Swiss gun culture under fire in Sunday referendum


Machjo
#1
The Associated Press: Swiss gun culture under fire in Sunday referendum (external - login to view)

Tomorrow's result will be interesting.

I was looking up the Swiss Army today wondering if maybe it would be a good idea for Canada to adopt something similar and I came across this article.

Granted the article is not questioning the value of a citizen-army, but merely whether assault rifles ought to be kept at home.

While I'm not sure if a citizen army would be a good idea for Canada, I could see the value of making martial arts training compulsory in elementary and secondary school, not so much for national defense purposes, but rather self-defense purposes, with increased fitness and martial arts training being an added bonus for new army, police, and other security-industry recruits.

As for keeping an assault rifle in the home, surprisingly enough, Switzerland's firearms-related murder rate is not that high, so we could learn something from that. That said, its suicide rate is very high compared to other countries.

Whether removing rifles from the home is the solution, or rather just providing more psychological help for soldiers is another question of course. But seeing that they do defend their country, they ought to be given access to the best psychological care possible.
 
petros
#2
Quote: Originally Posted by MachjoView Post

I could see the value of making martial arts training compulsory in elementary and secondary school, not so much for national defense purposes, but rather self-defense purposes, with increased fitness and martial arts training being an added bonus for new army, police, and other security-industry recruits.

Would never work. The French would just want to dance.
 
Machjo
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Would never work. The French would just want to dance.

The French are in France, so they're irrelevant to any Canadian or provincial policy in Canada.

Or were you referring to French-Canadians? or Quebecers? Or French-speaking Quebecers? Learn English!

Oh, by the way, martial arts training could also lay the foundations for dancing too, gymnastics, and others sports and physical and even theatrical activities too. Martial arts training is quite transferable to many other domains.

And for those who'd complain that martial arts training would be too difficult for some students in public schools, we should consider that some martial arts have both traditional and simplified forms. Tai chi chuan comes to mind. So with Tai chi cuan for example, students could easily be separated into groups with the weaker ones studying the simplified 24-form for example, and the healther students learning the more traditional forms.

I don't know if other martial arts also have simplified forms, but it would be worth looking into. After all, even a simplified form of a martial art would still be better than nothing, even if only to improve a student's fitness to prepare him for a more traditional form of that or another martial art later.
 
Colpy
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by MachjoView Post

The French are in France, so they're irrelevant to any Canadian or provincial policy in Canada.

Or were you referring to French-Canadians? or Quebecers? Or French-speaking Quebecers? Learn English!

Oh, by the way, martial arts training could also lay the foundations for dancing too, gymnastics, and others sports and physical and even theatrical activities too. Martial arts training is quite transferable to many other domains.

And for those who'd complain that martial arts training would be too difficult for some students in public schools, we should consider that some martial arts have both traditional and simplified forms. Tai chi chuan comes to mind. So with Tai chi cuan for example, students could easily be separated into groups with the weaker ones studying the simplified 24-form for example, and the healther students learning the more traditional forms.

I don't know if other martial arts also have simplified forms, but it would be worth looking into. After all, even a simplified form of a martial art would still be better than nothing, even if only to improve a student's fitness to prepare him for a more traditional form of that or another martial art later.

I'd prefer the students spent their time on the rifle range.

When was the last time Switzerland was at war????
 
petros
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by ColpyView Post

I'd prefer the students spent their time on the rifle range.

When was the last time Switzerland was at war????

Their money goes to fight instead.
 
Machjo
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by ColpyView Post

I'd prefer the students spent their time on the rifle range.

When was the last time Switzerland was at war????

Hmmm... I was thinking more about how that would apply to Canada. After all, if we were to adopt a Swiss-style citizen army, we'd likely want to learn from its experience while also considering Canadian cultural norms too.

Honestly though, an advantage with empty-handed martial arts is that they serve not only for self-defense, but also general physical training, making them legitimate alternatives to regular PE courses.

I doubt they'd get nearly the same amount of exercise with rifle training, not to mention I'm not sure I'd want elementary and high school students firing assault rifles on a rifle range behind the school. First off, smaller elementary students would likely find the adult-sized rifles a little hard to manipulate.

Now as for a citizen-army, I could see something like what West Germany had (or may still have for all I know, though I seem to recall they'd disbanded it soon after the cold war and now have a professional ary like Canada, US, the UK, etc.). It's a similar concept to the Swiss Army, except that both men and women must join (in Switzerland women serve voluntarily),those who object to military service on religious or other reasons of principle have the option of joining a civil-service corps (in Switzerland they don't have that option), similar in concept to the US Peace Corps except that they operate mostly within their own borders, and training is provided to the recruits (members of the US Peace Corps are generally expected to have the necessary qualifications already for the most part).

