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  #381  
Old 20.01.2011, 10:57
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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The women will make the difference.
Not so sure. After my many discussions, I found the women were just as divided as the men. I'd say this has more to do with age. The younger ones will vote "yes", the older ones "no" and since it's usually the older ones who vote, the initiative will not pass.
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Old 20.01.2011, 11:17
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Not so sure. After my many discussions, I found the women were just as divided as the men. I'd say this has more to do with age. The younger ones will vote "yes", the older ones "no" and since it's usually the older ones who vote, the initiative will not pass.
I think you're right. A lot of families go skiing around Feb 13 and will forget to vote by post beforehand. The older generation, perhaps traditionalists, or who may be under the impression they are "safer" with access to weapons due to the campaigns showing the bad guy with the gun, they will go out and vote no.

The yes vote will be a challenge.

Many women's groups are behind the yes vote, but whether their members make the time and effort to vote remains to be seen.

Lisa
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Old 20.01.2011, 11:23
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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Tom
I am not aware of any other country in the world that is a direct democracy - are you referring to voting for political representatives, which most countries do, or voting directly for initiatives? Only Switzerland let's the people decide directly, rather than via their members of parliament.

Hence I thought I should spell out that if you have an opinion, voting will help .... apathy won't help (in either direction, regardless of whether you vote yes or no, you should vote).

Lisa
Some US states have initiatives and referendums, such as California, and works as it does here.

You are assuming that the 40% who do vote are not a fair representation of all voters. Why do you assume this?

Tom
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  #384  
Old 20.01.2011, 11:55
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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Empirical evidence from a number of countries strongly suggests that tougher gun laws actually reduce a population's safety.
Would you care to post some links to this? Because everything I've seen suggests exactly the opposite

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If you think about it for a moment it makes perfect sense. Just imagine you were a criminal specializing in robberies. In which of the following two countries would you rather "work"?

Country A with a strict gun law, where only the police is legally allowed to own guns

Country B where every citizen has the right to own firearms
Country A every time

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Places where I've felt safe:

Switzerland: lots of guns in the possession of law-abiding citizens
Rural Mid West of United States: lots of guns in the possession of law-abiding citizens
Greece: lots of guns in the possession of, er, citizens.

Places where I've felt unsafe:

Manchester: few guns in the possession of law-abiding citizens; lots of guns in the possession of criminals.
London: few guns in the possession of law-abiding citizens; lots of guns in the possession of criminals.
Nottingham: few guns in the possession of law-abiding citizens; lots of guns in the possession of criminals.

Is it just me, or is there a pattern there?
Is this based on fact or on perception? Actually you answer that...."felt"...clearly perception. Might be worth actually looking at the murder and robbery rates for some of these. I lived in London for many years and never felt unsafe. Los Angeles scares the sh1 out of me in comparison.
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Old 20.01.2011, 12:20
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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Empirical evidence from a number of countries strongly suggests that tougher gun laws actually reduce a population's safety.
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Would you care to post some links to this? Because everything I've seen suggests exactly the opposite

If you have a look at the article from the Harvard Journal of Law linked in my post a page back you'll have plenty to read. Not some fly by night enterprise, not an institution with an agenda. With wording like "we were surprised to find" regarding the results that show, in the end, based on extensive research, that more guns = more safety.

Gun control is a contentious subject, in a similar league to abortion and religion, but it's discouraging when something has been documented extensively and the factual, provable results of that documentation are disregarded in favor of personal opinion. Opinions are fine, but I can have the opinion that aspirin doesn't relieve pain and it won't change the fact that it does.

(I linked the Harvard article again. About half of the 46 pages is footnotes and sources.)
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  #386  
Old 20.01.2011, 12:25
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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Is this based on fact or on perception?
Purely perception.

... which is what most people rely upon when they vote.
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  #387  
Old 20.01.2011, 14:14
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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If you have a look at the article from the Harvard Journal of Law linked in my post a page back you'll have plenty to read.
I'll have a proper look this evening but a quick scan shows it to be laughably biased. FYI, the main author, Don Kates, is clearly in the gun lobby (Wikip: "As a civil liberties lawyer he has represented gun owners attacking the constitutionality of certain firearms laws") and is a research fellow for the libertatian "Independent Institute". A quick look at the other author shows him to be of the same school of thought.

Very much a publication with an agenda.
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  #388  
Old 20.01.2011, 16:30
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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I think you're right. A lot of families go skiing around Feb 13 and will forget to vote by post beforehand. The older generation, perhaps traditionalists, or who may be under the impression they are "safer" with access to weapons due to the campaigns showing the bad guy with the gun, they will go out and vote no.

