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Old 12.01.2011, 01:40
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Re: Gun violence: U.S. vs. Switzerland?

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I'd be interested in seeing what that graph would look like if it were broken down state by state. Is gun crime as prevalent in the gun-wielding heartlands of the South and Mid West as in the big coastal cities, or not?

EDIT: I found what I was looking for.

I'm not very good at American geography. Can anyone tell me a little about possible demographic reasons for the prevalence of firearm related crime in some states, compared to others?
Honestly, the top three still suffer significant racial tensions (between African Americans and Anglo Americans). Two of the states are deep south (Louisiana and Mississippi), one is not (but has Baltimore, which is one of the most dangerous cities in the US per capita)... not to mention a relatively large number of the populations in those states are below the poverty line thus creating a larger (than normal) gap between the wealthy and poor (ie-less than normal amount of middle class). There are many other reasons (drugs/gangs), but this, in general, would cause the increased gun violence numbers you see reported on that page.

This is a little old, but indicates how race really plays a factor in the US (with gun crimes)...
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Old 12.01.2011, 01:46
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Re: Gun violence: U.S. vs. Switzerland?

Yep, it was Michael Moore and Detroit near Windsor, thanks for the info.

But he concluded the average US citizen was frightened of his neighbour: and the guys from Vermont? Well they had the guns, but didn't have the neighbours

@ Kegs: don't confuse Austria with Switzerland, they are very different mentalities. In fact best to leave it out altogether.

And this graph is certainly interesting. Per capita Switzerland is a dangerous place!

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Old 12.01.2011, 07:54
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Re: Gun violence: U.S. vs. Switzerland?

Hm, the graph is not very good. It only shows fireamr relates deaths, CH seems to score pretty high compared to my native Holland. Holland has very low fireamrs related deaths which is probably compensated for by a higher knife related deaths. People will kill eachother when then want and will use whatever method is available. Low availability of guns just shifts the method to some other type of weapon.

To the OP: this site has some info (in english) about the Swiss gun laws and shows you what's available here: www.gunfactory.ch
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Old 12.01.2011, 08:09
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Re: Gun violence: U.S. vs. Switzerland?

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he concluded the average US citizen was frightened of his neighbour: and the guys from Vermont? Well they had the guns, but didn't have the neighbours
Of COURSE they have neighbors, they are called CANADIANS!

Tom
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Old 12.01.2011, 08:49
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Re: Gun violence: U.S. vs. Switzerland?

Swissinfo (OP: the international website for the state broadcaster) has a bit of a gun theme at the moment, some interesting stories from the last days:

Arizona rampage hits home for Swiss
Swiss gun tradition surprises tourists
Poll finds support for anti-gun move
Anti-gun move seen as attack on Swiss values

Pat
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Old 12.01.2011, 08:56
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Re: Gun violence: U.S. vs. Switzerland?

I don't think the Swiss are "gun lovers", any more than they love their mountain bike, coffee machine or computer. Americans, on the other hand, appear to need things to identify with, need to bolster their self-worth, need things to "stand for" such as guns.

The Swiss are more sober, Americans more volatile. The Swiss are more pragmatic, the Americans more illusory. The Swiss may be prejudiced and biased in some matters, whereas Americans are polarized to the point of violence and hate. The Swiss tend to moderation in their lives, whereas Americans seem to pride themselves in their immoderation. The Swiss actually have freedom of speech and democracy and use both judiciously, whereas in America both are shouted loudly, but it's really hypocrisy. The Swiss would be very reluctant to shoot anything, people, animal or property, whereas Americans appear to be eager to put a hole in anything.

