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

542 comments
oldkat69
oldkat69

Time magazine almost gets it right. But it is not the Swiss "system" it is the culture. Swiss are and Americans once learned how to be responsible with firearms. As an elementary school student in liberal 1960's Columbia, Missouri. I went to grade school where every Wednesday night to the Jr. NRA shooting club met. We spent 45 minutes shooting BB guns in the gym and 45 learning safety and about wildlife in the cafeteria. About 40 kids attended and Ralphie never shot his eye out once! Culture is learned, not mandated by law or banned in schools.

BettieA.Umland
BettieA.Umland

@oldkat69 You are absolutely correct.   It is the culture that now exists in America.  In earlier times, children that were raised in areas that shooting game, protecting themselves from critters, and whatever other reasons were taught early on how to use the guns and to respect them.    Now, the country is angry and frustrated and has too many people that have no moral compass, they have no value for life, and use a gun to harm or threaten.   


StevoTechoKeegan
StevoTechoKeegan

So most American user their guns to threaten? You could not possibly know that. I'm sorry for the name calling but your a fool to say something so false and ignorant. The people that do this are not law friendly, and cannot be considered one of the many millions of responsible gun owners. I've never threatened a soul. But you seem convinced that all us gun owners are bad. We are not criminals. We are upstanding human beings. If the situation every presented itself and you were in immanent danger that could use the help of a person and their gun. ..I'd certainly not hesitate to save you. Of course that is just what I say. Maybe one of us or myself will have the opportunity to save you, your life and your poissened mind. ...with our guns. As most of us think and would do. ...do it without even pulling the trigger. We don't want to kill anyone but if forced TO (FORCED TO) will do so.

DavidChou
DavidChou

@BettieA.Umland @oldkat69 I don't like how the article says guns are responsible for suicides. As if the guns walked into the hands of people and forced them to pull the trigger. The Democrat party is responsible for the degradation of the American Family and American culture.

BillHillHillh
BillHillHillh

Why is it that mexican-americans, though unfortunately the breeders they be, seem to thrive in this country, while black americans don't?

BettieA.Umland
BettieA.Umland

@BillHillHillh There is a distinct difference.   MexIcan Americans are not afraid to work.   They don't work, they don't thrive.   Too many Black Americans have been without work and have been on the welfare system which works out better for them than working.  They get paid more to not work. 

DinkShwinker
DinkShwinker

Switzerland's banks were full of gold, certainly attractive to Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich, the most powerful military force in the history of the world.


But Hitler knew the Swiss were all armed and trained. 


Hitler called Switzerland, "The Little Porcupine", and he had his armies go around. 

PersnicketyRph
PersnicketyRph

@DinkShwinker That is silly. One reason the Germans avoided Switzerland was the terrain: mountainous and the Swiss could easily pin down the troops. The German armed divisions were not afraid of Swiss with rifles, but they (but more, the terrain) could slow things down and the blitzkrieg was all about speed. But you are right in stating that the banks were full of gold--but that is a reason why the Germans avoided Switzerland, not as you stated (a reason for avoiding invasion). A lot of that gold was Nazi gold; and they had every reason to believe they were going to be making more deposits.

JasonRoth
JasonRoth

@PersnicketyRph @DinkShwinker Another reason for not invading may have been that the German's needed a place to bank. A place to take stolen cash and gold was Switzerland. 

oldkat69
oldkat69

@DinkShwinker The Swiss Army's unofficial motto in WW2 was "Ein Schweizer, sieben Deutsche."  In essence one Swiss soldier could take out seven Germans.  Hitler viewed the Swiss as misguided Germans, a deadly adversary and most of all place to launder money for international trade.

wgfremon
wgfremon

@PersnicketyRph @DinkShwinker  False.  Twice Hitler lined up his troops to invade the Swiss, and both times his generals talked him down because of the massive casualties expected.  It's not just the people's guns...every Swiss village has a major weapons system like an anti-aircraft gun or tank which the village people are trained to operate collectively. (this was even featured on Rick Steve's travel videos).  But yes, they do have millions of guns and that is a formidable obstacle to an invading force.

rls1024druidamerican
rls1024druidamerican

@PersnicketyRph @DinkShwinker


Balderdash...

How do you explain the Nazi occupation of 'Mountainous' Austria?


