More on the Swiss Gun Control Argument

Frank B writes:

According to TIME, dateline Geneva, there is more to it than what the recent comments above say:
“The biggest change to the firearms legislation was made in 2007, requiring soldiers to store their bullets in an arsenal rather than in the households, but they were allowed to continue to keep their firearms at home. However, people who own private guns can purchase ammunition freely, as long as their weapon is registered.”
So the implied argument that all Swiss have guns but no ammo is false, according to TIME. As you see here, many many many guns and mucho mucho mucho ammo, but very low gun crimes:
“Because of these traditions, gun ownership in Switzerland is among the highest in the world, trailing behind only the U.S. and Yemen. Between 2.3 million and 4.5 million are estimated to be in circulation in a country of only 8 million people. But while the gun-suicide rate is fairly high — about 300 cases a year — the number of violent crimes is relatively 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 five firearm killings per 100,000 people, according to a 2011 U.N. report.”
So yes, the “Switzerland Argument” has merit in support of private gun and ammo ownership.
“Shooting is also a popular pastime. The Swiss learn to shoot from an early age, master safety techniques and develop a sense of responsibility toward their firearms. It is not unusual to see entire families — kids as young as 12 and their grandparents — participating in target practice or sharpshooting competitions that are held in towns and villages across the country.”
Safety with firearms is learned from a young age.
The article references two mass shootings in Switzerland. One was very recent, April 2013. The overall rate of gun violence though is low, statistically low.
Nope, actually the Swiss example has absolutely no merit whatsoever in terms of private possession of guns.

So what’s your point? In Switzerland, there may or may not be a lot loaded weapons in homes – the article did not state how many Swiss actually bought ammo and then loaded it into their guns and kept loaded guns around the home. Perhaps most Swiss who have these guns do not purchase ammo on the private market, and anyway, the home gun loaded or not must be locked away at home. Also those guns must be locked away when they are in the home. It’s really going to do a lot of good defending your home against an invader with a locked away gun, huh?
I suppose they can take their guns out of their locked cases where they are stored at home in order to go to the shooting competition in town, but then they have to bring the guns back to the home and lock them up again. How many are going to leave the shooting competition and go on a shooting spree?
Even if it is true that somehow Switzerland has lots of loaded guns lying around in homes all over the land and somehow manages a low crime rate nevertheless, it is utterly irrelevant to the US. Because here, in spite of the possible Swiss experience, a locked and loaded society deluged with guns is in fact causing a tsunami of gun crimes. Yeah, if we were like Switzerland, that might not be so. But we are not like Switzerland. So what is the point of bringing up the irrelevant example in the first place?
The point about gun safety is also irrelevant. Whenever we discuss accidents, which by the way, kill 1,000 Americans every year or three every day, the gun nuts say, “Well those people are idiots who do not know any good gun safety. If they knew gun safety, this would never have happened.”
This argument is also irrelevant. How long have the gun nuts been yelling about gun safety and how people are supposed to learn it and then we will not have any more gun issues. 40 years? 50 years? So what has happened in the interim period? Have Americans learned any better gun safety than they had 40-50 years ago? Of course not. Will they learn it well before I die? Probably not. We seem doomed to have a nation of gun safety morons into the forseeable future.
Also this argument is horribly hypocritical in that many times we gun controllers have passed laws mandating gun safety courses before one can purchase a firearm. Guess how the NRA reacted to each and every attempt to do that? They oppose and continue to oppose all of our efforts to mandate passing a gun safety course before you buy a gun.
Those gun safety courses are not that great either. A gun safety instructor recently committed suicide with the gun he was demonstrating in front of his horror-striken class.
Gun nuts are just like all conservatives. Most of their arguments are just wrong.

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0 thoughts on “More on the Swiss Gun Control Argument”

  1. It’s too late. The government is far too criminally laden with a guilty consciense and too much power to trust overseeing gun control now.

  2. lol, you say most of the gun nuts arguments are wrong, i say i dont have to justify why i want a gun to anyone, so there is no argument. its called freedom of personal choice.

    1. Absolutely, Mike. That is one of the most reasonable pro-gun arguments I have ever heard:
      You don’t have to justify it to anyone as it is simply a matter of personal choice.
      That is an excellent argument on the pro-gun side, one the best that they have.