The yes vote will be a challenge.

Many women's groups are behind the yes vote, but whether their members make the time and effort to vote remains to be seen.

Lisa
An interesting essay on the subject of the democratic debate around conflicting / contradictory issues (such as gun ownership) published just yesterday and available here:
http://economistsview.typepad.com/ec...s-collide.html
Excerpt:
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...To overcome this contradiction, neutrality is not enough. We need to add a commitment to democratic, constitutional procedures as being the moral trump card when it comes to legislation about areas of conflict based on fundamental disagreements about the right and the good. Essentially this comes down to a second-order commitment that every citizen needs to share: When policy issues arise that lead to profound disagreement among blocs of citizens, the right solution is ... arrived at through legitimate democratic processes. In other words, all citizens need to put their commitment to legitimate democratic procedures ahead of their commitment to a particular conception of the good and the right. Democratic values supersede religious, political, and moral convictions when there is no choice but to legislate an issue. ...

Rawls captures this conundrum with the idea of toleration: the idea that citizens must tolerate and respect the strongly-held convictions of their fellow citizens, even while participating in a political process that leads to legislation that is inconsistent with those convictions. This means that if the Alphas prevail through the political process, the Betas need to accept the outcome as morally legitimate -- even though it contradicts their own firmly held moral convictions. But why would one accept the moral necessity of toleration? Doesn't this mean sacrificing one's own moral convictions to the will of a contrary majority? And doesn't this imply that one's own convictions are tentative and conditional?
Note to mods - maybe it could be interesting to split the part of the discussion that has begun to develop around referendums in general, voting issues, etc...

Paul
  #389  
Old 20.01.2011, 17:01
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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I'll have a proper look this evening but a quick scan shows it to be laughably biased. FYI, the main author, Don Kates, is clearly in the gun lobby (Wikip: "As a civil liberties lawyer he has represented gun owners attacking the constitutionality of certain firearms laws") and is a research fellow for the libertatian "Independent Institute". A quick look at the other author shows him to be of the same school of thought.

Very much a publication with an agenda.
I appreciate that you looked into it. I'll be curious if you find the data to be faulty, or are content with ad-hominem-tastic disregard of the authors.

From other reading I have done their findings seem accurate.
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  #390  
Old 20.01.2011, 18:27
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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Can confirm that, as I know quite a few personally. Although, when it comes to IT or backgroud checks... lets say that they are not exactly the moste competent people in the world....

I think, the military can really be trusted when it comes to evaluate its personnel...They would never promote a stalker, would they...



heheh, mostly true, storing weapeons is widely practised....




Correct me if I'm wrong, but this isn't actually a law. Adapting to new situations should, IMHO, be one of the core competences of a functioning army...




I know such "modern" ways are way beyond our army.


Funnily enough, I find that my friends who are high ranking, professional officers mostly agree with me when we talk strategy. Usually, the ones who disagree are low ranking militia officers and soldiers who have a tendency to vote SVP.

After all, the purpose of the swiss armed forces is NOT to preserve traditions, but to fulfil its mission such as it is defined by article 58 of the swiss constitution.
The term "law" of course is not a good one, but it is a very "heavy" part of the "army regulations" and one the "apparatchiks" will never be ready. As a major once told me, the high-ranking officers of the Swiss Army, even if talking differently in public, are by majority in favour of transforming the whole business into a professional army. The mentioned major in 1990 told me that I was young enough to see, if I lived long enough, that change taking place also here in Switzerland

A strange point about the initiative in fact is that it apparently (as far as I have read the text before discarding that literature, and also according to "War Minister" Maurer) does NOT contain the abolishment of the "Obligatorische". So that there will be heaps of soldiers getting their gun early on Saturday morning and returning it in the afternoon

And, while I do not regard the VBSlers as stupid, flexibility and the Swiss Army are oxymorons !
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  #391  
Old 20.01.2011, 18:51
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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A strange point about the initiative in fact is that it apparently (as far as I have read the text before discarding that literature, and also according to "War Minister" Maurer) does NOT contain the abolishment of the "Obligatorische". So that there will be heaps of soldiers getting their gun early on Saturday morning and returning it in the afternoon
Oh, that will be nice!

