GUN Swiss await showdown over guns and bullets

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by reman, Jun 21, 2007.

  1. reman

    reman New Member

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    http://www.swissinfo.org/eng/front/...l?siteSect=105&sid=7941744&cKey=1182262486000


    Switzerland is preparing for a lively debate this summer over its long-standing tradition of keeping army guns and ammunition at home.
    Opposition to its guns-at-home culture seems to have gained momentum and critics are launching a people's initiative on the issue.

    Attitudes towards firearms may be changing in Switzerland, which is well known for its militia army, strong traditions and liberal gun laws. A recent survey found that two out of three Swiss want to ban army weapons from private households.

    Centre-left political parties and pacifist groups are hoping to build on these signs of public disapproval to force a nationwide vote. They are due to start collecting signatures for a people's initiative from August this year.

    The initiative is calling for army weapons to remain in the barracks, a national gun register, a ban on private individuals buying or owning particularly dangerous guns such as automatic weapons or pump-action shotguns, and tighter controls on those who say they need to carry a firearm.

    Green parliamentarian Jo Lang, who is behind the proposal, argues that keeping an army gun at home is "a major security risk" and that "there are no practical arguments - only ideological ones".

    "Every year about 300 people die from army-issue guns in Switzerland. The majority of cases are suicides, but there are also family tragedies," he told swissinfo.

    Lang has first-hand experience of the dangers of putting a gun in the wrong hands. In 2001 he was in Zug's cantonal parliament when a gunman shot and killed 14 people with a rifle, before turning it on himself.

    "Most people have a gun not because they like it, but because they have to take it home," he said.
    [​IMG] What's this?


    Social problem


    Under Swiss law all able-bodied men are issued with a rifle and 50 rounds of ammunition, which they store at home after completing basic training and can keep after finishing their military service.

    No one knows exactly how many guns are in Switzerland - estimates range from 1.2 to 20 million – partly as the tradition of keeping army guns dates back to the 19th century.

    Gun advocates argue that tighter controls would go against age-old Swiss custom, would not stop crime and would not have prevented massacres like the one in Zug.

    "Every misuse of a weapon is not the fault of the weapon – it's the person behind it; it's a problem of society," said Hermann Suter of the pro-gun lobby group, Pro Tell. "The strategic goal of the initiative is the abolition of the militia army over the next 20 years."

    But for Jean-Pierre Monti, president of the federal police staff association, a vote could have a positive impact: "It is not going to stop suicides or criminal acts, but it could limit them."
    [​IMG]
    They're trying to pull the rug out from under our feet as they know our text could be accepted.
    [​IMG]


    Jo Lang, Green parliamentarian behind initiative ​
    Heading them off...


    Ahead of the launch of the initiative, the Senate on Wednesday debated and rejected an outright ban on storing army weapons at home. But it did pass a motion which would prevent most soldiers from keeping their ammunition in the home.

    The government had earlier come out in favour of a plan to allow only certain troops to take their guns and ammunition home.

    "They're trying to pull the rug out from under our feet as they know our text could be accepted by the people," said Lang, who remains defiant that the initiative will not be withdrawn.

    The Green parliamentarian expects tough discussions over the weeks and months to come, particularly in parliament, which is "dominated by men over 60... hardcore army lobbyists".

    "In Switzerland there was an old saying: 'A man who can't defend himself and his family with a weapon has no honour.' This tradition still exists in certain circles," said Lang. "And they understand an attack on this tradition as an attack on the army itself."

    Sharp end


    So what do those at the sharp end – the soldiers themselves – actually think?

    "I don't see any need to keep weapons at home, but leaving weapons in warehouses will require a lot of money to build up a new system," said Florian Emonet, an army shooting instructor.

    "Keeping a gun at home is a reminder of the Cold War, and is not necessary for instruction or security purposes."

    So what are the practical arguments for keeping a gun at home?

    "The need for instruction so that people can train. But we know that no one is doing it seriously apart from during annual obligatory shooting practice. Most don't shoot with their guns, they just store them somewhere. I'm sure in a few years there will be no more guns at home and things will change."

    swissinfo, Simon Bradley



    :wtf:
     
  2. cabriolet

    cabriolet ...

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    WTF...just when I wanted to find some hawt swiss chick that wanted to import me :(
     
  3. Dumbstixlars

    Dumbstixlars Ron Paul/AR-15/Glock/old car/Scooby/R/C croo OT Supporter

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    Un = Anti-gun pussies

    They'll be coming after us hardcore next.
     
  4. kf4zht

    kf4zht New Member

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    Why the heck do liberals always think that pump action shotguns fall into the "extremely deadly" category? They are one of the most basic mechanisms for shotguns and are not any faster than a semi-auto.
     
  5. Aequitas

    Aequitas If it keeps on raining, levee's going to break.

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    It's the horrific sound, oh god think of the children!:run:
     
  6. TL1000RSquid

    TL1000RSquid ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    :werd: the sound of racking a pump shotgun makes children cry and kittens die.
     
  7. Alphaeus

    Alphaeus New Member

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    Isn't Switzerland one of the safest countries around? Don't they wonder why there isn't a growing crime problem there like there is in all the anti-gun countries?
     
  8. TL1000RSquid

    TL1000RSquid ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    Hate to say it but I don't think the low crime is really due to the guns, well partially im sure but more so due to the tight immigration they have they dont let people in from 3rd world shitholes like everyone else does.
     
  9. Sloi

    Sloi Back up in your ass with the resurrection

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    They lost the fight: only ~2000 people will be allowed to keep ammunition at home as "first responders". Even still, people are trying to get personal possession banned...
     
  10. Gaunt

    Gaunt blood for the blood god OT Supporter

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    dont for get goverments fall also from the horrific sound
     
  11. Dumbstixlars

    Dumbstixlars Ron Paul/AR-15/Glock/old car/Scooby/R/C croo OT Supporter

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    :greddy:
     
  12. D-FENS

    D-FENS New Member

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    I did a report on gun cirme in Switerland for an English paper a while ago, they had less than 100 gun-murders each year, at least as of the late 90's.
     
  13. kill_turu_kill

    kill_turu_kill Turu the Terrible OT Supporter

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    Fuckin' Green Party.
     
  14. thedude11

    thedude11 New Member

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    I :love: Switzerland... I just got back from Interlaken, Switzerland about 30 minutes ago.


    Too bad there are apparently some douchebags there now who want to get rid of its longstanding traditions that make it an awesome country.
     

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