As for keeping assault rifles at home, I cold see granting the soldier himself the option of keeping it at home or at a local depot if he feels more comfortable with that.

Going back to compulsory martial art training in elementary and secondary school, that would also raise the quality of all military, RCMP, and other recruits since they'd be starting at a higher level of fitness and fighting ability than they do now.
 
Bar Sinister
#7
And Canada is threatened by invasion by who? We already waste more than enough in terms of tax dollars on Canada's military in order to fight other countries' wars. Why we would need a Swiss-style militia when there is no obvious threat to Canada's sovereignty is beyond me? During its history Switzerland has actually faced real threats. That has rarely been the case with Canada with the most recent possible threat coming in World War II and the only actual threat materializing in the War of 1812.
 
Machjo
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by Bar SinisterView Post

And Canada is threatened by invasion by who? We already waste more than enough in terms of tax dollars on Canada's military in order to fight other countries' wars. Why we would need a Swiss-style militia when there is no obvious threat to Canada's sovereignty is beyond me? During its history Switzerland has actually faced real threats. That has rarely been the case with Canada with the most recent possible threat coming in World War II and the only actual threat materializing in the War of 1812.

Honestly, I agree with you. However, you can't deny that we are probably in the minority and most Canadians see a bogey man around every corner. That being the case, politically, unless we can somehow diminish their irrational phobias, then we must reassure them of their security.

Looking at it that way, school martial arts programmes and a citizen-army would give them hands on reassurance. Also with the money going to a citizen-army, there'd be less to spend half-way around the world.

Another solution I could see would be a guarantee that anyone who wants to join a Canadian citizen-army or civilian peace corps could do so but it would be entirely voluntary. So if one is so concerned about the size of our military, he could just join to add one more body. Put themselves where their mouths are so to speak.
 
Colpy
+1
#9  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by Bar SinisterView Post

And Canada is threatened by invasion by who? We already waste more than enough in terms of tax dollars on Canada's military in order to fight other countries' wars. Why we would need a Swiss-style militia when there is no obvious threat to Canada's sovereignty is beyond me? During its history Switzerland has actually faced real threats. That has rarely been the case with Canada with the most recent possible threat coming in World War II and the only actual threat materializing in the War of 1812.

True enough.

Although I'm sure you could find many here that think the Yanks are forming up just on the other side of the border.
 
Trotz
#10
The American Media will start to complain about how Canada, with its 5 years of residence naturalization, is providing military training to immigrants from the Middle East who in return become domestic terrorists.


No thanks, a citizen army only works in a homogenous country (even though Switzerland is tri-cultural they all see each other as Swiss) and not in a Cosmopolitan country like Canada where everyone is a stranger and can't rely on each other.
The great divides in Canada, even among 'Canadians', means that we could end up with a situation like Yugoslavia where everyone has military training and access to an armory, if **** hits the fan.
 
Machjo
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by TrotzView Post

The American Media will start to complain about how Canada, with its 5 years of residence naturalization, is providing military training to immigrants from the Middle East who in return become domestic terrorists.


No thanks, a citizen army only works in a homogenous country (even though Switzerland is tri-cultural they all see each other as Swiss) and not in a Cosmopolitan country like Canada where everyone is a stranger and can't rely on each other.

Well maybe their army contributed to this sense of common belonging by giving them one more thing in common.

I think I could see something like this work (though it would require both provincial and federal collaboration owing to jurisdictional divisions):

1. All would be required to learn a martial art in elementary and secondary school, even if it is a simplified martial art such as 24-from tai chi or something of the sort, since it would really be intended more as an introduction to martial arts anyway.

2. Create a professional army comprising only instructors.

3. Guarantee the right to every able-bodied and able-minded Canadian of the age of maturity to join the army should he wish to do so.

This way the military would be just as big as we would want it as Canadians. The more we feel a need for a larger force, the more people would join and its numbers would grow. And the more secure we feel, the fewer people would join. The main advantage with this is that then a person would look silly complaining about how small the military is if he'd never volunteered for it himself seeing that all who want to could join.

As for military members having assault rifles at home, I actually could go for that as long as they are also offered the option of leaving them at local depos if they prefer that.

Quite honestly, I think such a system would make for a far more defensive as opposed to offensive force too, though granted any Canadian who wants to join a foreign army and go fight abroad as a mercenary would be free to do so at his heart's content, but on his own dime or that of another. Tax money would go exclusively to a defensive force.
 
damngrumpy
#12
There is an interesting question here though. Why is it that the Swiss have all this weaponry in the
home and that includes assault rifles and yet their gun murder rate is lower than the United States or
Canada as far as I know. If that is in fact true, they what is the real reason we have so much gun
crime? Sure there is not as much population but the fact remains, there are way too many gun crimes
in North America. A citizen army is something the works because all nations depend on the Swiss
being neutral protecting the currencies of the world through their banking system, Mind you, during the
Second World War the Swiss were preparing to put the citizen army on alert to form a standing army.
The system works for them and I don't think it would work for us because of the size of the country.
 
