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The Swiss Reject Stronger Gun Control

The referendum today would have been the beginning of the end of the Swiss shooting culture had it passed. Fortunately, they rejected it. The Swiss will still be able to keep army guns in the home. The vote was 56 against. But they will definitely, try again, I think:

The result is a blow for supporters – a broad coalition of NGOs, trade unions, churches, pacifists and centre-left parties.

But Alliance F, a leading women’s organization behind the vote, said progress had been made and the campaign had sensitised society to the gun control issue.

The “no” committee and Swiss army officers society welcomed the failure of the initiative, saying the people would not allow themselves to be disarmed.┬áIt was a clear vote for the army and protection, they said.

They will be back. You can bet on it.

20 Responses to “The Swiss Reject Stronger Gun Control”

  1. mobo says:

    They always come back, which leads me to conclude that their agenda can only be postponed. They only have to win once, we have to win every single time.

  2. Wes says:

    Pretty scary when a bill like that in Switzerland is only defeated by a small margin. For some reason, governments and people around the world want to turn their nice countries into Mexico.

  3. Chas says:

    Back? They never go away.
    Recent example: Robyn Ringler

    Remember her?

    http://www.snowflakesinhell.com/2008/08/18/robyn-ringler-sighting/

    She’s back at it – second article down “Enough Ammunition?”

    http://www.metroland.net/newsfront.html

    They really do never give up, and they really do never run out of ideas, but we already knew that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. I just wish that we could fine and jail anti-Second Amendment subversives who abuse their First Amendment rights to abuse our Second Amendment rights – it would take the fun out of it for them.
    Perhaps that could be done in Switzerland?

  4. Dannytheman says:

    Do woman serve in the Swiss army? Only voluntarily..
    Compulsory military service concerns all male Swiss citizens, with women serving voluntarily.
    So why then are the woman free to vote on this decision? Equal isn’t really equal is it? woman get a full vote to ban guns, but don’t have to do the training?

  5. mikeb302000 says:

    Had it passed, what would have caused this?

    “The referendum today would have been the beginning of the end of the Swiss shooting culture had it passed.”

    Are you exaggerating again?

  6. Sage Thrasher says:

    More evidence that society becomes more secure by including women in self-defense forces and skills trainings–we fear what we do not understand.

  7. Mobo says:

    Would this have changed anything with regard to privately owned firearms, or was it simply an attempt to keep military-owned weapons in armories rather than in homes?

  8. Pyrotek85 says:

    @mikeb302000

    Hows the shooting culture in the UK?

  9. Sebastian says:

    Mobo: It would have banned the keeping of army weapons at home, which is a Swiss tradition. Their shooting culture revolves around the practice. It’s not the same as the shooting culture here.

  10. Wes says:

    What happened to the comments over at that Swiss page? There were a bunch of pro-gun ones, now they’re all gone.

  11. Mobo says:

    Sebastian:

    So, the point you’re trying to make is that the primary motivation for advancing this referendum is to change the public’s attitude toward military small arms by removing their status as a fixture in everyday life.

    This sounds about right to me, but it still has nothing to do with laws concerning privately owned firearms outside of military service. Without knowing a thing about this subject, I don’t feel qualified to comment much further.

    Do the Swiss have access to privately owned firearms that are similar in operation to military small arms? What about privately owned shooting ranges? Is their shooting culture entirely dependant on militia service? Forgive my ignorance, but I’m just not a worldly person…

  12. Shawn says:

    Oh, they’ll try again. Every year, every session, every time without ending. Now until its passed which could be 20 years down the road but they will continue. Could even be 200.

    Those who hate freedom will NEVER stop. They personally will stop when they die but by then they will have brainwashed a few younger people to take over.

  13. Sebastian says:

    My understanding is that private guns are not hard to come by, and that public ranges are abundant. Swiss gun laws are not much more strict than ours, though its harder to get a license to carry a loaded firearm in Der Schweiz.

  14. Chas Clifton says:

    Note this paragraph from the BBC’s coverage:

    “But German- and Italian-speaking cantons outvoted the plan’s supporters in the French-speaking west.”

  15. Philbert says:

    From Chas’ link:

    “In addition to the semi-automatic assault rifle that all those serving in the army can opt to store at home, there are thousands of hunting rifles and pistols.”

    They really don’t get the difference between an assault rifle and a semi-automatic rifle. They think the weapons issued to soldiers really are the same as the ARs and Sig 556s that civilians own in the US.

  16. btr says:

    This was much more than just a ban on army rifles at home.

    Among other things, it would have banned pump action guns, and all fully automatic weapons. I don’t remember the rest of the details, but there were other nasty regulations of private ownership as well.

  17. mikeb302000 says:

    Mobo, Ask Sebastian if he was exaggerating. The fact that the Swiss shooting culture revolves around those military guns in the closet is debatable at best. To say the referendum could have been “the beginning of the end,” is just silly, in that way the pro gun guys often have of over-dramatizing things.

  18. Sebastian says:

    Name me one country that’s started down this path but hasn’t kept going?

  19. mikeb302000 says:

    How about the U.S.?

  20. Sebastian says:

    We’ve only stopped through great effort of a large number of people who have stepped up to make it stop. There are very few other countries where shooters have the political clout to accomplish that. The Swiss gun culture is very much rooted in their militia traditions. Maybe they could keep a shooting culture alive outside of that tradition, but it’s probable they can’t.

    Germany is a good example where shooters have been reduced in numbers sufficiently there’s talk of banning handguns. That’s already happened in the UK, and recently happened in Ireland and Finland too. Once you lose the numbers, you’re done. It’s not going to stop.

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