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Old 18.01.2011, 21:28
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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if you buy a gun means that you are a person who is prepared to shoot someone...tells a lot about character...
It could mean that. I know quite a few people who would be prepared to shoot someone who entered their home, uninvited, in the middle of the night. The fact that they are prepared to risk the remorse of ending a human life, not to mention the legal misery they would have to go through, in order to protect their loved ones tells me quite a lot about their character.

Then, of course, there are those people who love fine engineering, those people who enjoy shooting at milk jugs for sport, those people who like to shoot their own food, those people who just like guns because they like guns. There are millions of them. Would you like to tell me all about their character?
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  #322  
Old 18.01.2011, 22:14
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Suicide is tragic for the victims ... the hundreds of loved ones; parents and siblings of suicidal teens, wives and husbands of suicidal spouses, and children of suicidal parents. How can anyone say 300 gun related suicides don't matter?

Having a gun in each home makes this easily accessible. Too easy.

Even without suicide - or the many murder-suicides (one of highest per capita in the world) - there is the constant threat that many feel just by having guns in the home. No, not the "good" gun owners; we're not afraid of responsible people. Under the proposed changes anyone without a criminal history of violence or insanity would be able to apply for and get a license for any type of gun (except for pump action). Hardly inconvenient for responsible gun owners. Let's take the guns away from those who do not pass that test. The guy that took a pot shot at a random person waiting at the bus stop in Hoengg - killing a 15 year old girl with one shot from his army issue rifle with army issue ammo - had a history of violence. Nevertheless he was required to do military service, still got a semi automatic army issue rifle, retained the ammunition (nobody noticed) and shot a girl he didn't even know dead in the middle of Zurich, it could have been you. It would not have happened had he been required to leave the gun at the base.

The proposal is to store the semi automatic weapons which belong to the military at the military base, instead of in homes (currently all men are in the part time reserves, and they store the weapons which they only need once a year in their own homes.) The new proposal allows anyone who needs a gun for any reason to apply for a license. Unless you have a criminal record you'll get it. What is the problem? The killer from Hoengg had a record and could therefore not have bought a weapon (under the new proposal).

This is what most countries do. Who cares if it inconvenient to keep the gun at the military base - - Who cares? I certainly prefer a licensing system, approaching (although still far less control) that of countries like UK or Australia, than the "gun in every home" approach which really is a tad out of date given wars are no longer fought in trenches and also given the significant gun deaths in Switzerland in the last 10 years. (15 politicians killed within 2.5 minutes by one man - many more injured - army issue weapon; a few bankers at ZKB in Zurich when someone got a bad performance review (in front of a meeting room full of people, then finally killed himself in front of his friend who was trying to talk him out of it, using his army issue pistol and army issue ammunition), a medal winning ski star and her brother killed in front of her child and parents by her jilted husband .... the list goes on. This matters. It matters a lot. With a knife, fewer people die in each incident. With a train suicide, the family is usually not watching or finding the body. The initiative puts army issue weapons away from the general population, and requires those that need guns to get a license.

And I have one friend who has been threatened by her husband and his military issue weapon. Yes she called the police, they came, he didn't do it again. It still matters. It should not be in the average person's home ie every Swiss male (the army is a reserve army). Uncontrolled.

I do not understand the "no" argument, especially as presented in this thread. I believe suicides do matter, and inconvenience doesn't. And the argument "guns don't kill ....people do" is an interesting statement... guns also don't care where they are stored. Guns don't care who has access to and is killing with them .., people should. People matter, not guns.

If you are Swiss and you can vote, please vote "yes" to the Waffeninitiative on Feb 13 - send your postal vote ... Don't forget because of your ski holiday or else the default will be no (apathy) and then the efforts over the last ten years to get this to a referendum will be wasted. Vote yes and save some lives. Even self taken lives matter.