Machjo
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by damngrumpyView Post

There is an interesting question here though. Why is it that the Swiss have all this weaponry in the
home and that includes assault rifles and yet their gun murder rate is lower than the United States or
Canada as far as I know. If that is in fact true, they what is the real reason we have so much gun
crime? Sure there is not as much population but the fact remains, there are way too many gun crimes
in North America. A citizen army is something the works because all nations depend on the Swiss
being neutral protecting the currencies of the world through their banking system, Mind you, during the
Second World War the Swiss were preparing to put the citizen army on alert to form a standing army.
The system works for them and I don't think it would work for us because of the size of the country.

What does the size of the country have to do with this? Seeing that the members of a citizen-army are part-time soldiers, of course their unit will always be near where they live and work in civilian life (i.e. in populated centres, whether urban or rural).

Beyond that though, should we ever be invaded, only then might we make many of our soldiers besides the trainers (who'd already be full-time professional soldiers) full-time.

And though they do have a very low crime rate with assault rifles, they're suicide-by-firearms rate is much higher than other countries.

This does not entirely suprise me though. I remember a case of a social drinker whose son had died in a car crash. Almost immediately he'd become an alcoholic for a few years. Seeing that he was a social drinker, the alcohol was readily available in the home. It merely took the death of his son, combined with the easy access to the alcohol along with the social drinking habit to push him over the edge instantly. I could see the same happen with an assault rifle. You're trained to use it, it sits in your basement or under your bed, you train with it at least once a year, and then suddenly a tragedy occurs in your life. Well, you know how to use it, it's readily available, and you're life just got shattered. What do you do?
 
damngrumpy
#14
A country with the land mass of Canada needs a standing army to respond not only to the
threat of invasion, but for the purpose natural disasters and even peace keeping operations.
Yes it is the affliction of Canada that we will always be called upon for peace keeping for the
United Nations.
The Swiss do not occupy the same kind position and expectation as Canada does. Of course
our history is the image that Canada has created. Indeed we should be proud of both the past
and the present. Our soldiers have been under incredible pressure almost fighting in alone in
Afghanistan until the American became re-engaged.
I do not believe anything but a standing army would work for this country, in fact for a practical
purpose I don't believe a citizen army would work for the Swiss either if they were under a real
threat of attack.
 
Machjo
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by damngrumpyView Post

A country with the land mass of Canada needs a standing army to respond not only to the
threat of invasion, but for the purpose natural disasters and even peace keeping operations.
Yes it is the affliction of Canada that we will always be called upon for peace keeping for the
United Nations.
The Swiss do not occupy the same kind position and expectation as Canada does. Of course
our history is the image that Canada has created. Indeed we should be proud of both the past
and the present. Our soldiers have been under incredible pressure almost fighting in alone in
Afghanistan until the American became re-engaged.
I do not believe anything but a standing army would work for this country, in fact for a practical
purpose I don't believe a citizen army would work for the Swiss either if they were under a real
threat of attack.

Actually, the Swiss do participate in peacekeeping operations, though if I'm not mistaken, that is strictly on a voluntary basis, though it may be required of their professional army, I'm not sure.

As for civilian emergencies, there is no doubt that if we went the way of a citizen army, we'd likely have to increase the RCMP budget and/or other civilian government budgets to take over some of those civilian emergency services that a professional army handles in Canada.

As for the effectiveness of a citizen army, it's probably far more effective than a professional army as a defensive force. As an aggressive force, I totally agree that such an army would not be effective at all. But then it's a question of priorities. I personally believe we need a more defensive and less offensive force and mind our own business a little more in the world.
 
DaSleeper
#16
Switzerland rejects tighter gun controls

Swiss voters have rejected proposed tighter controls on gun ownership, near-complete results show.

It means that the voters decided during the referendum to retain the current system, which allows army-issued weapons to be kept at home.

Supporters of the tighter curbs wanted to have weapons kept in armouries and demanded stricter checks on gun owners.

Opponents said the move would undermine trust in the army. The final result of the vote is expected soon.

Near-complete results show at least 14 out of 26 Swiss cantons rejected the proposal in Sunday's vote.

BBC News - Switzerland rejects tighter gun controls (external - login to view)
 
earth_as_one
#17
Sure Canada doesn't have any threats now. But that's hardly a reason to be lazy about developing a strong capability to defend ourselves. Its takes much longer to prepare for a threat than it does for a threat to materialize.

