Saturday, March 03, 2018

The Nonsense About Switzerland and Guns

Every part of this meme is a lie.

It seems NRA gun-fondlers and mass shooting apologists are now trotting out the notion that Switzerland is rolling in guns but there is no collateral mayhem.

Why would that be? 

Why because because everyone in Switzerland is a sober, white, church-going Christian who is also totally sane and an excellent marksman to boot, of course!

Right.  Aryan nation mythology strikes again, and once again it's complete bullshit.

For the record, I am a gun owner, but I am also someone who does not consider truth a lesser value.

Here are the facts about guns in Switzerland:

  1. There are 1/4 as many guns per person in Switzerland as in the U.S.

  2. In other words, the U.S. would have to have 75% FEWER guns to be as armed as Switzerland.

  3. Switzerland makes it very difficult to get bullets. Every bullet has to be registered with the local police. You cannot walk into a store in Switzerland and buy 500 rounds without ID or a permit as in the US.

  4. Most guns in Switzerland are military service guns and permits and local registration are required for private ownership.

  5. Unlike what this picture suggests, there is almost no conceal carry in Switzerland, and there are very few handguns in private hands.

  6. Every gun owner, every gun, and every bullet are registered at the local level, and there is a lot of paperwork to fill out.

  7. You are licensed for each specific gun you own, and for the ammunition specific to that weapon.

  8. The local police take their gun registry duties very seriously and may require a psychiatric evaluation if you want a handgun.  If you have any criminal, alcohol, or drug convictions you will be denied a gun. If you talk tough, make threats, and used inflamed speech, you will be denied a gun.

  9. The core claim, that “Switzerland gives everyone a gun” is not true. What Switzerland actually does is require every male to do some form of military service between the ages of 20 and 30. As part of that service, Switzerland provides weapons to reservists who take their guns home with them when not on training maneuvers.  After they have done their military service, the men may keep their gun provided they get licensed and fill out all the paper work.  Most folks do not keep their gun.

  10. Prior to 2011 reservists were also issued bullets for their guns, but those bullets were in a locked and sealed box, and you faced military justice if that box was opened. As part of your reserve training, your bullet box was checked once a year, and God help you if the seal on your bullet box was broken!

  11. In 2011, Switzerland stopped issuing bullet boxes to reservists.  Now bullets are stored in central armories to be issued if there is a war.  In short, reservists go home with a gun but with no bullets.

  12. What the Swiss actually do with guns is 100 percent opposed by the NRA.

  13. Despite all the gun restrictions, the Swiss gun murder rate is not the lowest in the world.  As you can see from the data, below, most industrialized countries actually have a lower gun murder rate than Switzerland.


Rick said...

John McPhee wrote an interesting book on the subject of the Swiss army:

Jennifer said...

Switzerland seems a great model for the Second Amendment's "well ordered milita". Too bad the Supreme Court didn't look that direction.

PBurns said...

McPhee's book was written 34 years ago and is not very accurate as far as Swiss gun laws today.

John McPhee was a classmate with my father at Princeton, and I have been fortunate enough to meet several of the people he wrote about. Not shortage of McPhee references on this blog. See >>

Rick said...

My knowledge of Swiss gun laws comes entirely from McPhee's book, and is certainly dated. So I'm curious. How have they changed?