Answer: It was attitude. Austria had more relaxed "Gun Control" than other European countries, but gave the country to Hitler just cuz he asked nicely.


Sweden on the other hand wanted nothing to do with Hitler, and their citizenry was heavily armed and would have slaughtered the Nazi's.


Just in case you're not aware, the Nazi's had aircraft which could have flown over the mountains, and dropped thousands of Nazi’s anywhere in Sweden, anytime Hitler gave the order.


KelGhu
KelGhu

"Gun-loving Swiss"?!? Seriously?!? This is disinformation!!! I'm very disappointed in the Time.
Switzerland is very gun averse! But the country sees it as a necessary evil to protect our country from outside theats. It comes from our history having a milicia and not a professional army. We, Swiss, hate guns! The grand majority of Swiss people feel that it is not necessary to keep our army rifle at home. So now, we don't have ammunition at home anymore. And the time we did have ammunition, we would go to jail as soon as we unpacked it without authorization. And unlike the US, we don't have guns to protect ourselves individually, but to protect our country. It's deep in our culture. And our laws prohibit the use of guns, even under threat. In Switzerland, if we get threatened by a person with a knife in our home and we kill him with a gun, we go to jail. That's because here, this would be an disproportionately inappropriate response to that threat.

autumnmccall
autumnmccall

@KelGhu Soooo, what WOULD be an appropriate response in Switzerland to a person in your home with a knife that is going to harm or kill you and your children, or just your children?

h3ll
h3ll

@KelGhu exactly... these outsiders make up stories just by looking at some stats. 'Murica can never be as responsible as Switzerland cause they lack discipline. Just look at the daily examples of their police killing people with knives just like today in Miami(ironically during the Art Basel).
( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXUi4XoBRqk )
If their own protectors of society are so poorly trained and afraid that they just shoot first for anything etc... what kind of example does that present to the general populace?! But all the  world knows 'Murica thrives on violence and war... They've been  at  war since/before the day "USA was conceived. Thats is all they know.. remember the story of the Scorpion & the Fox? Bottom line.. its in their nature.
Just look at their daily stories and its like some dark twisted comedy... they have a ban on Kinder eggs & yet after accidental shootings by youths every 3 days warrants no attention...
F@ck 'Murica. Their own police have been killing their own people more effectively than any terrorist.

JoeBlough
JoeBlough

An apt comparison. Essentially Americans love their guns for all the wrong reasons and are much less responsible and more criminal in their ownership and use.  All the blather about "forefathers" is just wind, the militia was needed because Washington couldn't afford real soldiers or weapons so he relied up citizen armies.   To use this situation to justify current laws is just crap. 

KurtisSmeagle
KurtisSmeagle

@JoeBlough Where are you facts? 

The vast majority of crime in the U.S. is DRUG related. This drug culture started with Myopic laws being enacted, the first of which was the Prohibition of Alcohol. This single act gave rise to organize crime which also gave rise to heroine, cocaine and a host of other narcotics. In addition criminals/gansters became wealthy and heavily armed. The creators of this law didn't have a full understanding of human nature or the human experience, and it would appear little has changed in regards to certain law makers.   


60 years later the "war on Drugs" that started in the 80's only succeeded in imprisoning a high number of U.S. minorities and the poor class whom in general makes up only the bottom to lower end of the drug trade. People ignore the fact we are sitting on top of the worlds LARGEST DRUG distributors and manufacturers scattered throughout Central and South America, whom also generate 300 BILLION US dollars annually in revenue.

Presently, somehow the media focuses on "mass shootings" by people that are mentally ill and are on anti-psychotics, the media subtly implies these people in addition to gun owners are responsible for all the ill's of violence in this country. The media even labels it "Gun Violence" as if other forms of violence is acceptable or of little concern and implies the Gun is the root of the problem not the violent individual. In reality a person committed to violence could easily make a pipe bomb or explosive like the Boston Marathon Bombers. Vigilance would be one solution in stop future shootings, however the NSA doesn't seem to be tracking these at risk people, who are they tracking?


Prohibition doesn't work, whether it's Alcohol, abortion, drugs, or potentially guns. 

The first prohibitive firearms laws were aimed against free African-Americans, Native American, and Chinese.

