Why do we always bring up Switzerland when talking about gun laws?

Why do we always bring up Switzerland when talking about gun laws?

This is a discussion on Why do we always bring up Switzerland when talking about gun laws? within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; OK, I get it. Folks bring it up saying that most of the country is armed and they have a low crime rate. But an ...

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Thread: Why do we always bring up Switzerland when talking about gun laws?

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    Why do we always bring up Switzerland when talking about gun laws?

    OK, I get it. Folks bring it up saying that most of the country is armed and they have a low crime rate. But an astute person can turn that around and say "hey, you are right. Let us be like Switzerland!" We can have theri gun laws!"

    Anybody ever really read the gun laws for Switzerland? Do you want them here?
    Gun politics in Switzerland - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Some inteesting quotes:
    In some 2001 statistics, it is noted that there are about 420,000 assault rifles (fully automatic, or "selective fire") stored at private homes, mostly SIG SG 550 models. Additionally, there are some 320,000 semi-auto rifles and military pistols exempted from military service in private possession, all selective-fire weapons having been converted to semi-automatic operation only. In addition, there are several hundred thousand other semi-automatic small arms classified as carbines. The total number of firearms in private homes is estimated minimally at 1.2 million to 3 million.[7]
    In 2005 over 10% of households contained handguns, compared to 18% of U.S. households that contained handguns. In 2005 almost 29% of households in Switzerland contained firearms of some kind, compared to almost 43% in the USA.[
    Airsoft guns and imitations of real guns will also be governed by the new law.
    To carry firearms in public or outdoors (and for an individual who is a member of the militia carrying a firearm other than his Army-issue personal weapons off-duty), a person must have a Waffentragschein (gun carrying permit), which in most cases is issued only to private citizens working in occupations such as security.
    Gun trade among individuals will require a valid weapon acquisition permit. Weapons acquired from an individual in the last ten years (which did not require a weapon acquisition permit) have to be registered. As a central weapons register was politically unfeasible, the authorities hope to get an overview of the market through this registration requirement.
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  2. #2
    Member Array wsquared's Avatar
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    Here's why - Switzerland is a clear example of the fact that high levels of gun ownership do not equate to high levels of violent crime. Germany and Denmark are also good examples of places that have high levels of gun ownership (and legal protection of the right to own firearms) and low levels of violent crime. Switzerland is an especially good example of the fact that modern semi-automatic rifles being present in almost everyone's home does not mean that they will end up being used in criminal acts. Switzerland has a semi-auto rifle in almost every household....and only 0.96 homicides per 100,000 residents. That's far better than the UK at 1.45 homicides/100K or Australia at 1.57 homicides/100K....and both of those countries have very strict gun control laws in place.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    Agreed Suntzu! I DO NOT WANT; to model Swiss gun laws, or bow to international opinion, or (for that matter) Canadian bacon! I want to treat terrorism like an Israeli, protect my family like a mama grizzly, blame the CRIMINAL (not society) for acts of crime, and go quietly about my day with my government completely ABSENT from my daily sphere of concern. I do not wish to be looked after or over. I will be responsible for ALL my affairs until my big dirt-nap, cut my own path, tend my own fire, and personally assist anyone in need who crosses my path. I will answer to NO ONE beyond God & (occasionally) Mrs. Ghost Tracker. Why is that so hard for the powers of government to understand?!?
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    Uh, didn't a guy in Switzerland just kill several people last week? Maybe we need to switch over and use Israel instead.
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    VIP Member Array BigJon10125's Avatar
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    Ghost tracker you bring an interesting point. I mentioned to some people that I did not need nor want the government to "protect me" and their response was that that was the role of government. If so, I am in the wrong place. I thought it was to serve.

    I do not want their gun laws, I want our gun laws to be as they were so that we can get back to the results that their gun use and possession promotes.
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  6. #6
    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wsquared View Post
    Here's why - Switzerland is a clear example of the fact that high levels of gun ownership do not equate to high levels of violent crime. Germany and Denmark are also good examples of places that have high levels of gun ownership (and legal protection of the right to own firearms) and low levels of violent crime. Switzerland is an especially good example of the fact that modern semi-automatic rifles being present in almost everyone's home does not mean that they will end up being used in criminal acts. Switzerland has a semi-auto rifle in almost every household....and only 0.96 homicides per 100,000 residents. That's far better than the UK at 1.45 homicides/100K or Australia at 1.57 homicides/100K....and both of those countries have very strict gun control laws in place.
    Playing devils advocate:

    "But sir, that surely is because of their sensible gun laws. That is all we are asking for is gun registration, background checks, et al........"
    Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
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  7. #7
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    I bring up Switzerland in all kinds of discussions... real good chocolate and that awesome cheese with the holes... nom nom nom nom.
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    Distinguished Member Array dben002's Avatar
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    I heard...and don't that it is a true statement...that the US and Sweden are the only two countries left where private citizens can own guns....if a true statement...that's why they mention it.
    There are two types of people who carry concealed weapons...Responsible ones and Irresponsible ones...which are you...

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    Member Array Clodbert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoppo View Post
    I bring up Switzerland in all kinds of discussions... real good chocolate and that awesome cheese with the holes... nom nom nom nom.

    Don't forget the beautiful women.

