Guns are deeply rooted within Swiss culture – but the gun crime rate is so low that statistics are not even kept.
“statistics are not even kept.” Pfeew… Sounds great, is pure non-sense. There are an average 80 killings a year, not that much, but the number is known, and not SOOOOO low…
This is in a very large part due to Switzerland’s unique system of national defence, developed over the centuries.
Instead of a standing, full-time army, the country requires every man to undergo some form of military training for a few days or weeks a year throughout most of their lives.
“developed over the centuries”… o well, we had two quite extensive military reforms (Armee 95 and Armee XXI) in the last ten years. The corner stone of national defence, the reduit, was developed in World War II, and more or less dropped with the fall of the Berlin Wall.
But I know what they refer to: “every man […] military training […] throughout most of their lives”. Mmh… not just! First: only about half of the men do military service, the others drop out mostly for physical or mental reasons. Second: You begin around 20 years old, do some 21 Weeks, and the do another 20 or so weeks in the following maybe ten, twelve years. Most swiss men still live for some 30-40 years after service:-)
Between the ages of 21 and 32 men serve as frontline troops.
Here you go, they already knew it! No more service on the front after 32. Well, I don’t know the exact meaning of ‘frontline troops’, but there is no other troop than those guys…
They are given an M-57 assault rifle and 24 rounds of ammunition which they are required to keep at home.
Sad but true. That’s right, all those guys in the ‘frontline troop’ have an assault rifle at home. But it’s a public discussion going on in the media if this should be changed. And chances are good. According to a survey of THE popular newspaper ‘Blick‘, two thirds of the swiss population would like a change!
Women do not have to own firearms, but are encouraged to.
Just to remember, not ALL women are encouraged to, but only the low three digit count of female soldiers.
But despite the wide ownership and availability of guns, violent crime is extremely rare. There are only minimal controls at public buildings and politicians rarely have police protection.
It [Switzerlan] has none of the social problems associated with gun crime seen in other industrialised countries like drugs or urban deprivation.
Puh, lucky us. Didn’t notice, yet… no drugs and urban deprivation. Nice!
From an early age Swiss men and women associate weaponry with being called to defend their country.
Oh, my, god! NOT BELIEVING HEARING THIS ON THE BBC.
Amen, and out…