Tom
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Old 20.01.2011, 19:43
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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The term "law" of course is not a good one, but it is a very "heavy" part of the "army regulations" and one the "apparatchiks" will never be ready. As a major once told me, the high-ranking officers of the Swiss Army, even if talking differently in public, are by majority in favour of transforming the whole business into a professional army. The mentioned major in 1990 told me that I was young enough to see, if I lived long enough, that change taking place also here in Switzerland
That is pretty much it. The swiss army, in its current state, basically serves one purpose: To deter/fight back a conventional ground invasion. Which is a) extremely unlikely (even with such sneaky and devious neighbors as Liechtenstein) and figures very low on the VBS own threat assessment and b) the forewarning period would be long enough to actually train new foot soldiers for such an event.

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A strange point about the initiative in fact is that it apparently (as far as I have read the text before discarding that literature, and also according to "War Minister" Maurer) does NOT contain the abolishment of the "Obligatorische". So that there will be heaps of soldiers getting their gun early on Saturday morning and returning it in the afternoon
You're right, the initiative is not about the "Obligatorische". Actually the people at VBS think that it is totally useless/obsolete from a military point of view, but fear the political power of the shooting clubs...


The solution to the problem at hand is quite easy though: Serve with your personal weapon, shoot with another one.


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And, while I do not regard the VBSlers as stupid, flexibility and the Swiss Army are oxymorons !
I'm sure, reintroducing bicycles and homing pigeons are Ueli the Knechts top priorities in his "Swiss Army 2050" project.
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  #393  
Old 20.01.2011, 19:53
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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Serve with your personal weapon, shoot with another one.
That won't work, everyone will be complaining that it's not as clean/accurate as their personal weapon!

Tom
  #394  
Old 20.01.2011, 23:23
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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I appreciate that you looked into it. I'll be curious if you find the data to be faulty, or are content with ad-hominem-tastic disregard of the authors.

From other reading I have done their findings seem accurate.
A piece of flat pack furniture got in the way so it'll have to wait for the weekend. However it wasn't the data (no idea there) but some incredibly self serving interpretation that hit me. Picking on Luxembourg as an example comes to mind (almost as bad as picking Liechtenstein)....either those guys don't have access to an atlas or just possibly the stats suited them. Also using Russia as an "European" comparative...I've no idea what the law says there BUT I do know that whatever the statistics say gun possession is VERY widespread (they were trying to claim otherwise) plus pretty well any statistic coming out of Russia has to be treated with great suspicion. Also where they did look at Western Europe they were frequently comparing one country with a very low gun ownership rate with another with a slightly higher - but still very low - rate. Levels sufficiently low and close to each other that it is actually impossible to draw statistically significant conclusions. Notably they also failed to compare the US to Europe, indeed didn't include it in most of their stats. Please remember this is all from a quick scan, not a proper read.

Ultimately they failed to explain why the gun murder rate in Western Europe is generally about 7 times lower than in the USA. Or why the total murder rate is almost equally impressively lower.

The big comparison they completely failed to make was the US v. Canada. I wonder why.......
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Old 21.01.2011, 08:55
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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That won't work, everyone will be complaining that it's not as clean/accurate as their personal weapon!

Tom
If you want to give in every time a swiss soldier complains about sth. there wouldn't a swiss army any more.

Quote:
A piece of flat pack furniture got in the way so it'll have to wait for the weekend. However it wasn't the data (no idea there) but some incredibly self serving interpretation that hit me. Picking on Luxembourg as an example comes to mind (almost as bad as picking Liechtenstein)....either those guys don't have access to an atlas or just possibly the stats suited them. Also using Russia as an "European" comparative...I've no idea what the law says there BUT I do know that whatever the statistics say gun possession is VERY widespread (they were trying to claim otherwise) plus pretty well any statistic coming out of Russia has to be treated with great suspicion. Also where they did look at Western Europe they were frequently comparing one country with a very low gun ownership rate with another with a slightly higher - but still very low - rate. Levels sufficiently low and close to each other that it is actually impossible to draw statistically significant conclusions. Notably they also failed to compare the US to Europe, indeed didn't include it in most of their stats. Please remember this is all from a quick scan, not a proper read.

Ultimately they failed to explain why the gun murder rate in Western Europe is generally about 7 times lower than in the USA. Or why the total murder rate is almost equally impressively lower.