Lisa
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  #323  
Old 18.01.2011, 23:01
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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Fair enough: Regarding Switzerland, the whole initiative is a waste of time to solve a non-existent problem. Where there are problems with criminals abusing guns, then they are already dealt with by the legal system. Why, therefore, is another law necessary, which merely serves to criminalise ordinary, non-murderous people for no sensible reason at all?
The aim of the initiative is to change the system, so that the soldiers no longer have to take the gun home, but can deposit it in an arsenal.

The problem is NOT really about criminals abusing guns, but that if the initiative gets approved, the arsenals will have to be open on Saturday until about 4pm, as by military law, the military services have to end in the morning early enough for the soldiers to reach home during Saturday afternoon. And they will also be forced to get ready for quite some workload. On particular Saturday-afternoons there at the Zurich arsenal will be between 1000 and 10'000 guns to be deposited, and in Saturday morning the same number of withdrawals. They may however solve the problem by "outsourcing" the "Stgw-Depot-function" to major police-stations around the country, which are open for 24h/7days anyway.
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Old 18.01.2011, 23:25
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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Suicide is tragic for the victims ... the hundreds of loved ones; parents and siblings of suicidal teens, wives and husbands of suicidal spouses, and children of suicidal parents. How can anyone say 300 gun related suicides don't matter?
Nobody is saying the lives lost don't matter, of course they do...I am hesitant, though, whether the access to the gun is actually the cause of those suicides and killings. So, we ban guns, ok. What will be next - gas stoves, painkillers, anything people can OD on? Is it really the availability of the means people use to kill themselves and others that make people do it? Or is it a problem of a seemingly picture perfect society, obviously with certain strong pressure on the individual, that finally needs to be addressed...Traditionally, perfectionistic societies have high rates of suicides. Taking the gun away won't treat it. It's gona baby people who need to think as responsible adults but also need to learn how to chill, how to let go..then nobody will care if they have a gun in their armoire or not.
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  #325  
Old 18.01.2011, 23:39
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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Suicide is tragic for the victims ... the hundreds of loved ones; parents and siblings of suicidal teens, wives and husbands of suicidal spouses, and children of suicidal parents. How can anyone say 300 gun related suicides don't matter?

Having a gun in each home makes this easily accessible. Too easy.

Even without suicide - or the many murder-suicides (one of highest per capita in the world) - there is the constant threat that many feel just by having guns in the home. No, not the "good" gun owners; we're not afraid of responsible people. Under the proposed changes anyone without a criminal history of violence or insanity would be able to apply for and get a license for any type of gun (except for pump action). Hardly inconvenient for responsible gun owners. Let's take the guns away from those who do not pass that test. The guy that took a pot shot at a random person waiting at the bus stop in Hoengg - killing a 15 year old girl with one shot from his army issue rifle with army issue ammo - had a history of violence. Nevertheless he was required to do military service, still got a semi automatic army issue rifle, retained the ammunition (nobody noticed) and shot a girl he didn't even know dead in the middle of Zurich, it could have been you. It would not have happened had he been required to leave the gun at the base.

The proposal is to store the semi automatic weapons which belong to the military at the military base, instead of in homes (currently all men are in the part time reserves, and they store the weapons which they only need once a year in their own homes.) The new proposal allows anyone who needs a gun for any reason to apply for a license. Unless you have a criminal record you'll get it. What is the problem? The killer from Hoengg had a record and could therefore not have bought a weapon (under the new proposal).

This is what most countries do. Who cares if it inconvenient to keep the gun at the military base - - Who cares? I certainly prefer a licensing system, approaching (although still far less control) that of countries like UK or Australia, than the "gun in every home" approach which really is a tad out of date given wars are no longer fought in trenches and also given the significant gun deaths in Switzerland in the last 10 years. (15 politicians killed within 2.5 minutes by one man - many more injured - army issue weapon; a few bankers at ZKB in Zurich when someone got a bad performance review (in front of a meeting room full of people, then finally killed himself in front of his friend who was trying to talk him out of it, using his army issue pistol and army issue ammunition), a medal winning ski star and her brother killed in front of her child and parents by her jilted husband .... the list goes on. This matters. It matters a lot. With a knife, fewer people die in each incident. With a train suicide, the family is usually not watching or finding the body. The initiative puts army issue weapons away from the general population, and requires those that need guns to get a license.