These, of course, are generalizations, however I moderate a couple of fair sized forums that are international, though predominately American in membership, so I see the dynamic every day. Any threat of violence, couched or open, is reason for banning. Threats of violence come exclusively from Americans, even directed at me. Some are bluff, some credible to the point of passing information to authorities. There was one Texan who got in a political argument with a member from New Zealand over GWB. The Texan actually got on a plane and flew to New Zealand to kill the New Zealander. Fortunately the Texan's wife called the police and the Texan got to meet the New Zealand police at the airport on arrival. Fly to the other side of the world to kill somebody you have never met over a petty political argument? Insanity, but it is a growing primary US export, in entertainment, media and fact.

Mr. Kegs, if you want any real answers to your questions, you will need to drop all you points of view, prejudices and illusions and travel... at the very least with Google Airways.
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Old 12.01.2011, 09:27
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Re: Gun violence: U.S. vs. Switzerland?

Who in their right mind would scrape cheese onto bolied potatoes!!
That is a shooting offence - ha I see - thatīs why there are so many guns.
Iīve got a bazooka - does it count?


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I think the answer is cheese.

If Swiss people were compelled to eat Colby Jack instead of top quality cheese imported from the United Kingdom (not to mention some of their own cheeses which are reputed to be adequate for certain culinary purposes, such as bread dunking, or scraping onto boiled potatoes), then they might also take up arms against one another, making Switzerland into the kind of bloody hell-hole that would make the crime ridden fields and forest of the Upper Midwest look positively pleasant in comparison.

Nuke Wisconsin, and ye shall all be saved.

It's the only way.
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Old 12.01.2011, 09:35
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Re: Gun violence: U.S. vs. Switzerland?

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Hm, the graph is not very good. It only shows fireamr relates deaths, CH seems to score pretty high compared to my native Holland. Holland has very low fireamrs related deaths which is probably compensated for by a higher knife related deaths. People will kill eachother when then want and will use whatever method is available. Low availability of guns just shifts the method to some other type of weapon.
That's not the whole story. The more detached a person is from the method of killing, the less likely a person is to carry out that killing.
This is text-book psychology.

Which in other words means that if a gun is not available, a person intent on killing may not reach for a knife or use their hands instead.
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Old 12.01.2011, 09:41
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Re: Gun violence: U.S. vs. Switzerland?

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Nuke Wisconsin, and ye shall all be saved.

It's the only way.
Hey, wait a sec! That's where my fishing cabin is!
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Old 12.01.2011, 09:51
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Re: Gun violence: U.S. vs. Switzerland?

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That's not the whole story. The more detached a person is from the method of killing, the less likely a person is to carry out that killing.
This is text-book psychology.

Which in other words means that if a gun is not available, a person intent on killing may not reach for a knife or use their hands instead.
So the more detached the more likely a killing will happen.... Based on the availability of recipes on the internet and following you reasoning I would expect a very high bomb related murders...
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Old 12.01.2011, 09:53
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Re: Gun violence: U.S. vs. Switzerland?

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So the more detached the more likely a killing will happen.... Based on the availability of recipes on the internet and following you reasoning I would expect a very high bomb related murders...
Well obviously there has to be some intent to harm in the first place
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Old 12.01.2011, 10:01
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Re: Gun violence: U.S. vs. Switzerland?

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I came to visit your forum specifically to get some perspective from Switzerland citizens on this topic.

Why do you think there is so much more firearm violence in the U.S. than there is Switzerland?

So far, based on the discussions of other threads on this forum, it leads me to believe there are more restrictions on firearms in Switzerland than there is in the U.S., but I really don't think this is the reason for the violence involving firearms - or if at all, it is a small piece of the equation.

I previously read somewhere in my country that every home in Switzerland was required to have firearms. I no longer believe that is true at all, but it just shows what kind of rhetoric that is floating around out there.

So is it Culture? Education? Place? History?

What do you think?

Is there anyone there that studies these things and subscribes to this forum to discuss information from a career standpoint?
I think the problem America has with violence and particularly gun related violence is more deep rooted than the question suggests. And the solution is far more complex than the left wing would like to suggest.

