They do guard the Vatican as well as Switzerland. They actually have a long heritage of military history, a lot of it as mercenaries because their halberds were pretty much universally feared in Europe for a significant portion of the last millenia.Switzerland? Military? One wonders why. It's not like they ever use it.
I hate to tell you this but Sweden and Switzerland are two different countries.They do guard the Vatican as well as Switzerland. They actually have a long heritage of military history, a lot of it as mercenaries because their halberds were pretty much universally feared in Europe for a significant portion of the last millenia.
And check out this guy: Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia who influences on the way wars are fought can still be seen today.
Sorry, I let the historian part of me get the best. back to the topic at hand, I don't think the swiss are going to allow themselves to be disarmed anytime soon.
Switzerland and the gun
Guns are deeply rooted within Swiss culture - but the gun crime rate is so low that statistics are not even kept.
The country has a population of six million, but there are estimated to be at least two million publicly-owned firearms, including about 600,000 automatic rifles and 500,000 pistols.
This is in a very large part due to Switzerland's unique system of national defence, developed over the centuries.
Source - BBC News | EUROPE | Switzerland and the gun
Guns, Crime, and the Swiss
by Stephen P. Halbrook, Ph.D., J.D.
There have been no school shootings in Switzerland, but guns and kids sure do mix there. At all major shooting matches, bicycles aplenty are parked outside. Inside the firing shelter the competitors pay 12-year olds tips to keep score. The 16-year-olds shoot rifles along with men and women of all ages.
What, asks the tourist brochure Zürich News, are the annual events that one must see in Switzerland's largest city? Under "Festivals and local customs" is the entry: "Knabenschiessen (boy's shooting contest), the oldest Zürich tradition, takes place on the second weekend in September. It consists of a shooting contest at the Albisgüetli [range] for 12 to 16 year-old boys/girls and a colorful three-day fun-fair." After that, the next big event is St. Nicholas Day in December.
The Neue Zürcher Zeitung devoted an entire page to the 1996 Knabenschiessen, noting that 3,667 teens had participated and announcing the shooting "king" and "queen." Large pictures of girls and boys with assault rifles and driving bumper cars (not at the same time!) laced the page. The event has been held since 1657.
Source - Guns, Crime, and the Swiss - by Stephen P. Halbrook
God bless the Swiss, with their tools by which they have long secured and ensured liberty, freedom and justice for all it's citizens.The Wall Street Journal Europe
Stephen P. Halbrook, Ph.D., J.D.
Since its founding in 1291, Switzerland has depended on an armed populace for its defense. William Tell used a crossbow not only to shoot the apple from his son's head, but also to kill the tyrant Gessler. For centuries, the cantonal republic defeated the powerful armies of the European monarchs. Machiavelli wrote in 1532: "The Swiss are well armed and enjoy great freedom."
This coincidence has not escaped the notice of those who oppose liberty.
Monarchist philosopher Jean Bodin, writing in 1606, denounced free speech and arms possession by commoners. Subjects must be disarmed to prevent democratic sedition, he said. The Swiss proved, Bodin wrongly averred, that arms bearing was "the cause of an infinite number of murders."
The Swiss militia model, however, preserved democracy and held Europe's despots at bay. In fact, it inspired the rebellious American colonists.
John Adams praised the democratic Swiss Cantons, where every man was entitled to vote on laws and to bear arms. Patrick Henry, another American Founding Father, lauded the Swiss for maintaining their independence without "a mighty and splendid President" or a standing army.
The Swiss influence is clear in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which provides: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." Today, it has become fashionable to hate this orphan of the Bill of Rights.
However, a quick glance at history shows that tyrannical governments kill far more than do private criminals. But first, governments must disarm their victims. In 1933, the
Nazis seized power via massive search-and-seizure operations for firearms against "Communists," i.e., all political opponents. In 1938, during the Night of the Broken Glass, they disarmed the Jews. When the Nazis occupied Europe in 1939-41, they proclaimed the death penalty for any person who failed to surrender all firearms within 24 hours.
There may be various reasons why the Nazis did not invade Switzerland, but one of those reasons is that every Swiss man had a rifle at home.
For this we have no better record than the Nazi invasion plans, which stated that, because of the Swiss shooting skills, Switzerland would be difficult to conquer and pacify.
Source - US vs. Switzerland Gun Laws
Neutral is not necessarily the same as timid. If I remember correctly even the Nazis didn't mess with them. Of course it helped that they were willing to let the Nazi's store their stolen valuables in their banks, but that's a conversation for another day/board.