Most young people finished high school at 17 or 18. That's a little young for College/University and most haven't a clue about the real world, themselves or what they'd like to do in the future. I'd support creating programs which encourage young people at that time of their life to attend either basic military training like Switzerland or enter some sort of community service for one year before moving on to post secondary education or entering the workforce.
 
taxslave
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by Bar SinisterView Post

And Canada is threatened by invasion by who? We already waste more than enough in terms of tax dollars on Canada's military in order to fight other countries' wars. Why we would need a Swiss-style militia when there is no obvious threat to Canada's sovereignty is beyond me? During its history Switzerland has actually faced real threats. That has rarely been the case with Canada with the most recent possible threat coming in World War II and the only actual threat materializing in the War of 1812.

Actually Canada was invaded by the Japanese during WW2. There was a sub observed landing on the North Island. They took on water and some deer and a well deserved walk on the beach. Problem is at that time there were not even logging roads in the area so nothing came of it.
 
Bar Sinister
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

Actually Canada was invaded by the Japanese during WW2. There was a sub observed landing on the North Island. They took on water and some deer and a well deserved walk on the beach. Problem is at that time there were not even logging roads in the area so nothing came of it.

You are nitpicking. If sending one or two men ashore counts as an invasion, then Canada gets invaded everyday by hundreds of illegal immigrants. Nazi spies also infiltrated Canada during World War II - does that count as an invasion? The last time I noticed a real invasion requires an attempt to permanently occupy a nation and eliminate its sovereignty - sort of like what the US did in Iraq.

Quote: Originally Posted by ColpyView Post

True enough.

Although I'm sure you could find many here that think the Yanks are forming up just on the other side of the border.

No doubt they are - but most of them are looking for someone to sponsor them as a phony citizen so that they can get free medicare.
 
Colpy
#20
The Swiss "gun culture" has been steadily eroded ever since they granted women the vote in 1971.

Damn shame that.

 
Trotz
#21
Damn straight,
things have been going downhill since the Finns gave women the vote in 1903!
 
Colpy
#22
Well, the Good GUYS won.

World New: Swiss Gun Control Referendum Fails (external - login to view)

I love the idea that we have to lose our rights because some idiot might put a gun in his mouth and try to pull the trigger twice.......

Have these people never heard of personal responsibility?

Or Darwin, for that matter.

The Swiss stay armed to the teeth......
 
Nuggler
+1
#23
Good on them.

If one wants to off oneself, a rope'lldo just fine. Ban ropes. Or, store them in the local rope arsenal.

right.
 
Colpy
+1
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by NugglerView Post

Good on them.

If one wants to off oneself, a rope'lldo just fine. Ban ropes. Or, store them in the local rope arsenal.

right.

Exactly.

BTW, the suicide rate in the USA is slightly lower than ours....

And Lorne Gunther says it well:

Quote:

It’s good to know that there remains a modern, sophisticated democracy that has not given into the irrational, fearful, anti-factual, gun-ban mentality. Trusting ordinary, law-abiding citizens with guns is a sign of a free country, one in which the people are truly the sovereigns and not the subjects of the government.
George Orwell once wrote, “That rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer’s cottage is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.” (external - login to view) We in Canada seem to have forgotten that.

 
Avro
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by ColpyView Post

True enough.

Although I'm sure you could find many here that think the Yanks are forming up just on the other side of the border.

....and many Americans who feel that way about us.

Ever seen Canadian Bacon?
 
Colpy
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by AvroView Post

....and many Americans who feel that way about us.

Ever seen Canadian Bacon?

They're safe....as long as they don't insult our beer.......
 
Avro
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by ColpyView Post

They're safe....as long as they don't insult our beer.......

They do....it's toooo strong....what's with the flavor, we don't have it ours....it burns my liver.....and other such whines.
 
Cliffy
#28
When it comes to guns and gun ownership, Canadians are ***** whipped. Private gun owners are our only defense from a possible future take over by some despot. Give Harper a majority and we may need all those guns.
 
Bar Sinister
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by CliffyView Post

When it comes to guns and gun ownership, Canadians are ***** whipped. Private gun owners are our only defense from a possible future take over by some despot. Give Harper a majority and we may need all those guns.


That argument didn't seem to work to well in the US when the rights of US citizens were curtailed after 911. Guess what? A bunch of poorly organized gun nuts are no match for the US intelligence service or the military that backs it. Tell enough lies and the majority falls in line like a bunch of sheep guns or no.
 
Machjo
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by ColpyView Post


The Swiss stay armed to the teeth......

(emphasis mine)

Was that pun intentional?
 
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