A complete de-arming of the population would instantly and dramatically decrease gun crime, but it would not take away the embryonic reasons for gun crime, and as a result, factions and individuals would find other ways of obtaining guns, case in point the israel weapons embargo led to Israel making their own guns!

I think the problem with American violence has a certain verse similitude with religion, and to describe this more eloquently here is a quote from Marx's introduction from Hegel's philosophy of right:-

'The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.'

My point is that in both cases, gun crime, and religion, these issues are not actually the direct problem, it is as Marx suggests, the 'vale of tears' to which gun crime or violence is the resultant force from.

This 'Vale of tears' can be accurately described as the everyday misery, the poverty, the lack of education or ability to ever afford it, the low pay and struggle to feed ones children, the over arching economic driven class system, the mocking of the poor by the rich, which has created an underclass in American society which is capable of such horrific acts.

The solution? Now that is the difficult one.
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Old 12.01.2011, 10:17
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Re: Gun violence: U.S. vs. Switzerland?

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Well obviously there has to be some intent to harm in the first place
In terms of violence, planned attacks are the rarest AFAIK, you're more likely to be killed by someone you know in a heated argument. In the home it's just as likely someone will grab a knife, frying pan or a gun. I suppose in that situation a gun could be seen as less dangerous if it's not kept loaded, pistol whipping aside.

Can't help feeling that letting people walk around with loaded guns is a way of forcing epople to be polite to each other all the time, lest one should upset the wrong individual and get slightly more than a black eye.
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Old 12.01.2011, 10:35
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Re: Gun violence: U.S. vs. Switzerland?

...you need to work in the John Wayne/Rambo traditional imprint for conflict resolution in any formula, as that has lowered the threshold to gun use enormously.

...and for the Swiss/American variation on the the theme, the Swiss have traditionally maintained arms defensively while the Americans primarily offensively, whatever they may think.
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Old 12.01.2011, 10:37
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Re: Gun violence: U.S. vs. Switzerland?

I wonder how far the difference in gun crime can be traced back to the fundamentals of raising children / upbringing. I notice for instance that in the Zurich International School (american/anglo system) kids are pampered like crazy. Every fart a kid makes is applauded like something great and precious. Kids are tought they are important, that their opinion matters, that what they do is valuable etc etc etc. This means you get many individuals who believe they are important, more important than everybody else. These individuals also believe they have the right to a rich lifestyle (because, hey, I'm good and important).

Anyway, real life is not like that. These kids will grow up to become frustrated individuals who will be more likely to use guns to acquire what they believe is their birthright (respect, money).

The Swiss (or: European) school system is much more realistic and does not over-pamper or over-praise children. Children will grow up having a much more realistic view of their own possibilities, of their own future path in life.
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Old 12.01.2011, 10:44
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Re: Gun violence: U.S. vs. Switzerland?

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........... The Swiss would be very reluctant to shoot anything, people, animal or property, whereas Americans appear to be eager to put a hole in anything.
With you apart from this point.....there's an awful lot of hunters out there who will happily shoot anything on four legs.
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Old 12.01.2011, 10:55
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Re: Gun violence: U.S. vs. Switzerland?

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I wonder how far the difference in gun crime can be traced back to the fundamentals of raising children / upbringing. I notice for instance that in the Zurich International School (american/anglo system) kids are pampered like crazy. Every fart a kid makes is applauded like something great and precious. Kids are tought they are important, that their opinion matters, that what they do is valuable etc etc etc. This means you get many individuals who believe they are important, more important than everybody else. These individuals also believe they have the right to a rich lifestyle (because, hey, I'm good and important).

Anyway, real life is not like that. These kids will grow up to become frustrated individuals who will be more likely to use guns to acquire what they believe is their birthright (respect, money).

The Swiss (or: European) school system is much more realistic and does not over-pamper or over-praise children. Children will grow up having a much more realistic view of their own possibilities, of their own future path in life.
It is an international school you reference. Very few kids in the US are going to private school (similar to what this school would be if it were in the US) where they are taught they are *that* important. In fact, schools in the US are commonly overpopulated and in many cases, kids are not receiving the attention they should. Thus, this is not a fair assessment or comparison in my opinion.