And I have one friend who has been threatened by her husband and his military issue weapon. Yes she called the police, they came, he didn't do it again. It still matters. It should not be in the average person's home ie every Swiss male (the army is a reserve army). Uncontrolled.

I do not understand the "no" argument, especially as presented in this thread. I believe suicides do matter, and inconvenience doesn't. And the argument "guns don't kill ....people do" is an interesting statement... guns also don't care where they are stored. Guns don't care who has access to and is killing with them .., people should. People matter, not guns.

If you are Swiss and you can vote, please vote "yes" to the Waffeninitiative on Feb 13 - send your postal vote ... Don't forget because of your ski holiday or else the default will be no (apathy) and then the efforts over the last ten years to get this to a referendum will be wasted. Vote yes and save some lives. Even self taken lives matter.

Lisa
A other counterargument

Say NO to gun cortroll
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  #326  
Old 18.01.2011, 23:43
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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Nobody is saying the lives lost don't matter, of course they do...I am hesitant, though, whether the access to the gun is actually the cause of those suicides and killings. So, we ban guns, ok. What will be next - gas stoves, painkillers, anything people can OD on? Is it really the availability of the means people use to kill themselves and others that make people do it? Or is it a problem of a seemingly picture perfect society, obviously with certain strong pressure on the individual, that finally needs to be addressed...Traditionally, perfectionistic societies have high rates of suicides. Taking the gun away won't treat it. It's gona baby people who need to think as responsible adults but also need to learn how to chill, how to let go..then nobody will care if they have a gun in their armoire or not.
I think, something needs to be clarified. Having that military gun at home does NOT mean you have "access". You, at least in the past, had that strange ammunition-box with you, which A) to open is not only prohibited but extremely difficult, and B) not having it with you on arrival in the next service would be most unpleasant to put it mildly. Then, until a few years ago, the Stgw in question was not exactly what I would call a practical thing, except you are to use it, as I outlined earlier, in combination with the bayonet (possibly also out-of-use now) to grill some sausages . I of course admit that you, when going to do the "Obligatorische" could purchase additional "test-shots" and not use them and so establish your ammunition depot, but that requires decent planning. And yes, much of course depends on the unit. It is obvious that people in the infantry, who use their gun frequently, have far more access to ammunition than people in units like artillery, motor car repair units or anti-aircraft gunnery units. In the artillery, where you seldom use your personal gun, except to carry the thing around, you hardly have uncontrolled access to ammunition. Neither do you have access to ammunition if you later on are in a unit in charge of the explosives loaded below bridges, in tunnels and below roads. Also people working as wireless operators, postmen, office-men, kitchen-personnel etc are not really given access to ammunition.

There of course is another hole. Each unit has an "ammunition-corporal" in charge with the stuff. But quite many of them lose control over their "accounting" and at the end of the service get their ammunition-accounting fixed by somebody in the office. Did this several times for Corporal (Wachmeister) ...... (name known to me ) and so really can tell you


