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Swiss Gun Culture Is Real!

Joe Scudder
Written by Joe Scudder

Buzzfeed claims to explain why Swiss gun culture doesn’t give rise to mass shootings, but they don’t explain much.

The only real takeaway one can get from this Buzzfeed post is that Swiss gun culture is real and doesn’t lead to mass shootings. Of course, they say negative things about the gun homicide rate in Switerland—mostly suicides—in comparison with other nations, but don’t give any comparisons with general homicide or general suicide rates.

But they also acknowledge that children are encouraged to learn to shoot and that this is essential to Swiss defense.

Buzzfeed reports, “Switzerland has a stunningly high rate of gun ownership — here’s why it doesn’t have mass shootings.

Switzerland hasn’t had a mass shooting since 2001, when a man stormed the local parliament in Zug, killing 14 people and then himself.

The country has about 2 million privately owned guns in a nation of 8.3 million people. In 2016, the country had 47 homicides with firearms. The country’s overall murder rate is near zero.

The National Rifle Association often points to Switzerland to argue that more rules on gun ownership aren’t necessary. In 2016, the NRA said on its blog that the European country had one of the lowest murder rates in the world while still having millions of privately owned guns and a few hunting weapons that don’t even require a permit.

[…]

Switzerland is obsessed with getting shooting right. Every year, it holds a shooting contest for kids aged 13 to 17.

Zurich’s Knabenschiessen is a traditional annual festival that dates back to the 1600s.

Though the word roughly translates to “boys shooting” and the competition used to be only boys, teenage girls have been allowed in since 1991.

Kids in the country flock to the competition every September to compete in target shooting using Swiss army service rifles. They’re proud to show off how well they can shoot.

Accuracy is prized above all else, and a Schutzenkonig — a king or queen of marksmen — is crowned.

Having an armed citizenry helped keep the Swiss neutral for more than 200 years.

The Swiss stance is one of “armed neutrality.”

Switzerland hasn’t taken part in any international armed conflict since 1815, but some Swiss soldiers help with peacekeeping missions around the world.

Many Swiss see gun ownership as part of a patriotic duty to protect their homeland.

Read the full story.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com


About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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