African-Americans suffered numerous slaughters in the thousands because groups like the KKK knew they couldn't defend themselves legally. Google Rosewood Florida, or Black Wall Street in Oklahoma. 

The fact that predators target the unarmed is evident in that "Mass Shooters" target schools, movie theaters, and campuses. these places are "Gun Free zones". I personally don't agree that everyone should be armed in these places, however the Police, and/or campus security, should be. In the shooting in Washing State recently, the guards were un-armed. 


You have never hear and most likely you will never hear about a mass shooting in a inner-city school. It's not because its a gun free zone, but because there are armed guards and police all over. Outside of the school, even-tho guns are strictly prohibited in most cities, you have a lot of "gun violence", just not inside the schools.


The problem in this country isn't the gun culture its our revisionist culture and our desire not to see the world/our country as it really is. We can't continue to wear rose tinted glasses and pretend the past has no bearing on us today. 






RobertMartin
RobertMartin

@KurtisSmeagle @JoeBlough  "60 years later the "war on Drugs" that started in the 80's only succeeded in imprisoning a high number of U.S. minorities and the poor class whom in general makes up only the bottom to lower end of the drug trade."

As if to say that this is not the intended purpose from the start.

The laws of the 1980's concerning Crack cocaine and other CJS practices initiated (such as when these laws were pursued and when they were not) were done so expressly with the purpose of targeting Black and inner city citizens.  Special Weapon Attack Team, later changing name, was designed to attack the Black Panther movement while not running afoul of the Posse Comitatus Act.  

The Posse Comitatus Act itself is a Reconstruction era law which makes it illegal for US Military to act on US soil except in the defense of borders or against foreign attack.  The reason for this law itself explains what is wrong with the CJS to begin with.  The Posse Comitatus Act was a response by Southern States to ensure that the National Military would not allow Freed Men justice.  

One southern Planter put it This way:
"
The Agent of the Bureau... requires citizens (former owners) to make and enter into written contracts for the hire of their own Negroes.... When a Negro is not properly paid or fairly dealt with and reports the facts, then a squad of Negro soldiers is sent after the offender, who is escorted to town to be dealt with as per the Negro testimony. In the name of God how long is such things to last?"

So The Posse Comitatus Act was the answer - ensuring that a more morally corruptible system could be generated expressly to omit Blacks from justice.  The CJS was, at its very birth, intended to forcibly deny equal representation under the law to Black citizens. 

DinkShwinker
DinkShwinker

@JoeBlough


I have a mfg business in Gary, IN. 


You don't know what you're talking about. 

StevoTechoKeegan
StevoTechoKeegan

What are the wrong reasons? I see you listed none.

So you know I love my guns for what wrong reasons? You read minds? You even know me? Or any of the owners of the 250,000 Gibbs in this country? Sounds like you are blowing a bunch of hot air dude.

Our fore father's were brilliant minds, that understood while escaping tyranny of the queen how to keep it away. Even though to this day we still have the same problems with oversized government and tax and federal involment where it should not be the liberal agenda will never succeed in having full control.

The 2nd amendment they understood would keep the (not all, but most)cowardly politicians from every fully implementing their control over the people.

Also, it would break most motivation of foreign attacks. (Minus a few terrorist acts) spoUT out to the brave few who stood and saved countless lives on flight 93. God bless them.

Our for father's knew what they were doing. We are still here arewenot? We would not be if it were not for those brilliant minds who understood that tyranny will never die completely. As long as those who are power hungry exist. That said As long as man is here, the want for power will exist.

Stop blowing hot air yourself! Stop being so stubborn, and stop making up things that you can't possibly know like Americans loving guns for the wrong reasons. Most Americans by the way will tell you they don't love their guns. They respect them.

We understand what the 2nd amendment truly does for us all.

It prevents so much more of those horrific events that you only hear about in those unarmed nations.

Bad things happen everywhere, if we had less restriction we would have allot less negative.

History has proven that, the present proves that in a handful of countries. And gun control is proven time and time again to be a failure.

StevoTechoKeegan
StevoTechoKeegan

Might I add to your wonderful detailed and accurate post the kkk are most closely related to the Democratic "socialist liberal" party. Food for thought for you misguided souls, and poissened minds.

Good stuff Kurtis!

