October 27, 2007
Switzerland Strips Citizens of Gun Rights.
Despite the vehement protests from many of Switzerland’s cantons (states), the lower chamber of the nation’s Federal Assembly voted to strip its citizens of gun rights, not by registering or confiscating firearms, but by outlawing the storing of ammunition in the homes of the citizens.
According to The Liberty Zone, the move was led by Switzerland’s small but vocal–and powerful–Socialist minority. And apparently it was a leading women’s magazine who aided the Socialists in the cause.
Having failed at attempts to take the guns themselves from homes and store them in government facilities, the new law takes aim at ammo rather than the guns. The Swiss are still allowed to possess firearms; they simply will not be allowed to possess the ammunition to use them.
This is the backdoor method of disarming citizens, and it is very effective.
The ban also applies to the male citizens who make up Switzerland’s time-honored citizens’ militia. Even they will be required to keep their ammo at approved government facilities.
The fact that a Leftist minority group was able to convince a majority of representatives in the Swiss Federal Assembly to approve the measure is considered a major victory for Socialism and the push to strip individual citizens of the right to keep and bear arms.
In a stunning example of what Leftists can do when citizens are not paying attention, the Socialist ban on ammunition in the homes of the Swiss people should be a stark lesson for U.S. citizens who wish to preserve the right to keep and bear arms. Anti-gun groups do not have to register or confiscate firearms to win the battle.
Rather, the growing modus operandi of the gun control movement is to render a Constitutional right null, void, and useless by implementing legislation aimed at things such as ammunition rather than the actual guns themselves.
Within the U.S. the anti-gun movement does not even have to introduce legislation. A mere executive order by an Administration in the 1990s has been all it takes for a massive assault to ensue on gun shops, gun manufacturers, and other facets of the gun industry, to begin to gradually rob the citizens of their rights to keep and bear arms. This is presently being accomplished by a rogue arm of the Department of Justice–the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives–which has succeeded in shutting down 80% of the gun stores, and gun and ammo manufacturers, within the U.S.
The prevailing wisdom, similar to what we find in Switzerland, is to attack gun ownership by focusing on various facets of the gun and ammo industry rather than to directly attack the citizens’ guns. This effectively renders useless any supposed right to own, possess, and use a firearm without addressing the firearms themselves at all–a perfect example of disarming the citizens using the backdoor method.
Switzerland has been the last bastion of real gun rights in Europe. Now even the Swiss have fallen to the sly and seductive ways of the Socialist anti-gun movement.
Comments from around the web:
Swiss Army Gun Victims Push Referendum, Even After Bullet Vote
By Antonio Ligi
Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) — Tanja Vollenweider and her family had just built a house near Zurich when her husband lost his job at an insurance company. Two weeks later, the militia officer took his army-issued pistol into the forest and killed himself.
“It was Friday, we had had guests at home,” Vollenweider, 35, said at her home in Daellikon. “My daughter saw him leaving with the weapon. She woke me up. We heard the shots.”
Four and a half years later, Vollenweider and other gun control advocates yesterday won a victory when the lower house of parliament voted to bar Switzerland’s citizen soldiers from keeping ammunition at home. Their next goal is a national referendum on stricter gun laws.
The husband of former alpine skier Corinne Rey-Bellet killed the winner of five World Cup races with his army weapon last year, fueling demands for tighter gun control. Much of the debate has focused on military weapons because Switzerland’s militia- based army requires soldiers to keep their guns at home.
While lawmakers yesterday voted to rescind a World War II- era law that forced soldiers to keep 50 rounds of ammunition at home, they rejected a proposal to have militia members turn in their weapons.
“The militia concept and personal responsibility are among the foundations of our country,” Defense Minister Samuel Schmid said. “If a state considers it necessary to take responsibility away from its citizens and doesn’t trust them to handle a personal gun responsibly, it ultimately weakens itself.”