And, just to put the matter into perspectives, I was again and again in services for 22 years, and each time had between 90 and 130 colleagues, and there was NEVER a single incidence involving our unit(s)
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  #327  
Old 19.01.2011, 00:04
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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......I think we can safely assume that someone who is willing to kill a fellow human will not hesitate to ignore even the strictest gun law and obtain a gun on the black market.
I don't believe you safely assume anything of the sort. Care to produce evidence for that?
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Old 19.01.2011, 00:48
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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Nobody is saying the lives lost don't matter, of course they do...I am hesitant, though, whether the access to the gun is actually the cause of those suicides and killings. So, we ban guns, ok. What will be next - gas stoves, painkillers, anything people can OD on? Is it really the availability of the means people use to kill themselves and others that make people do it? Or is it a problem of a seemingly picture perfect society, obviously with certain strong pressure on the individual, that finally needs to be addressed...Traditionally, perfectionistic societies have high rates of suicides. Taking the gun away won't treat it. It's gona baby people who need to think as responsible adults but also need to learn how to chill, how to let go..then nobody will care if they have a gun in their armoire or not.
Not to forget, unlike in the US and many other countries, suicide is LEGAL in Switzerland.

Tom
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  #329  
Old 19.01.2011, 01:27
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

I haven't seen the necessity of the Swiss part time Army needing to shoot every year on Saturdays.

Maybe their rifle aim will be out of practise after 10 years, but then when was the last time the Swiss fired a weapon in war? Were warning shots fired between 1939 & 1945? And more to the point: when will the Army fire their weapons the next time in an operation in Europe?

Switzerland can easily save millions each year by scrapping this 60 year old habit, and only require range shooting when on actual active service. But then we would all be accused of supporting the organisation "Switzerland without an Army"

Why can't the Swiss defence be outsourced to France, Germany, Austria and Italy? We wouldn't need an Army, and stop all this nonsence and waste. It really is laughable!
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Old 19.01.2011, 01:37
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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I haven't seen the necessity of the Swiss part time Army needing to shoot every year on Saturdays.

Maybe their rifle aim will be out of practise after 10 years, but then when was the last time the Swiss fired a weapon in war? Were warning shots fired between 1939 & 1945? And more to the point: when will the Army fire their weapons the next time in an operation in Europe?

Switzerland can easily save millions each year by scrapping this 60 year old habit, and only require range shooting when on actual active service. But then we would all be accused of supporting the organisation "Switzerland without an Army"

Why can't the Swiss defence be outsourced to France, Germany, Austria and Italy? We wouldn't need an Army, and stop all this nonsence and waste. It really is laughable!
The last time can be exactly defined as 1848, in a war effort by the modernists who wanted to keep the union together. What "outsourcing" ? With the exception of the German speakers, Western Europe has moved over to professional armies. Which means getting rid of those vast mass armies of Verdun/Marne fame, which however are the central core of the thinking of the present defence minister and his cronies ! To be clear about it, a professional army cannot be just a kind of police unit. It must be a highly modern force with mechanised forces like airforce, artillery etc. To me, the simply abolishment of the whole stuff is an option I in case of a new vote will vote in favour of !
  #331  
Old 19.01.2011, 07:58
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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It could mean that. I know quite a few people who would be prepared to shoot someone who entered their home, uninvited, in the middle of the night. The fact that they are prepared to risk the remorse of ending a human life, not to mention the legal misery they would have to go through, in order to protect their loved ones tells me quite a lot about their character.

Then, of course, there are those people who love fine engineering, those people who enjoy shooting at milk jugs for sport, those people who like to shoot their own food, those people who just like guns because they like guns. There are millions of them. Would you like to tell me all about their character?
god you people have watched too many movies..."protect your loves ones..."...please...can you tell me one case here in Switzerland where somebody used their army rifle for self defense at home...

and for you gun lovers...are army rifles allowed to be stored at home in UK and in US?
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Old 19.01.2011, 08:02
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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god you people have watched too many movies
You're a presumptuous little toad, aren't you?

Anyway, I was responding to your assertion that "if you buy a gun means that you are a person who is prepared to shoot someone...tells a lot about character..."

That seems to be a pretty general assertion, to which I responded in kind, so please do make up your mind whether you are talking about Switzerland or the world in general, please.
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Old 19.01.2011, 09:17
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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Under the proposed changes anyone without a criminal history of violence or insanity would be able to apply for and get a license for any type of gun (except for pump action).
Sorry, my dear. What you describe is (with the exception of the pump action gun) exactly the current legal situation.

