and 16 are in line with the U.S. laws regarding the right of self defense. Both the castle doctrine and stand-your-ground laws incorporate burden of proof requirements that negate the mythical cowboy mentality. And by the way, that imaginary "cowboy mentality" only really existed in the minds of movie script writers, not in the real world.


VanlearBlackwell
VanlearBlackwell

So how many Swiss victums die when attacked?

With those laws I bet a bunch.

Buzzman1
Buzzman1

The Swiss were not neutral. We bombed northern Switzerland quite heavily during WW2 and it wasnt by accident . It was to take out Nazi manufacturing facilities and troops.

Swiss-citizen
Swiss-citizen

@Buzzman1 

Not exactly. The town of Schaffhousen was hit by bombs due to a navigation error. Look at a map of where the city is located and you will understand. My dad was a navigator on a B-24 (No...not one that hit Switzerland). He showed me how small an error it was. Nevertheless, there was a conspiricy (of course) that it was to punish Switzerland for not joining the war against Germany. And NO, we were neutral. Always were, still are.


mrjmslosson
mrjmslosson

This is one smart country.  They are taking charge of their country in order to stop the infestation of foreigners who are, in many cases, little more than locusts.

Khronos
Khronos

@mrjmslosson Most foreigners of any country are usually little more then locusts and strangely crime goes UP not down when influxes happens in you're own country.

electrotectic
electrotectic

 (Switzerland was at risk of being invaded by Germany during World War II but was spared, historians say, because every Swiss man was armed and trained to shoot.)


Or maybe because they partly cooperated with Germany. It's complex. In any case, your version is glib.

JoyceClemons
JoyceClemons

You know what cracks me up about the Americans commenting on this thread is that they completely ignore the main reason why the Swiss have a distinctly positive view of personal firearms and skill in using them. Somehow it all wanders off into gun crime, minority topics, self-image, yada yada and almost any other thing other than the ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM.... Switzerland’s gun ownership is deeply rooted in a sense of patriotic duty and national identity.... culture of responsibility and safety that is anchored in society and passed from generation to generation...Americans have blown off their duty to the UNORGANIZED MILITIA. It's part of our Constitution, it is codified into statute, and, because of left wing influence, it is considered archaic and laughable. What better way to undermine American security? And those of us who know better are supposed to be the clowns. It may be true that Americans no longer generally mistrust "standing armies" and that we endeavor to honor and value our troops and veterans. But I think the best way to honor them is to call them back into local community service to refresh, renew and train a new UNORGANIZED MILITIA, in accordance with Federal Law.

Skibum4106
Skibum4106

@JoyceClemons  In USA it will be the Unorganized Militia or Organized Militia  and Veterans against the Government and that scares the Government ....  Individuals can not stand up against the Government  where as a large group could ...

JoeHorenkamp
JoeHorenkamp

@JoyceClemons wrote "Americans have blown off their duty to the UNORGANIZED MILITIA." 

Not all of us that's for sure.  The gun control crowd has lost ground significantly the last few years since the politicians pushed for more gun control.  The push back is significant with Kansas last week signing into law Constitutional carry which I think will spread to other states.  The fact is that less than 1/2 of 1% of all crimes are committed by those holding concealed permits...

KalCastelian
KalCastelian

Lets see...No concealed carry, only 3 weapons per person, no ammo, civic duty required.  How is like the US again?

pepe.felipe
pepe.felipe

@emailjamesikanov @KalCastelian I'm swiss and gun/rifle owner :) full auto firearm is ok, you just need a more expensive permit to buy plus some paperwork when you want to shoot it. suppressors are forbidden(At least they are in the area I'm living.). True regarding the ammo, there's no limit on how much you can store at home. It's true too regarding the fact that government used to issue ammo to the citizens, but only while in the army. As for the 3 weapons, it's 3 weapons per permit. Then you have to ask for another one (basically background check and 50 francs...)

emailjamesikanov
emailjamesikanov

@KalCastelian Where did it say only 3 weapons a person, exactly? And you can have all the ammo you want. The government used to ISSUE ammo to the citizens of Switzerland. I'm still not even sure this is all accurate, as I arrived here looking for information after reading about a supposedly Swiss person saying they could have just about any full auto firearm they wanted, with a suppressor even. The guns flow much freer there, my friend.

SwissGuy
SwissGuy

@JoeHorenkamp @pepe.felipe @emailjamesikanov @KalCastelian Hi. I'm Swiss and coincidentally saw your comment.


1. Estimated 80% - 90% of the guns owned by Swiss citizens are standard military issue rifles, sporting rifles or old Swiss army rifles (WW2 or later).

2. You are allowed to open carry these above-mentioned kinds of rifles almost everywhere you want. (train, bus, shopping mall, stores, etc.). You're allowed to keep the bolt and the magazine inside the gun, but the magazine has to be empty.

3. Other guns you need a permit for ownership are not allowed to be carried in public and if you transport them they have to be concealed. (As far as I know). You also can't use these guns on normal shooting ranges.


Free shooting on short distances as you know it from youtube videos where people shoot their A15s in full auto only exists for pistol shooting in Switzerland. For rifle shooting we standardly have military and sporting provided shooting ranges with metering systems and hit detection where you lie on the ground, use your rifle's standard bipod and fire at targets on 300+ meter distance ONLY by using the iron sights. It isn't comparable with shooting in the US. It's basically  sharpshooting and you need skills to hit at the centre of the target. 


To specify this: You can't carry around your rifle always and everywhere you want just like an accessory. But if you are going to the shooting range and go by train or bus or even if you want to buy your dinner in a supermarked after shooting you can do that with your rifle on your shoulders, that's no problem.


I also carried around my SG550 when I was 14 years old and I never got mistrusting glances by other people. 

cetsky33
cetsky33

Problem is that the criminally insane are running the country...Keep your powder dry!

MiloBendech
MiloBendech

In 2001 a disgruntled citizen opened fire with his army rifle inside a regional parliament, killing 14 and injuring 14 others — the only mass shooting in Switzerland’s recent history. 

UPDATE


In 2013 in the French-speaking village of Daillon, 100km (62 miles) from Geneva, a psychologically disturbed man opened fire on locals, killing three people and wounding two others. Police had already confiscated weapons from the gunman in 2005, after he had been placed in psychiatric care.

Inevitably, his actions prompted a fresh wave of debate in Switzerland about its relatively liberal gun laws.

electrotectic
electrotectic

46 people were murdered in Switzerland last year. Per person, it's tiny.

So of course, an extra 3, or 14 (!!) causes a national debate.

Switzerland can afford to debate tiny things and make refined, delicate improvements.

In the U.S., it's not tiny. It's a flood. 

Skibum4106
Skibum4106

@electrotectic  Correct me if I am wrong, but I think in the USA when they talk about Deaths by Gun they count all Suicides and Police shootings in those numbers.. 

zilti
zilti

@MiloBendech "

Inevitably, his actions prompted a fresh wave of debate in Switzerland about its relatively liberal gun laws." Did it? I didn't even know that happened... And I live in Switzerland.