  10. #10
    Member Array wsquared's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suntzu View Post
    Playing devils advocate:

    "But sir, that surely is because of their sensible gun laws. That is all we are asking for is gun registration, background checks, et al........"
    Their gun laws are very close to being as non-restrictive as those here in the US. If you read that wikipedia article closely (and don't allow yourself to get all cross-threaded about the "hot button" phrases) it looks like their system is similar to (and in some ways less restrictive than) what is present here in the US:

    -Any person that is 18 or older can purchase a semi-automatic rifle without any sort of acquisition permit of background check.
    -Fully automatic or supressed firearms are legal with a special permit (gee, sounds a lot like NFA)
    -No acquisition permit is needed to buy a firearm from a private individual - the seller just needs to take reasonable steps to ensure that the buyer can legally posess the firearm (sounds familiar)

    We can saw back and forth all day based on the content of a wikipedia article (and those contents are muddy at best, with direct contradications and translation errors throughout the article) - the fundamental truth is that Switzerland, and Germany, and Denmark are all good examples of the fact that high gun ownership levels do not lead to high rates of violent crime. Violent crime rates are determined by how attractive violent crime seems to the people on the margins of society....not by the availability of firearms to law-abiding citizens.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clodbert View Post
    Don't forget the beautiful women.
    I have several of their watches. They seem to take accurate time pretty, uh...seriously.
    There are only TWO kinds of people in this world; those who describe the world as filled with two kinds of people...and those who don't.

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wsquared View Post
    Their gun laws are very close to being as non-restrictive as those here in the US. If you read that wikipedia article closely (and don't allow yourself to get all cross-threaded about the "hot button" phrases) it looks like their system is similar to (and in some ways less restrictive than) what is present here in the US:

    -Any person that is 18 or older can purchase a semi-automatic rifle without any sort of acquisition permit of background check.
    -Fully automatic or supressed firearms are legal with a special permit (gee, sounds a lot like NFA)
    -No acquisition permit is needed to buy a firearm from a private individual - the seller just needs to take reasonable steps to ensure that the buyer can legally posess the firearm (sounds familiar)

    We can saw back and forth all day based on the content of a wikipedia article (and those contents are muddy at best, with direct contradications and translation errors throughout the article) - the fundamental truth is that Switzerland, and Germany, and Denmark are all good examples of the fact that high gun ownership levels do not lead to high rates of violent crime. Violent crime rates are determined by how attractive violent crime seems to the people on the margins of society....not by the availability of firearms to law-abiding citizens.
    Looks like you are qouting parts of the wiki entry and not the changes made dueto the Schengen treaty. And i referenced Wik becuase it is one place. I always check wiki entries with the references they supply or I search on my own...so the quotes I put in are factual.

    And I do not agree with Swiss gun laws. Just saying that in some ways they are more restrictive and if folks point to the Swiss an easy comeback for an anti would be "so we should adpt there laws".

    Of course the laws are not the problem. It is parts of our own society that is the problem
    Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
    And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

    Isaiah 6:8

  13. #13
    Member Array wsquared's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dben002 View Post
    I heard...and don't that it is a true statement...that the US and Sweden are the only two countries left where private citizens can own guns....if a true statement...that's why they mention it.
    Ummmm.....no. Take a look:

    Gun politics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array peckman28's Avatar
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    I see what you're saying about the use of Switzerland as an example and how that can be turned around against you. The fact is though, any argument you come up with can be rebutted, just as you can turn around all the gun controllers' utopian nonsense. You need to be able to make a point and stick to it, thoroughly defend it on practical and philosophical grounds....and it is helpful to know more about crime statistics and gun laws than just Switzerland.

    In Switzerland, it's easier to get a machine gun, and there are more of them in private hands, than here. There are clearly more privately owned weapons there than in their neighboring countries, and yet it's safer there. In the UK, gun crimes and murders were already much less common than they have been here, even before they banned guns. Nevertheless, with their current ban their violent crime rate is 4X what ours is. Australia is another example of a country where murder and shootings just weren't common, both before and after gun control. In Mexico guns are banned almost entirely, and it's very violent. Canada has a fairly high rate of civilian ownership, but is also safer than here and was before their gun control laws were passed. If gun control worked all these countries should be about as safe as each other, and should be noticeably more safe than they were before gun control became very strict. This is clearly not the case, and it's not hard to prove it and to drive that point home. Switzerland, which should be a bloodbath by their logic, is actually safer than a lot of the countries with strict laws, which flies in the face of their logic. You don't have all the answers for how to solve our crimes when you're making this argument; you should focus on pointing out that gun control won't make you safer. Divide your attention into several different topics and you will fail to make your point.

    You need to be able to go on and on, and refute everything a skeptic will have to say. Believe it or not, a lot of people out there are on the fence right now, and the siren calls of the fascists in the Brady Campaign are sounding good. They aren't fanatics and they mean well, but they likely only know what the news is telling them. You need to be polite, respectful and articulate when you make your argument to convince these people. Be ready for the "assault weapons" nonsense to be paraded in front of you, and you should be able to point out how seldom they're used in crime. Be ready to explain that even though you may have 6,000 rounds of ammo "stockpiled" at your house, the fact remains that you can only actually carry so much, so as a practical matter it doesn't make much difference between that and 2 boxes of range ammo purchased at Wal-Mart for nefarious purposes. I could go on and on, but I think a good point to make is that you need to know much more than just one or two "gotcha"-type statistics, or your argument will go nowhere fast. Even if your stats are on Switzerland.

  15. #15
    Distinguished Member Array Arborigine's Avatar
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    Apples and oranges. I have been there a couple of times. The Swiss way of life is as alien to ours as to Britain.
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