  3. “Those gun safety courses are not that great either. A gun safety instructor recently committed suicide with the gun he was demonstrating in front of his horror-striken class.”
    That paragraph only makes sense if when you said “committed suicide” you really meant “accidentally shot himself.” Suicides are not accidents or murders; if someone INTENDS to kill himself, proper handling of his weapon doesn’t have much to do with the situation.
    I sympathize with liberals who think that gun control is the straight line between point A (where we are now) and point B (a society in which violent crime and accidental firearms deaths have been drastically reduced), but I think everyone should be honest, and it’s not honest to classify suicides as “gun” deaths in the same way we do homicides and accidents. The fact that the victim wanted to die and ended his own life makes suicide an entirely different situation.
    Also, hearing liberals say that we need get rid of guns to prevent suicides creeps me out because it reminds me of that part of 1984 in which it is explained that the government of Oceania does everything it can to prevent suicide so that members of the party who get out of line can’t avoid being tortured at the Ministry of Justice. I have no doubt that a lot of loony liberals would indeed torture people who refused to “check their privilege” if they were able.

    1. I am not worried about a totalitarian USA as a lot of you rightwingers are. We have never had one. I doubt we will have one in my lifetime or in the forseeable future.
      I deal with suicidal people on a pretty regular basis in both my personal life and in my work, and I am not sympathetic to folks who don’t want to make it hard to commit suicide. Problem with guns is it is a very easy way to go. People often try suicide using other methods, particularly pills, but they generally do not work very well. I have known folks who have attempted suicide 8-9 times and they are not yet 30 years old. I am sure that they never used a gun in any of those attempts.

      1. “I am not worried about a totalitarian USA as a lot of you rightwingers are. We have never had one.”
        You ought to be. At the very least, that’s equivalent to someone saying he won’t get cancer because he hasn’t had it before. Besides, does slavery count?
        The number of people and corporations that have real power is shrinking by the day. This certainly applies to the media. Look at congress. They’ve been giving up their power a piece at a time to the executive branch for decades. As a well informed person, I’m sure you’re aware of the militarization of local police across the country. A little bit of real social unrest would be the perfect excuse for the government to declare martial law or label any dissenters as terrorists who aren’t entitled to due process.
        People who think social unrest couldn’t happen should consider the fact that poor people are a lot more prone to making the kind of trouble that involves burning buildings to the ground. No new jobs are being created in the United States, but we have a rapidly expanding population thanks to our elites’ baffling, desperate commitment to mass immigration.
        The only thing that prevents ethnic violence in the United States is the fact that white people invariably back down in any confrontation that involves the issue of race. Whites do this for two reasons.The first is that they know paychecks are scarce and that being branded a racist will get you fired from your job. The second is a false sense of security bolstered by liberal white privilege ideology and the knowledge that whites still outnumber everyone else. What happens when whites are no longer a majority in the US and most of them don’t have decent paychecks to lose in the first place?
        There’s another problem, too. With fossil fuel supplies tightening and prices rising, there are going to be a lot more people who can’t afford to run their air conditioners and drive their cars.
        I’m not a typical “right-winger.” I’ve left enough comments here for you to know that.

        1. So do you Brits need to arm yourselves to the teeth to prevent a totalitarian takeover of the US? Because this is the gun nut argument. That they need all these guns like semiautomatics to keep a dictatorship from taking over.

        2. Brits? I’m American. I sort of got off on a tangent. The post to which you replied is not about gun control, just about the possibility that the United States could develop an authoritarian government.

      2. I disagree there Robert. As somebody who’s attempted self-termination before, suicide is a bodily right.
        I suffer from severe treatment-resistant depression, I’ve gone through five medications to no avail.
        One of the reasons I own a gun is because it provides a quick and painless way to check out. Anybody who would seek to deprive of a fundamental bodily right can fuck off.

    1. I’ve voted Republican many times, and I’m quite pleased with myself. Perhaps if the Democrats weren’t so obsessed with defeating the redneck menace (ie, three quarters of the white population of the US) at ALL costs, their good ideas would take root and America would once again be worthy of respect among civilized nations. But, I don’t expect that to happen any time soon. Fuck ’em.
      We all sure do hate one another, don’t we?

