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chiefcrash
03-25-2007, 7:38 PM
full article here (http://www.swissinfo.org/eng/top_news/detail/Centre_left_wants_to_end_Swiss_gun_tradition.html? siteSect=106&sid=7650003&cKey=1174747610000)

March 23, 2007 - 9:42 PM
Centre-left wants to end Swiss gun tradition
The Swiss can keep their army guns at home - for the time being

The Swiss can keep their army guns at home - for the time being (Keystone)



Pacifists and centre-left parties want voters to have the final say on breaking with a long-standing Swiss tradition of storing personal army rifles and pistols at home.

They said they would launch a people's initiative to ban such weapons in households. The announcement came a day after parliament refused to take action over the issue.



Supporters of the ban are expected to launch a bid to collect the necessary signatures for the vote within the next few months.

The House of Representatives on Thursday threw out a proposal by the Social Democrats and the Greens to tighten the gun law, including having a central arms register.

"Firearms are the biggest security risk in the country," said Green parliamentarian Jo Lang, while the Social Democrat, Boris Banga, argued that current regulations on standard issue firearms were outdated.

His party colleague Chantal Galladé added a personal aspect to the debate. "I was 11 when my father committed suicide with an army gun."

Other speakers pointed out the latest case of murder committed with such weapons – a man shot his girlfriend in southeastern Switzerland earlier this week.

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

An estimated 1.6 million firearms are in circulation in Switzerland and a study found that 300 people are killed every year by standard issue weapons.

There are also more than 150,000 active members of rifle clubs, many of whom own more than one gun.

""
I was 11 when my father committed suicide with an army gun.
""

Chantal Galladé, Social Democrats


Mistrust



However, Justice Minister Christoph Blocher, a member of the rightwing Swiss People's Party, downplayed the importance of guns in crimes, adding the issue of keeping weapons at home should be part of a wider discussion on the army.

Ulrich Schlüer, also from the Swiss People's Party, dismissed allegations that members of Switzerland's militia army and civilian shooting clubs acted irresponsibly.

"It's a sign of honour for the citizen to take the weapon home. They feel treated with disrespect if they are denied this right," he said.

Parliament will continue the debate on the gun law and on proposals to ban the storage of gun and rifle ammunition in households at a later date.

Recent polls show support for keeping army firearms at home is waning among the public. Last year a women's magazine handed in a petition to parliament in a bid to rid Swiss households of weapons.

Criminologist Martin Killias of Lausanne University has said that guns play a central role in suicides and in the country's grim history of family killings.

Many newspaper commentators echoed the changing attitude among the public.

Zurich's Tages-Anzeiger newspaper says the ballot box challenge mounted by pacifists and the centre-left is a way out of an obvious impasse in a parliament.

What's this? What's this?


* Militia army


Arms fetishists



"Arms fetishists dominate parliament. Their decision had to be expected in a country which celebrates its readiness to fight off an outside threat by letting citizens keep their automatic rifles and pistols at home," the paper said.

Der Bund from Bern says understanding for Switzerland's gun tradition is dwindling in society, particularly among women.

"Whether a ban would make Switzerland necessarily any safer is another question, but better protection from gunmen running amok is reason enough to collect individual army firearms."

In a similar vein, the Basler Zeitung says parliament missed an opportunity to reduce the number of weapons in circulation.

Le Temps from Geneva sees no point in sticking to the gun tradition for the sake of those who put tradition above everything else.

"It seems absurd and outdated to refer to the need for security in the face of terrorist threats."

It says rational arguments, such as the prevention of murder cases, should be more important than emotional aspects and the natural instinct to oppose any state interference in citizens' rights and freedoms.

swissinfo, Urs Geiser



CONTEXT


The reform of the gun law aims to bring regulations in line with the EU's open border policy, which Switzerland will be joining in the near future.

The legislation includes a permit for purchasing firearms from private individuals, a ban on anonymous sales through the internet or small ads and the tagging of new weapons produced in Switzerland or imported.

However, there is no provision for a central arms register or restrictions for standard issue army firearms.



KEY FACTS


* There are an estimated 1.6 to 2 million firearms in circulation in Switzerland.
* About a third of all murder cases involve private guns and army weapons.
* Army weapons were used in 68% of suicides, according to recent study.


RELATED SITES


* Swiss parliament (http://www.parlament.ch/e/homepage.htm)
* Switzerland without an Army group (GSoA) (http://www.gsoa.ch/gsoa/en/)
* Pro Tell - Swiss gun lobby (German, French, Italian) (http://www.protell.ch/)
* Initiative for the Prevention of Suicide in Switzerland (German, French) (http://www.ipsilon.ch/)
* Swiss media (German, French and Italian) (http://www.kidon.com/media-link/ch.php)

LAK Supply
03-25-2007, 7:50 PM
I hate these people. They are trying to disarm individuals worldwide with the expectation that governments will take care of them. Those leftists are idiots.