In addition to military weapons, Switzerland has the fourth- highest rate of civilian gun ownership after the U.S., Yemen and Finland, according to the Small Arms Survey, a Geneva-based research project sponsored by countries including the U.K., Canada and Switzerland.
`About the Victims’
Switzerland recorded an average of 1,428 suicides every year from 1969 to 2000, according to government statistics. Some 343 of those, or 24 percent, involved guns.
Martin Killias, a criminology professor at the University of Zurich, estimates that about 260 people kill themselves using army weapons each year, and another 20 are murdered.
While the Swiss homicide rate is relatively low, at 12 per 1 million inhabitants compared with 56 in the U.S., the number of killings by family members is high, Killias said. Domestic violence deaths amount to 5.5 per million versus 7.9 in the U.S. and 4.3 in the Netherlands, according to Killias’s study.
“It’s about the victims,” Chantal Gallade, 34, a Social Democratic lawmaker whose father killed himself with an army gun, said in the capital, Bern. “There are too many, and every killing that you can avoid is worth it.”
Pro Tell, a gun supporters’ organization, says there is no direct link between killings and army guns. Pro Tell is named after William Tell, the legendary Swiss hero who is said to have shot an apple off his son’s head after being arrested by an Austrian governor.
“Whoever snaps would do it anyway,” said Jack Balmer, 34, a postal worker and corporal in the militia. “They will use a hammer if they can’t use their rifle.”
Switzerland’s gun laws are partly the result of a militia tradition, dating back to the 17th century, which created a “myth that only a rifleman is a citizen,” said Rudolf Jaun, a professor of military history at the ETH Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.
Even today, the army consists mostly of militia. Most men undergo military training when they are about 20, after which they serve in the militia. When their service has ended, militiamen may buy their personal weapons.
Rouven Howald, a financial controller, has no plans to keep his rifle.
“I am personally all in favor of having weapons at the army barracks,” said Howald, 34. “I just have one at home because I am required to do so.”
Aaron Karp, co-author of the 2007 Small Arms Survey and a professor of political science at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, said he didn’t know of any other country that “routinely” lets soldiers take guns and ammunition home.
Switzerland introduced its first unified gun ownership law in 1999. It has since agreed to tighten the rules as part of an accord with its European neighbors to do away with border controls. The changes, which have yet to take effect, will require all gun buyers to have permits and impose penalties on illegal gun ownership for the first time.
Tanja Vollenweider says she will continue to fight for rules that require military weapons to be stored at army barracks, and oblige all other weapons to be registered.
Such rules may have saved her husband’s life, said Vollenweider, who found out at the funeral that he was about to be offered another job.
“If that night the weapon wasn’t around, he would have had to find one,” she said. “But three days later the situation would have been different. Three days later he would have had another job offer.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Antonio Ligi in Zurich at
The usual suspects, liberals, greens, et al, are planning a major offensive to disarm the country. From SwissInfo:
Attitudes towards firearms may be changing in Switzerland, which is well known for its militia army, strong traditions and liberal gun laws. A recent survey found that two out of three Swiss want to ban army weapons from private households.
Centre-left political parties and pacifist groups are hoping to build on these signs of public disapproval to force a nationwide vote. They are due to start collecting signatures for a people’s initiative from August this year.
The initiative is calling for army weapons to remain in the barracks, a national gun register, a ban on private individuals buying or owning particularly dangerous guns such as automatic weapons or pump-action shotguns, and tighter controls on those who say they need to carry a firearm.
Green parliamentarian Jo Lang, who is behind the proposal, argues that keeping an army gun at home is “a major security risk” and that “there are no practical arguments – only ideological ones”.
Gee, I can’t think of any “practical argument” either. Oh, wait! That’s right, Switzerland was the only country that Germany didn’t invade. . . I’m sure it wasn’t because in those days every home in the country was armed with a gun and someone who knew how to use it.
Notice that even your everyday pump-gun would be banned.