Monday, February 14, 2011

Good For The Swiss...!

Now, this is enough to make you proud of our Swiss brothers, for sure!

What makes it more surprising to me, is the fact that against the wishes of many women's groups, the vote went as it did anyway! Guess it's safe to say that the Swiss are NOT persuaded that easily by gun control folks, no matter who they are!

Given the choice, Swiss vote to keep their guns

By FRANK JORDANS Associated Press © 2011 The Associated Press
Feb. 13, 2011, 12:45PM

GENEVA — Neutral Switzerland is among the best-armed nations in the world, with more guns per capita than almost any other country except the United States, Finland and Yemen.

At least 2.3 million weapons lie stashed in basements, cupboards and lofts in this country of less than 8 million people, according to the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey.

On Sunday, Swiss voters made sure it stays that way, rejecting a proposal to tighten the peaceful Alpine nation's relaxed firearms laws.

The decision was hailed as a victory by gun enthusiasts, sports shooters and supporters of Switzerland's citizen soldier tradition.

"This is an important sign of confidence in our soldiers," said Pius Segmueller, a lawmaker with the Christian People's Party and former commander of the Vatican's Swiss Guard.

In Switzerland, where all able-bodied men are required to perform military duty, many choose to take their army-issued rifle home with them even after completing military service.

Gun clubs, too, remain a popular feature of village life in rural parts of the country, with children as young as 10 taking part in shooting competitions.

Doctors, churches and women's groups tried and failed Sunday to require military-issued firearms to be locked in secure army depots. They also wanted the Swiss government to establish a national gun registry and ban the sale of fully automatic weapons and pump-action rifles, arguing this would help cut incidents of domestic violence and Switzerland's high rate of firearms suicides.

The clear defeat of the proposal — 56.3 percent of voters rejected it — may seem surprising for a peaceful nation that hasn't been at war with its neighbors since Napoleon invaded two centuries ago. But this is a country that cherishes the myth of William Tell and its soldiers' supposed defiance of Nazi Germany in World War II.

The measure had little chance of winning over the independent-minded Swiss, who have resisted the lure of joining the European Union and recently shocked the world with a vote to ban the construction of minarets.

"Switzerland is different," said Dora Andres, president of the country's sport shooting association. "In many countries the government doesn't trust its citizens and feels it has to protect them. In Switzerland, because we have a system of popular referendums, the state has to have faith in its citizens."

Martine Brunschwig-Graf, a national lawmaker with the left-of-center Social Democratic Party, blamed the defeat of the measure on women's reluctance to vote on an issue she says affects them most.

Women are the main victims of domestic violence, and are also the ones left behind when their fathers, husbands or boyfriends commit suicide with an army weapon, she said.

About a quarter of Switzerland's 1,300 suicides each year involve a gun, and those calling for tighter rules claim military weapons, such as the army-issued SG 550 assault rifle, are used in between 100 and 200 suicides a year.

There are signs, however, that even in Switzerland attitudes to guns are changing. Young people are among those most likely to favor curbs on gun ownership.

In most shooting clubs the average age is "closer to 50 than to 40," says Gerhard Schneider, president of the pistol shooters association in Bueren an der Aare.

Maybe one reason the Swiss are such a peaceful people, is the fact that the government knows up front that the citizens are armed, and plan to stay that way! Might not be a good idea to try and forcibly take away their guns, if you know what I mean!

How about some fresh coffee, my friends? We can move out to the patio this morning! It's plenty warm enough, I think! BTW, Happy Valentine's Day!


Anonymous said...

That is good news. At least one country still thinks its a good idea for their entire population to be prepared for 'just in case'.

Happy Valentine's Day to you to HermitJim, hope you have some company that is not hard on the eyes come visit you today. :^)

linda m said...

Let's hear it for the Swiss.

Dizzy-Dick said...

Good for the Swiss. Now, if they can get the youth of country back on the wagon and teach them that an armed citizen is a free citizen. The youth msut be the ones to carry on that great custom.

Mechanic in Illinois said...

The Swiss have guns, hot chocolate, and big dogs, I can't think of anything better. We need to take lessons from them. And by the way, Happy Valentine's Day!

Catman said...

At least some people still have cojones.

HermitJim said...

Hey Anon 6:15...
If you think about it, when the bad guys already know that homes are probably armed...home invasions could certainly drop off!

An armed society is a polite society! Makes sense to me!

I seriously doubt that I will be having company today! I very seldom have folks drop over anymore! Too old and fat, I guess!

Have a great day...and thanks for coming by!

Hey Linda...
Glad to see that the Swiss have learned from their own history about having guns in their homes and ready! No more invasions of an unarmed country for them!

I'll certainly lead the cheers!

Hey, thanks for coming by today!

Hey Dizzy...
Let's hope that they do that! Could mean a lot to their future!

Thanks, my friend, for coming by today!

Hey Mechanic...
Sounds like a winning combination to me! Right you are about us learning something from them!

I appreciate you coming over this morning!

Hey Catman...
Ain't that the truth? Not afraid to stand up against some pretty convincing opposition! Might get a little chilly in some beds with them sleeping by themselves!

Lessons to be learned here!

Thanks, my friend, for coming by today!

Kyddryn said...

I find it disturbing, though, that the young folks of that nation are less interested than their elders. Comes from being so distanced from war, strife, or the struggle for freedom.

It's happening here, too...folks wanting gun control or bans...we have soft, easy lives and don't value the ability to protect our freedoms. Mind you, I won't use a firearm...but I will vehemently defend others' ability to do so. My squeamishness should not limit anyone else.

Cool story, Mister Hermit, sir...nice to see some folks willing to voice their opinions and act to defend their rights! Can we import that attitude??

Shade and Sweetwater,

vlad said...

In USA the schools begin psychological emasculation in kindergarten; no fighting even in self-defence, no knives and no guns on campus even unloaded and secured in a locked vehicle. Psychos can swagger into a school, and kill all they wish. Criminals in and out of government prefer their victims unarmed, scared to death and eager to please.
Some say they would not use a gun. What if their teen daughter is
being raped and twelve other snickering AIDS-infected scumbags are waiting their turn? Would they shoot then? If I fear for the safety of my loved ones I will shoot the invaders in the brisket to stop them.