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Hardly inconvenient for responsible gun owners.
Most likely it will become very bureaucratic, difficult and inconvenient.

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The guy that took a pot shot at a random person waiting at the bus stop in Hoengg - killing a 15 year old girl with one shot from his army issue rifle with army issue ammo - had a history of violence.
That's exactly why the Swiss Army does more thorough background checks before issuing a gun these days. This problem has already been taken care of.

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The new proposal allows anyone who needs a gun for any reason to apply for a license. Unless you have a criminal record you'll get it.
Wrong again. You're again describing the current legal situation. If the initiative is approved, people will not be able to obtain a gun "for any reason". It will be restricted to licensed target shooters, licensed hunters and collectors. (I wonder how they want to handle someone who's just about to start collecting though... )

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This is what most countries do.
Well, I don't care what other countries do. Switzerland has a long history of doing things differently and has been pretty successful doing so.

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With a train suicide, the family is usually not watching or finding the body.
Sorry, but that's probably the most stupid argument I've read in a long time. What about the train drivers? Some of them aren't able to work on their job a again because of such idiots! What about innocent bystanders who are subjected to the gruesome display of someone being smashed by a train?

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I believe suicides do matter, and inconvenience doesn't.
In the end it's not about inconvenience but about liberty and about safety. I have heard no reasonable argument yet why this initiative should improve safety. After the UK and Australia introduced tougher gun laws and confiscated the weapons of many law-abiding citizens, crimes rates actually increased!

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Old 19.01.2011, 09:33
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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Not to forget, unlike in the US and many other countries, suicide is LEGAL in Switzerland.

Tom
Your point being what exactly?
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Old 19.01.2011, 09:56
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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How can anyone say 300 gun related suicides don't matter?
Yea, but do you know what 300 train delays will do to the SBB time schedule?
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Old 19.01.2011, 10:07
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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Sorry, my dear. What you describe is (with the exception of the pump action gun) exactly the current legal situation.
That is factually inaccurate. While these restrictions apply when you try to get a permission, you do not need such a permission for most rifles.


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The aim of the initiative is to change the system, so that the soldiers no longer have to take the gun home, but can deposit it in an arsenal.
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The problem is NOT really about criminals abusing guns, but that if the initiative gets approved, the arsenals will have to be open on Saturday until about 4pm, as by military law, the military services have to end in the morning early enough for the soldiers to reach home during Saturday afternoon. And they will also be forced to get ready for quite some workload. On particular Saturday-afternoons there at the Zurich arsenal will be between 1000 and 10'000 guns to be deposited, and in Saturday morning the same number of withdrawals. They may however solve the problem by "outsourcing" the "Stgw-Depot-function" to major police-stations around the country, which are open for 24h/7days anyway.
This made me laugh. Do you really think that the people working for the VBS are that stupid?

When the soldiers leave for the weekend:

1. Collect firearms from soldiers
2. Store firearms at the base
3. Guard them (thats what the guys on "Wache" do anyways")

When the soldiers come back from the weekend:
1. Retrieve firearms
2. Distribute firearms to soldiers.

When the soldiers beginn their service:
1. Figure out how many soldiers are coming in
2. Figure out how many firearms you need (see step 1.)
3. Find a truck
4. Drive truck to the arsenal (the one from step 3.)
5. Retrieve correct number of firearms (see step 2.)
6. Load them on the truck
7. Drive the truck to the "Besammlungsort"
8. Distribute firearms to soldiers

I can see how this is awfully difficult, especially as you have to do the steps in the correct order, but if the VBS needs help, I can draw a nice flowchart for them.

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So, we ban guns, ok.


