A pro-gun campaign poster reads 'Weapons Monopoly for Criminals?'
Swiss stick to their guns in weapons vote.
Switzerland upheld its reputation for having one of the most liberal yet lethal firearms laws in Europe yesterday after voters overwhelmingly rejected proposals that would have obliged some two million gun owners in the country to keep their weapons in public arsenals rather than at home.
Official results from a national referendum on gun control showed that more than half of Switzerland's 26 cantons voted against an initiative which aimed to ban army rifles from households in an attempt to reduce domestic shootings and a record number of suicides involving firearms.
Swiss soldiers have been encouraged to keep their rifles at home after leaving the forces under a national defence policy introduced during the Second World War. The practice is seen as a symbol of the trust the state invests in the Alpine country's largely conscript army.
Yesterday Switzerland's conservative politicians welcomed the outcome, saying it demonstrated the nation's reluctance to end a practice that upheld the traditions of its folk hero, William Tell. "This is an important sign of confidence in our soldiers," said Pius Segmüller, a Christian Democrat MP and a former member of the Swiss Vatican Guard.
A gun ban was strongly opposed by the populist, right-wing Swiss People's Party, which organised a referendum last year banning minaret building at mosques. Shooting club owners had complained that the law would have effectively destroyed many of the country's 3,000 gun clubs, which function as key social centres in hundreds of villages.
The result amounted to a serious blow to Switzerland's nascent gun control lobby. It had banked on a high turnout by women voters to get its initiative approved. But results showed that only the cities of Basel and Geneva and a few French-speaking cantons bucked a national trend in favour of keeping guns at home.
Social Democrat and Green women MPs said that they were disappointed by the low turnout among women. "Women in Switzerland have only had the vote for the past 40 years, but they aren't getting involved in politics even when it concerns them," complained Martine Brunschwig-Graf, a Social Democrat politician.
The gun control lobby, which includes doctors, churches and suicide prevention groups, launched their "weapons initiative" campaign four years ago in an attempt to make it illegal for ex-soldiers and reservists to keep guns at home. Their aim was to ensure that all military weapons were kept in public arsenals and retrievable only for training or in case of war.
And what have we learned? Switzerland should have never given women the vote. Luckily, the Swiss dodged this bullet.
Gata love the Swiss, I don't know very much about the rest of their culture but they have held on to their guns while the rest of Europe has lost their minds. Please take notice these are full-auto military weapons not simi-auto
I like how they assumed most women would support gun controls.
Not my wife. Her take is "What kind of man wouldn't be armed and ready to protect his family?."
Good on the Swiss.
I'd bet a lot that if this passed, their crime rate would grow exponentially.
Finally, one nation that doesn't give in to idiotic ideas. I am so proud to still have Schweitzer nationality. And the fact they just voted no on Mosques, someone is still using their head in the midst of the other european insanity. Way to go Schweiz!!!!
20 years ago my cousin in Kanton Bern was complaining about the "f***ing communists" trying to take over the government. I was afraid something like this would eventually pass; I'm glad I was wrong, at least for now.
Leave it to the Genfers and the froggies to jack up the whole works...
It was a closer call than the report indicated - vote was 57 to 43 and all 3 major cities (Zurich, Geneva, and Basel) voted in favor.
Privately held automatic weapons went away in 2008, and now only service weapons which in the reserves are exempt from gun control laws. Now even private sales and transfers have to do a background check. (most people just back date the sales receipt....)
Swiss don't miss.
When I read this story this morning I was rather stunned at the three groups mentioned. Seemed kind of absurd to me but then I personally know no women, nor churchmen, not even a doctor who would approve of any form of gun control. None.
I wouldn't be too happy about this. Private citizens can't own full autos, you need a license to own a gun (and a "genuine need"), hollowpoint handgun ammo is banned, you will not be issued a conceal carry permit unless you can convince some bureaucrats you are in danger, you can only own up to three firearms at a time (and you need special authorization to own more than one), and sales and transfers are kept track of.
I keep telling this to people, the Swiss aren't as gun friendly as you think, they're just "gun friendly" compared to the rest of Europe and to our clueless journalistic class.
There really is nowhere for us to escape to. We fight for our rights here or they die forever.
Buckeye Copperhead is right on the money. It was the nineteenth amendment that started this country on the path to socialism and tyranny. At least 60% of women would use the force of the government to steal from their neighbor, since "they" have the greater need for their neighbor's hard-earned money. Ditto for the beta scum that lap at their heals.
Just goes to show why we will never get the opportunity to vote on that issue here. Barstids KNOW how the majority would vote and don't want to open the door to such a definitive statement of the will of the people.
Over here they just take away guns by fiat - executive, legislative and/or judicial. It's easier. Why give us a choice when they can hand us a fait accompli?
Bad Cyborg X
Good on the Swiss. I happen to own a K-31 that once served the same purpose as the full autos at issue here, and its value as a relic of history would have gone down in my mind if the Swiss had pussied out on this vote (not that I'd sell it, mind you, but it simply wouldn't give me the same feeling if this thing had gone the wrong way).
I also happen to agree with the idea that (most) women should never have been given the right to vote. Most women tend to make decisions on an emotional basis, which is not the right thing to do when only logic and rationality win the day every time.
That said, many women (including my wife and a few others that I know) are politically libertarian or conservative and would never vote to allow any kind of gun ban. Here's a way to convince ANY woman in a state that allows for carry - just ask them if they'd prefer to face a 20-something, 6'3", 230 pound rapist with their hands or with a handgun. That'll shock the crap out of a lot of them, and you'll be sure to win a few converts over time (and also get a few words and other things thrown at you by those determined to continue to live in a place where skittles-shitting unicorns solve all problems). As for those in a non-carry state, you have a bigger problem there, but it is still worth the effort.
I think that the key to winning this battle is the women (most guys understand); that can only be done via education - including taking them to the range, having them talk with very level-headed men and women that they know who also happen to carry and/or own lots of firearms without having committed a mass murder, etc., etc. SHOW them that guns are not possessed by the Devil, nor do they transmit the spirit of a demon into anyone that holds them, and you'll have gone a long way towards convincing many.
We don't have to convince everyone - only enough to be able to tell the rest to fuck off. Go forth and gather ye converts!
Agreed, the vote was too close for comfort. And in one of the last bastions of sensibility.
And while some women are rational, note that all gun control legislation in the USA has passed since women's suffrage was instituted.
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