StevoTechoKeegan
StevoTechoKeegan

Oh you just had to throw that out. I don't need to throw out my success my degrees my experiences.

Because all you had to respond with was "you don't know what your talking about"

Typical stubborn liberal. Our not I could be wrong then your just misguided. And/or to proud to admit your wrong.

Buddy, my friend come on. Not to anger you but call a spade a spade. It is what it is.

What I say is truth, nothing made up. All legit. You want peace be peaceful and fair.

Also, little tip...don't respond "you don't know what your talking" you disqualify yourself from the conversation by having no other contribution to it.

JohnERussell
JohnERussell

I have been pushing for the Swiss model to be accepted by the USA for years. Our forefathers had the insight to include the Second Amendment.  The policy we now have is dead wrong and by that I mean that some of our children--our most precious treasures--have died as a result. It is clear to me that the call for gun confiscation is by a socialist government that wants complete control of our nation. 

Dr. John E. Russell

Chaplain (COL) AUS Retired

Vietnam 1969


See http://www.jrcministries.org/religion-a-politics/56-a-proposed-solution-of-the-gun-control-problem.html

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?

MichaelJohnston
MichaelJohnston

@JonRoland Your post, while interesting as a display of what you think is correct, and undoubtedly sincere, also demonstrates a subliminal attitude of blaming the people you are giving instruction to, without taking any responsibility yourself for your own attitudes or even questioning or allowing for the possibility that they may be wrong. Nor do you seem to recognize that institutional racism exists in America as a societal issue that abuses people of color as a whole without regard to their education or behavior in any way. It has nothing to do with that. As TrimeldaMcDaniels2 relates below, her family is well-educated, well spoken, and certainly better human beings for their forbearance in response to blatant racism than those who abused them, who were undoubtedly white. 


How do you respond to that? And just so you know, I am white, well educated and well spoken according to those who know me. And I say to you, there is no excuse for the kind of treatment TrimeldaMcDaniels2 describes over generations in her family. It is mindless racism and tears the country apart.

RobertMartin
RobertMartin

@JonRoland Your shallow tone policing against invisible and imaginary constructs here instead of putting any effort into critical thought shows that either you are disingenuous, or not half as intelligent as you believe. 

JensAhlm
JensAhlm

@TrimeldaMcDaniels2 @JonRoland  I think his comment was aimed at those that do not fulfill his list of qualifications and personal qualities & characteristics etc, and should be viewed as merely "advice" for this group of people to what not to do to make interaction with the rest of society sour/worse/bad - of some were kind of looney (dress in suit, business casual etc). Just wear newly washed, whole garments if first impressions matter to you.  But your comment clearly shows that U.S.A is still very much racist, especially when it comes to the police and military hierachies.

Mekk
Mekk

Wow, what a post. Thanks for your contribution on this topic.

TommySteward
TommySteward

I find this post very disturbing for a few reasons...the suggestion that one should just give up their identity in order to be accepted or even just not discriminated against is everything this country isn't supposed to be. I am a white male in his 20's and I definitely don't meet a few of these (mostly appearance related) but guess what? I have pretty much no issues with this type of discrimination and the notion that someone of color has to conform and blend in with the majority frightens but even moreso saddens me.

Agree 100% on educating oneself and treating others with respect, but how can you have respect for yourself and others when you don't even feel like you can be respected and treated fairly by being who you really are?

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".

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.

Canucker
Canucker

@QuicoReed1


Canada's probably just as diverse as the states but we don't have this problem. And most of the mass shootings in the U.S. are done by white people. It's the capitalism culture of the US, and more socialist culture of Switzerland that sets the two countries apart. Switzerland has socialized healthcare and treats mental illness much better then the U.S. They take care of each other, even if it costs more. 

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.

KurtisSmeagle
KurtisSmeagle

@QuicoReed1 Not true about a quarter of Switzerland's population are immigrates or the children of immigrates (roughly 80% European, 15% African, and Asian, %5 other). 


Drugs are the #1 factor whether is using, selling, growing up dysfunctional because of it, or simply living in a drug crime ridden area with gangs and junkies.  

KurtisSmeagle
KurtisSmeagle

@DaveKox And the vast amount of the father were either directly or indirectly related to drugs. I dont think a 300 billion dollar industry could be stopped however we can at least help remove the violence from it somehow and protect the children.