The Swiss have always had a lot of guns and significant freedom. As Machiavelli noted in “The Prince” in 1517:
“Moreover, a Republic trusting to her own forces, is with greater difficulty than one which relies on foreign arms brought to yield obedience to a single citizen. Rome and Sparta remained for ages armed and free. The Swiss are at once the best armed and the freest people in the world.”
The Swiss have remained one of the best armed countries in the world since then. Many claim they escaped most of the ravages of WWII because of their citizen army.
Switzerland is said not to “have an army” but “be an army.” Because of their universal training and weaponry, Switzerland has the largest potential army in Europe: 1.5 million men capable of bearing arms, who have the arms and ammunition and training.
After the current spate of terrorist attacks in Europe, the Swiss are buying even more guns. From usatoday.com:
GENEVA — Business at Daniel Wyss’ gun shop has been brisk lately in the village of Burgdorf near Switzerland’s capital of Bern.
He said the increased demand for firearms is triggered by a growing fear among the Swiss public that terrorists could attack their tranquil land at any time.
As nations around Europe tighten their gun laws after a series of terror attacks in several countries since 2015, the Swiss are bucking this trend by turning to firearms for protection.
Official statistics show that gun sales in some parts of Switzerland soared nearly 50% after last year’s attacks in Paris and the March bombings in Brussels. And gun sales continue to grow since the killings in France and Germany in the past two weeks.
In Wyss’ shop, “the demand for pistols, revolvers and pump-action guns rose by 30% to 50% after this month’s attacks in Nice and Munich,” he told USA TODAY.
USA Today cannot help but throw in some anti-Second Amendment propaganda, which is blatantly misleading:
Even though guns are prevalent, the violent crime rate is relatively low: about 7.7 firearm homicides a year per 1 million people, according to Human Development Index. In the United States, that number is nearly 30, one of the highest in the world.
First, the mind trick is to only look at “gun deaths.” That is insane. If reducing the number of guns increases other deaths, or makes no difference, what is the point of the policy of reducing guns?
Second, even using the biased, silly comparison of “gun deaths,” many countries have rates that are much higher than the United States, such as Jamaica, Brazil, Mexico, Albania, Thailand, the Philippines. Many countries do not separate out “gun homicides” such as Russia. If you take out gun violence generated by gang violence, the United States would be removed from the list.