But I do agree, many things can be brought back to upbringing (the nature/nurture argument is very powerful). Discipline and reality are enforced/taught by parents and should then translate and affect how the child deals with situations that arise in his/her life... Thus, (part of the) blame can and should definitely be placed on parents in many, but not all, cases.
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Old 12.01.2011, 10:58
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Re: Gun violence: U.S. vs. Switzerland?

I personally think it has less to do with the guns and more with the society. The US has about ten times as many people in prison as most European countries and is globally the number on per capita in locking up people - long before even the worst dictators on this planet! (Lybia for example has less than a fourth of the prisoners per capita compared to the US!)
http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cr...ers-per-capita

I believe that throwing criminals into prison easily will not have any positive result. I think it is by now very well proven that a drug addict is not at all scared of going to prison the moment he needs his fix and comits a robbery. If you lock somebody up for five years in some extremely violent place... he becomes more violent himself. So having ten times the prioners at any given time means that you have ten times the ex-priosners on the street as well...
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  #39  
Old 12.01.2011, 11:03
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Re: Gun violence: U.S. vs. Switzerland?

@Kegs - I think there are some misconceptions here:

1. Not all Swiss households are required to have guns at home, that's a myth
2. Switzerland has a relatively high incidence of gun-related problems, but most of them are suicides
3. Switzerland has significantly stricter gun laws than the US, which probably explains why there are more gun-related crimes where you live.


1. -> All Swiss servicemen have to keep their assault rifles at home. However, since last year, they aren't issued ammunition for those guns.

2. -> Compared to other European countries (especially Germany), gun-related crime is very high here. Especially, the number of suicides by means of service rifles is extremely high. The upcoming vote is mainly aiming to reduce the suicide rate because there's a direct correlation between the number of service rifles at home and suicides.

3. -> Switzerland has always required permits for handguns (Waffenerwerbschein) and for ammunition (Munitionserwerbschein). In order to get a Waffenerwerbschein, you need to have a clean criminal record and you need to prove that you are familiar with the type of weapon you're about to purchase. Rifles (because they can't easily be concealed) were exempt from this until last year - now you're required to register your rifles and you need a Waffenerwerbschein for those to. So it's not actually that easy to purchase a weapon.

Also, weapons (with the exception of the service rifle on the way to and from your service location and the way to and from the shooting range for your obligatory annual shooting test) can not be carried on you, even if you have legal permission to own them. In order to be able to carry weapons in public (concealed or visibly), you need to have a carrying permission (Tragschein) which is only issued to those who are required to carry a gun for professional reasons (police, some security guards).

So, as you can see, the situation here is hardly comparable to the US, where, at least in some states, everyone can walk around with a gun in his or her holster.

Of course, there certainly are other social factors that influence the number of gun crimes. No offense, but violence is an integral part of US society. The army is glorified, violent sports in combination with military-like drill are omnipresent. Violence on TV is openly permitted (while even the slightest amount of nudity is totally censored). In Europe it's the other way round - sexuality is largely detabooized while violence (on TV and in all other areas of life) is frowned upon and regulated.

Peter
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  #40  
Old 12.01.2011, 11:06
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Re: Gun violence: U.S. vs. Switzerland?

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I believe that throwing criminals into prison easily will not have any positive result. I think it is by now very well proven that a drug addict is not at all scared of going to prison the moment he needs his fix and comits a robbery. If you lock somebody up for five years in some extremely violent place... he becomes more violent himself. So having ten times the prioners at any given time means that you have ten times the ex-priosners on the street as well...
which in turn reduces the threshold to violence ten times, give or take. Violence begets violence in a vicious circle, and prison, more often than not, adds more to the viciousness than it removes.
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