The big comparison they completely failed to make was the US v. Canada. I wonder why.......
I agree that looking through the paper gives me the impression that there is an awful lot of cherry picking...
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Old 21.01.2011, 09:54
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

Interesting article here about the recent Tucson incident and the pro-gun debate. Apparently many people were "carrying" including one man, Mr. Zamudio, who admitted to being confused on who was the bad guy to shoot at:
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...In fact, several people were armed. So, what actually happened? As Zamudio said in numerous interviews, he never got a shot off at the gunman, but he nearly harmed the wrong person one of those trying to control Loughner....
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com...gunslinger/?hp

Ciao,

Paul
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Old 21.01.2011, 18:17
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

For the record, I'm pro gun control. I think it's sensible to require registration of firearms, that background checks be made, that certain classes of guns be off limits or only available to those who have gone through further hoops/checks and so on.

It seems the authors of the Harvard article are pro-gun. However, from digging up statistics from various countries and comparing the numbers I can't see any glaring bias on their part. Perhaps someone can demonstrate that (with links ).

Referring to the Tucson incident and the fact that there were armed individuals who didn't "take out" the shooter- and that one almost went for the wrong guy- this can be viewed from two perspectives and still hold ground. The anti-gun folks can say 'what good was it that there were armed men there?', and the pro-gun can say 'see, just because one has a pistol on them doesn't mean things are going to turn into a shooting gallery. Amidst confusion and doubt, don't fire'.

I lived in Tucson and at that time wasn't a gun owner but knew a number of people who carried guns at all times. I felt really safe there, and I was often literally on the wrong side of the tracks in gang territory. I worked for a fellow for a while who had a car repair shop he operated out of the back of his house; loads of expensive tools, no garage, just rooftop extension for shade and all the tools were kept there. This was on the boundary of goodside/badside of town. He never had a single wrench taken, and he didn't like guns at all so no campy "This site protected by Colt" signs or anything. It was a nice time.

Then I lived in Cincinnati. Cincinnati has laws that make it very difficult to carry guns on your person. When I would visit my best friend he would have to escort me to and from my car as it was very much on the wrong side of the tracks; luckily he had 'rep' in that hood, not because he was a badass (he was though), but because he had tutored and helped several of the kids in the neighborhood get into college, including paying the entrance fees. Even the hard gang types had respect for that. When we were in his apartment though, I'd say 8 times out of 10 I heard gunshots outside.

Looking at these numbers Gun Crime by State, Ohio has Arizona topped in gun murders, by a bit, has quite a bit higher gun robberies, and Arizona catches back up with gun assaults.

What really caught my eye in the above chart, is my home state of South Carolina has both Arizona and Ohio beat by a mile, with far more gun related crime. This is the place I mentioned before where all my peeps were gun lovin' rednecks. With no incidents. I've walked through the mankiest projects and slums at all hours in Charleston and never had a problem, never felt afraid. Odd. I wasn't armed either .

All a bit confusing, and getting off topic as the U.S. is a unique specimen (in almost all debates), and this thread is about Switzerland. The assertion in the Harvard article that gun crime is primarily perpetrated by criminals or psychologically deranged people (and I'll insert- on similar people) seems to hold up from my personal experience and that of my entourage. Gun nuts with near religious adulation of their firearms frighten me equally as gun haters with similar zeal. Whatever. I am interested in seeing more data...
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Old 22.01.2011, 00:52
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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You're right, the initiative is not about the "Obligatorische". Actually the people at VBS think that it is totally useless/obsolete from a military point of view, but fear the political power of the shooting clubs...
----
The solution to the problem at hand is quite easy though: Serve with your personal weapon, shoot with another one.
-
Your solution would find acceptance among most soldiers and among a majority of the people, BUT would meet a stiff and determined resistance of shooting enthusiasts and SVP, FDP and CVP plus of the bureaucrats who would insist on a complicated registration procedure


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I'm sure, reintroducing bicycles and homing pigeons are Ueli the Knechts top priorities in his "Swiss Army 2050" project.
The visions of "Ueli der Knecht" and Ueli Maurer are not so much different. And pigeons might bring Mr Maurer a step closer to his dream about "the best army in the world"
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Old 22.01.2011, 01:09
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

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I stand corrected ... minority rules. You are right. even if only 30-40% of the people vote, which is apparently the norm, whatever the majority decide to vote (of the population that voted) will go through.

So please send off your postal vote "yes" today!

Lisa
Yes AND No ! When 40% of the electorate participate, 25% of the electorate will decide. BUT they are the majority of those who participate, and the majority of those who participate rules. Back to Square One = the majority rules !
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Old 23.01.2011, 17:06
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Re: Swiss Firearms Vote Feb 13, 2011

Mir het abgestimmt Online- soooo einfach. I wish I could vote on line in the US so easy!
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