      1. The rednecks are a menace to themselves. Look at the stats of their states. The poorest, with the least amount of resources, and with the lowest rankings from education to healthcare.
        I’ve given up voting for Democrats.

        1. I’ve given up voting….. period.
          Let’s be fair. The two poorest states in the country are Mississippi and Louisiana – year after year. They have something else in common, too: they’re also the blackest states in the US. Nationwide, black people don’t do as well as other ethnic groups. The issue of why is irrelevant to this topic. What is relevant is that the South is the blackest region of the nation, so you can’t just blame all of the poverty, obesity, poor education, etc. on the rural whites who inhabit those states. Besides, vast swaths of the South are politically dominated by black people at the local level.
          People who criticize the South also like to bring up creationism, but in the twenty years I’ve been aware of such a thing, I can count on two hands the number of people I’ve discussed it with. I certainly haven’t heard of creationism being taught in the public schools here.
          Not all of the blue states are so hot, I might remind you. While not distinguishing itself in education quite like the aforementioned southeastern states, California has a low education ranking itself. From what I’ve heard, it’s becoming a third world country within a country. The presence of lots of rich people doesn’t change that.

        2. But the government hardly spends anything on its people. Those are the poorest states in the country, and the social spending is about the lowest too. Just because a state is full of Black people does not mean that the government of that state is not capable of spending any money to help them. That’s the part that can be changed.

        3. And I agree that they should spend more on their people. Let me make that clear. I’ve voted Republican, but that doesn’t mean I agree with them about everything, or even most things.
          It’s still one hell of a coincidence that the South scores low on most social measures while also being the blackest region of the US. In states with fewer blacks per capita and better social spending, blacks still lag way behind their white fellow citizens. The root causes are an entirely different matter. It’s still unfair to say that the South sucks because rednecks vote Republican.
          Besides, most rednecks are not as irrational as you think. Contrary to what liberals think, most of them do not want to live in a theocracy. As for the actual fanatics, they would not be nearly as extreme or politically aggressive if militant atheists and other anti-Christianity types didn’t constantly fuck with them. Their fervor is mostly defensive and would die down considerably if they didn’t feel like they were constantly under siege.
          Speaking of militant atheism, has anyone else noticed that their wrath is almost exclusively reserved for Christians? What sense does it make to focus all of their efforts on combating a religion that is clearly dying out when other religions are on the ascent? Are there are ulterior motives at play?

        1. How so? I don’t mean that “militant” atheists wear camo fatigues and carry guns around, just that they’re trying to eliminate Christianity. They employ the usual tactics: shame, ridicule and outright force.
          However, I did make clear that I don’t think atheism is the primary driving force behind the great push to minimize Christianity. That was the point of that paragraph.

        2. This is just not a serious issue. More like a fake issue that serves as a distraction from what the government does that they don’t want you to think about and protest. If you think Christianity is really threatened by athiests, go right ahead. I don’t care to argue it any longer. It’s not an issue worth justifying with argument. The reality stands on its own.

        3. So you’re from the South, too? I could throw an aerodynamic rock and at least hit somewhere in your immediate vicinity.

  4. Found on the CNN page today. Seemed apt.
    ‘http://www.ozy.com/acumen/switzerland-loves-guns/32578.article?utm_source=C1&utm_medium=pp&utm_campaign=pp&hpt=hp_bn16’

  5. its the movies beatrix. when somebody uses an auto in a movie and the see what unrealisticcaly thigs can occur the freak out. nobody can run more than a singkle clip through an ak, hk, or uzzie without overheating a barrel. and the damage that is caused in the movie isnt real. gunfits never go for more than 2 clips or 15 rounds. or someone needs some target practice.

  6. Gun culture is a major PR problem for the second amendment. Interestingly, though, there seems to be two kinds of gun collectors. The first type collects revolvers and traditional hunting rifles, while the second accumulates military style weapons and semi-auto handguns. The latter make us look bad; I’ve never seen a photo of someone carrying around a bolt-action .308 in a Starbucks.

  7. Semiautomatic is one shot per trigger pull. Just to make that clear. And also, you doubt that a tyranny will ever rise in America. I’m pretty sure that’s what the jews thought in Weimar Germany. I myself have sworn an oath to the Constitution and appreciate it’s importance. I am not opposed to more training, but I don’t trust politicians to make any sensible laws, since you know, they’ve done such a great job recently.

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