Even the Swiss are having problems


PDA

Jmurman
January 30, 2003, 05:41 PM
Thursday, 30 January, 2003


Disarming William Tell?


by Bob Kroon, 24 January 2003




William Tell Monument in Altdorf erected in 1895


Patrons of the Dynamik snackbar, take note: "No firearms in this restaurant.'' But that does not apply to Dynamik owner and arms dealer Ricardo Teixeira. Two .44 Magnums are in full view on the bar and Ricardo totes a Czech CZ pistol and a 9 mm Heckler & Koch in side holsters. Outside, the shooting range reverberates with the staccato of small-arms fire.

A Hollywood film stage in Texas? Not exactly. Dynamik is a canteen-plus-armoury in the Geneva countryside, and there are hundreds of such establishments in peaceful Switzerland.

The number of firearms in this Alpine country is a multiple of the seven-million population, reflecting the Swiss tradition of the arms-bearing citizen, the heritage of the legendary William Tell, the 13th century national hero – even if his existence has never been proven.

The arms supermarket of Europe
Like used cars, small arms can be freely traded in Switzerland, or legally purchased in dozens of armouries or via the Internet.

The Swiss army is a national militia, with an army rifle in the home of every able-bodied citizen. So far, no problem. Swiss criminals may settle their scores with knives or clubs, but usually leave the official shooting-iron alone.



Italian Baritone performing in William Tell, Rossini´s last opera


But even in this placid Alpine country times are changing. In 2001 a deranged burgher used his army weapon to decimate the cantonal parliament of Zug. Last year guns blazed in more than a dozen bloody family feuds.

To curb the mayhem and counter Switzerland's reputation as the ‘arms supermarket of Europe', the federal government wants to enact stringent arms control laws. In the future, gun aficionados or collectors will need official permits to buy or exchange their hardware and police can search homes without warning for ‘particularly dangerous weapons,' – such as the lethal 50 BMG, a favourite toy of one shooting club in the Bernese Oberland. This long-range sniper's rifle with laser-scope can knock out an armoured personnel carrier from a distance of one kilometre.

Pro-Tell lobby
But the Swiss arms lobby is no less militant than its American brothers-in-arms of the National Rifle Association. The ‘Pro-Tell' lobby, grouping hundreds of thousands weekend-shooters, is lambasting the government project as "a sinister attempt to disarm the people.'' The new rules, Pro-Tell darkly warns, herald "a slide toward dictatorship."



But polls suggest that a majority of the people, women in particular, are in favour of shackling the gun toters, tradition or no. Ultimately, the issue may be decided in a nationwide referendum.

If you enjoyed reading about "Even the Swiss are having problems" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
DAL
January 30, 2003, 05:54 PM
...polls suggest that a majority of the people, women in particular

I've heard the theory that as a country becomes more feminized, guns become more and more verboten. Although I'm not sure I believe wholeheartedly in this thoery, there probably is some truth to it.

Personally, I think that the farther people move away from living off the land, both geographically and generationally, the less realistic and self-reliant they become.
DAL

MitchSchaft
January 30, 2003, 05:59 PM
Personally, I think that the farther people move away from living off the land, both geographically and generationally, the less realistic and self-reliant they become.

I believe that, too.

WonderNine
January 30, 2003, 06:06 PM
I've heard the theory that as a country becomes more feminized, guns become more and more verboten. Although I'm not sure I believe wholeheartedly in this thoery, there probably is some truth to it.

Personally, I think that the farther people move away from living off the land, both geographically and generationally, the less realistic and self-reliant they become.
DAL

Yup.

ojibweindian
January 30, 2003, 07:12 PM
Completely agree.

mussi
January 30, 2003, 07:58 PM
You can rest assured that we're fighting this crap as good as we can, and we're considering to hire professional PR outfits.

Oleg Volk
January 30, 2003, 08:01 PM
Do I recall correctly that women got the vote in Switzerland only in the 1970s, or was that the one hold-out canton?

Ewok
January 30, 2003, 08:23 PM
The one hold-out canton held out until 1990.

QKRTHNU
January 30, 2003, 11:49 PM
Hmmmmm, Switzerland joins the U.N. and all of the sudden there are cries for gun-control........coincidence?:scrutiny:

rock jock
January 31, 2003, 12:04 AM
That's it. We need to just establish the Free States of the Earth. A chunk of the US, some of Switzerland, a dash of Thailand (via twoblink), and the countryside of the UK. Free people everywhere are welcome.

St. Gunner
January 31, 2003, 11:08 PM
Ultimately, the issue may be decided in a nationwide referendum.

Would that be a ballot box vote or an ammo box one?:D

mussi
February 1, 2003, 06:47 PM
We don't shoot people over political issues, we just burn their cars to signal they should give up their idea. Works very well, apparently.

sixgun_symphony
February 2, 2003, 12:41 AM
Do they have CCW in Switzerland?

MountainPeak
February 2, 2003, 01:30 AM
No guns-No cheese!

If you enjoyed reading about "Even the Swiss are having problems" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!