Who wants to do that? Are we talking about the initiative?
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Old 19.01.2011, 10:09
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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Why can't the Swiss defence be outsourced to France, Germany, Austria and Italy? We wouldn't need an Army, and stop all this nonsence and waste. It really is laughable!
LOL - Some politicians (mostly in northern Italy) would love to *take over* Ticino, and BTW revive an old dream of Italy "from sea to the alps".
Another northafrican dictator publicly declared, some months ago, that Switzerland should be torn asunder and reunited with its immediate neighbours.
So I really see why some political forces (important ones) plus the Army still feel under pressure. I see their level of preparedness wanting to be more of a deterrent rather than some kind of gung-ho attack force.

As far as individuals manning guns... Well, I went to a shooting course (just to see what it's all about, really) with a qualified instructor (a colleague in IT). His personal defense revolver is loaded with:
a) salt for the first two shots
b) lead pellets (like for hunting small game) for another warning shot
c) real bullets for the last three shots.

Even in this case he is scared sh*tless of having to pull the trigger in a real world scenario, despite having done specialist "combat" training in Sargans (the real deal, SAS like thing).
BTW his (and other trainers') first rule and line of defense is "get out of whatever armed confrontation as fast as you can, even if you're armed".
In his opinion, the most dangerous individuals could be spotted with a thorough psychological test (which I advocate wholeheartedly BTW), both in the army or when they request the permission to buy a weapon.

Am I afraid of my fellow citizens being armed?
Tell you the truth - I have seen some pretty scary individuals at that training range... real gun crazies ; thankfully their aim didn't seem to be very accurate!
I'd really like to see them disarmed for good and put under surveillance (not very liberal thoughts, I know).
And I'm not going to hide that incidents such as the rampage in Zug, or a similar incident in Ticino in the 90s occasionally come to mind (like in this moment).

Most of the ordinary Joes I know would never even dream of touching their handgun or assault rifle. Many would gladly hand them in. Other collectors who I've met, amazingly, never shoot the things (like the fishermen who don't eat what they fish... go figure ). They seem to love the mechanical aspect. I also think that with their extensive collections (and I mean hundreds of pieces) of vintage western revolvers, old hunting guns, old WWI rifles*, etc they also raise the statistics of weapon possession to the high ratios we've read elsewhere in this thread (so when you read those statistics, take them with a pinch of salt)...

Peace,

Paul


*Note: all these collector's pieces must be declared to the authorities as well, as long as they are capable of firing.
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Old 19.01.2011, 10:26
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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god you people have watched too many movies...
It's more likely that the people who launched the initiative have watched too many movies, hence their obsession with pump-action guns.
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Old 19.01.2011, 10:39
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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That is factually inaccurate. While these restrictions apply when you try to get a permission, you do not need such a permission for most rifles.
You're right. You only need a permit for some types of guns, while others (mostly hunting rifles) don't require a permit, but you're required to set up a contract in writing and send a copy of the signed contract to the canton. But even requiring such a permit for all types of guns would still be a far cry from what the initiative wants.
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Old 19.01.2011, 11:31
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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You're right. You only need a permit for some types of guns, while others (mostly hunting rifles) don't require a permit, but you're required to set up a contract in writing and send a copy of the signed contract to the canton. But even requiring such a permit for all types of guns would still be a far cry from what the initiative wants.

Within 30 days, after the deal. Which is sth. I don't get with the current legislation. Especially as getting a hunting permission is rather difficult and fulfilling the criteria for such a permission almost always means that you fulfil the criteria to get a permission to buy firearms.



The main "problem" with the initiative is that the shooting clubs fear that they will no longer be heavily subsidized by the government, through:

Giving the rifles away almost for free.
Spending 18 millions per year on the "Obligatorisches" a sum that goes directly into the pockets of the shooting clubs
Spending a at least 200 millions on sanitizing the soil at the ranges (lead pollution).

I can hardly see how the possible removal of subsidies can be perceived as "overreaching government".
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