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Aspoestertjie's avatar

What in your opinion is the major difference between the gun law and/or gun ownership of US Citizens vs citizens of Switzerland?

Asked by Aspoestertjie (271points) January 2nd, 2014

I am of the opinion that citizens in Switzerland see gun ownership more as a privilege compared to citizens in the US who see it as a right. The ‘gun culture’ and social responsibility is the biggest difference? Do you agree/disagree? Why?

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10 Answers

KNOWITALL's avatar

I think a lot of us see it as a right and a responsiblity.

Looking back through our history, we have used them to take land from the native American Indians, then to defend that land from natives and foreign governments.

As we spread and colonized the more rural areas, you had to have them as to survive the wilds. For me, it’s a part of our culture and history. We have reality shows for professional marksmen, like military and gun instructors, etc…it’s pervasive in our society and widely acceptable & popular in a lot of areas.

ragingloli's avatar

It is almost a sexual obsession.

josie's avatar

No Second Amendment in Switzerland.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

The Swiss are rational and civilized.

bolwerk's avatar

The difference is Swiss gun ownership is actually about defense, which is a legitimate if somewhat archaic reason to have firearms. U.S. gun masturbaters are usually some mix of paranoid, uneducated, untrained, delusional, or violent – some go so far as to make a point of turning weapon play into a game, often with tragic (albeit often Darwinian) results.

ETpro's avatar

Great question, @Aspoestertjie. The two nation’s history, culture, demography and reasons for gun ownership are so vastly different no meaningful comparisons can be drawn between them.

I don’t know that the Swiss see gun ownership as a privilege. They are required by Swiss law to have on for purposes of defense. That’s very different from the US, in which owning firearms is a privilege.

JLeslie's avatar

Probably the same reason states like Vermont has relatively high levels of gun ownership but very low gun crime and violence. Demographics, lifestyle, attitudes, culture.

Switzerland is very socialized, fewer people living in extreme discomfort. Something like 3% of Switzerland’s population is below the poverty line, while in the USA it is 15%.

I think Switzerland is actually pretty similar to the US in terms of how gun ownership started in our histories. Citizens were to be able to defend themselves. I’m pretty sure in Switzerland the citizens still get military training as a compulsory thing. I don’t think the perception of whether it is a right or privelege to own a gun makes a difference. People in both countries feel it is a right I think. My husband was saying last week that he doesn’t feel driving is a privilege, he feels it is a right that can be taken away by the state if you can’t handle it. I tend to agree. In the end I don’t think the semantics matter though. I think what matters is how responsible and well adjusted the population is.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Switzerland is notorious for its staid very disciplined (and therefore boringly dull) citizenry. The United States on the other hand is a land of folks reared with a mythical delusion of “rugged independence” as a cornerstone of self worth. It is a land where the occupants (lunatics, sociopaths, megalomaniacs included) are allowed to cultivate the delusion to their own satisfaction with predictable and “spectacular” results.

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