Rem1492
03-25-2007, 7:54 PM
I have to agree, not having a gun in the home would reduce the chances of dying by a gun at home.

Not having guns in your country that people can use also reduces chances that you will ever be invaded, just ask everybody in W and E Europe :)

As we know in Rwanda, they ran out of ammunition for their guns so logically the killing stopped right? -As we do know, machetes, knifes and pipes were used even more effectively, making death by an AK-47 seem relatively painless and humane.

FatKatMatt
03-25-2007, 8:18 PM
I have some friends in Switzerland, apparently a lot of the crime there is caused by Yugoslavians that emigrated there after the countries dissolution (not the rifles :p)

Maybe banning them would do the trick? These idiots really need to just shoot themselves before the gene pool is further contaminated.

bwiese
03-25-2007, 8:22 PM
I can never understand the concern over suicides.

Those will happen regardless of firearms' presence - there's always bridges, hoses connected to gas pipes, self-immolation, etc. All these gun control laws would due, w/respect to suicides, is change the nature of the mess left behind.

When I was 3+, maybe 4, my dad was a victim of gun violence. He was shot down while cropdusting in Oklahoma (boll weevils in cotton fields) by some retarded brothers let out of the loony bin. The other crop duster ahead of him was killed, but pops just had a really really hard landing with a hopper full of deadly methyl parathion right ahead of him that fortunately didn't leak/burst. I think they put the brothers back into the tank without much/any of a trial - 1960s Okla standards for civil committment proceedings against nutjobs were likely pretty lax..

Did that change his perception of guns? No - about 1 year later he went out and bought a Browning Auto5. (Wish I had it now!)

Pops found it far riskier to walk by police stations than for others to have guns - in 1968 he was mugged right across the street from the San Diego police station by thugs with knives. He'd mistakenly left his pistol in the glove box (which was illegal but crew-cut ex-military dudes didn't get many hassles); his situational awareness/ability to deal with knife wielders was a bit reduced due to a broken back 12 years before.

I hope our brothers in Switzerland don't get reamed by the statist peaceniks. It's the last semirational European country.

stag1500
03-25-2007, 8:54 PM
It will be a sad day indeed if Switzerland falls victim to the same idiotic disarmament that took place in Great Britain. :mad:

MisterDudeManGuy
03-25-2007, 9:05 PM
There is already a place where no guns are allowed - it is called prison. Murders and suicides still happen there for some reason... Go figure...

If the socialists have their way, all criminals will be released early or not jailed at all. After all, the criminals are victims of an uncaring, unnurturing society. So, the laws that should protect us are undermined by the same morons that seek to tie our hands with regard to our own defense.

...and then we are conveniently unable to resist them when they force us into economic slavery. It is the path we are on.

Solidmch
03-25-2007, 9:18 PM
These far left people are always spouting off that they do not trust government. Yet they are the first ones to allow there untrussted government to have all the guns. They talk out of both sides of there neck. They talk without logic.

DedEye
03-25-2007, 9:46 PM
Whiskey, tango, FOXTROT :eek:.

gose
03-25-2007, 10:01 PM
So the issue is about stopping the army from converting full-auto SG90s to semi-auto and allowing soldiers to take them home after completing their service.
Its NOT about banning all guns in Switzerland, sure, this might be a first step, but that's not what the article is about...

bwiese
03-25-2007, 10:02 PM
So the issue is about stopping the army from converting full-auto SG90s to semi-auto and allowing soldiers to take them home after completing their service.
Its NOT about banning all guns in Switzerland, sure, this might be a first step, but that's not what the article is about...


Incrementalism, my friend. Once they achieve this it may be far easier to attack private arms.

Yankee Clipper
03-25-2007, 10:38 PM
And if they do a study in the rest of the EU, they'll probably find there more suicides without the use of firearms, military or otherwise, and at a higher rate per capita than in Switzerland. What do you want to bet?

VeryCoolCat
03-26-2007, 5:26 AM
In switzerland theres pressure for them to abandon their gun traditions so they will join the EU.

billym
03-26-2007, 10:08 AM
HITLER IS ROLLING OVER IN HIS GRAVE! If he is really dead;)

Switzerland's having a gun in every home with a trained marksman to shoot it was one of the biggest reasons for Germany not invading Switzerland in WWII.

Hitler considered Switzerland to be a part of the third reich but his experts said it would be a catastophe if he tried to invade due to the passes being mined, farm houses that were actually hidden fixed artilery points and the citizens being armed.

Switzerland is forgetting their heritage just like the US.:(

ibbryn
03-26-2007, 11:26 AM
"The reform of the gun law aims to bring regulations in line with the EU's open border policy, which Switzerland will be joining in the near future."

So the EU weinies don't like the free Swiss and want their country to be as f**ked up as the rest of Europe.

In my worthless opinion, this is a PR game the Swiss gun nutz could still win if they got ahead of the gun banners and framed the issue in the right terms.