William Tell lives!

There was a big debate in Switzerland about gun control. Every male must serve in the Swiss Army at age 18 and he usually takes his rifle home with him after he completes his tour of service and is required by law to keep it functional. Most households are armed -- and these are the big scary black 'assault rifles'.

From FOX News:

Given the choice, Swiss vote to keep their guns
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.

A bit more:

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.

Idiots who do not read the facts.

From the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2000 (Wikipedia entry for Gun Violence (Note: this is intentional homicide data only, not suicide)

Switzerland Firearm homicide rate per 100,000 pop.:0.56
Non-firearm homicide rate per 100,000 pop.: 0.96
Overall homicide rate per 100,000 pop.: 1.52

United States Firearm homicide rate per 100,000 pop.: 2.97
Non-firearm homicide rate per 100,000 pop.: 4.58
Overall homicide rate per 100,000 pop.: 8.55

As for firearm suicide rates, I apologize for the crappy image but it best highlights the disparity between the USA and Switzerland. This is from the CDC and is homicide and suicide rates for people 15 to 26 years of age.

CDC-suicide.gif

Switzerland is not as peaceful as -- say -- Kuwait but it is about three times better than the USA.

Robert Anson Heinlein said it best:

An armed society is a polite society.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on February 13, 2011 1:01 PM.

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