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  •  Swiss misrepresentation. This has been used to (52+ / 0-)

    buttress the argument that more guns will keep us all safer. The Swiss require that every male undergo basic military training at the age of twenty. They are then expected to keep their military issued weapon at home and ready for immediate call up for militia duty. In other words, the Swiss have a "well-regulated militia," not a bunch of armed-to-the-teeth citizens. The Swiss are also prohibited from appearing armed in public unless they have a special government permit which is not easy to obtain. When their militia enlistment expires, at age 30 for enlisted men, if they wish to keep their weapons, they must return them to the government to have the automatic function removed.

    The low Swiss death rate due to guns is probably due more to the militia training, the gun regulations and the general prosperity and healthcare (that includes mental health) system than to the fact that everybody has a gun.

    They are ranked number four for the "happiest" nation listing that the WSJ published last May and was quoted in Yahoo Finance:

    4. Switzerland
    > Life satisfaction score: 7.5
    > Employment rate: 79% (1st highest)
    > Self-reported good health: 87% (4th highest)
    > Employees working long hours: 5.87% (17th highest)
    > Disposable income: $27,756 (5th most)
    > Educational attainment: 87% (8th highest)
    > Life expectancy: 82.6 (2nd highest)

    The most salient statistic with respect to well-being for the fourth ranked country on the list is employment. Switzerland tops the list in terms of working age employment rate at a whopping 79%. Switzerland also cracks the top five in three other categories: disposable income ($27,756), self-reported good health (87%) and life expectancy (82.6 years). Given these stellar numbers, it is easy to see why, according to the U.S. Department of State, “Switzerland consistently ranks high on quality of life indices.” The Swiss also have very high rates of insurance coverage and computer and Internet usage.

    Nice try, though. But no, more guns will not make us safer.

    "I cannot live without books" -- Thomas Jefferson, 1815

    by Susan Grigsby on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 03:42:00 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, you mean false equivalency? Who knew?n/t (6+ / 0-)

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 03:48:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you. (20+ / 0-)

      Some more info:

      However, attempts to compare the US to Switzerland gloss over the vast differences between the two countries.

      For example, the nature of gun ownership in Switzerland is tied to the military. Switzerland has a very small standing army, and citizens are expected to act as militiamen should the country be invaded. Every 18-30 years old Swiss male between has to do three months' military training, and many more regular refresher courses.

      Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/...

      And:

      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.

      Between the ages of 21 and 32 men serve as frontline troops. They are given an M-57 assault rifle and 24 rounds of ammunition which they are required to keep at home.

      Once discharged, men serve in the Swiss equivalent of the US National Guard, but still have to train occasionally and are given bolt rifles.

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/...
      •  Swiss females don't do service & have guns? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, PavePusher, BlackSheep1
        Every 18-30 years old Swiss male between has to do three months' military training, and many more regular refresher courses.
        requires every man to undergo some form of military training
        Isn't that sexist? not very politically correct

        Happy just to be alive

        by exlrrp on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 05:24:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Your info is a little dated =) (7+ / 0-)

        In 2007, they changed regulations, and required all ammunition to be returned except for rapid-deployment units and special police. In short, they clamped down on ammo possession, which is another factor in low gun crime rates.

        No, you can't fix stupid. You OUTNUMBER stupid. -Wildthumb, 1/10/2013

        by newinfluence on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 06:56:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Clarification (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BlackSheep1, DarthMeow504

          In 2007, the normal can of sealed military ammunition had to be returned. Ammunition in the same caliber can be bought with no restriction by civilians.

          Every home with a Swiss male in the reserve has a full-auto, real assault weapon there. When they are old enough to leave the reserve, the full-auto capability is removed and the reservist gets to keep the semi-auto version of the weapon.

          A Swiss reservist may carry their weapon openly to and from reserve duty or practice, in or out of uniform, leading to pictures like this, which absolutely no one in Switzerland freaks out about (unlike the JC Penney outrage), because they apparently are not afraid of people who own guns.

          I'm in a comment thread with someone about the JC Penney picture you may have seen. This one person has thus far referred to gun owners with terms like:

          scary issues
          no respect for sanctity of life
          threatened by them
          freaking killing machines
          armed belligerent
          hostile paranoid
          military grade weaponry
          armed to the teeth
          addicted to fear and violence

          I ought to suggest he move to Switzerland.

          •  But that ammunition is still "registered", right? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RUNDOWN

            Quantity, lot, and type of ammunition is recorded at the point of sale in case of any illegal use.

            No, you can't fix stupid. You OUTNUMBER stupid. -Wildthumb, 1/10/2013

            by newinfluence on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 09:32:37 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I believe (0+ / 0-)

              The sale is recorded, but they have no means of tracking or determining where a fired bullet or shell casing came from, nor whether a given box of ammunition owned by a person was bought by that person.

              So, in the sense the original sale is recorded, yes, it is "registered". In the sense that ammunition has some unique quality like a serial number that allows it to be tracked, no it is not "registered".

          •  Well, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Susan from 29

            If I lived in a country where most, if not all, men had guns after mandatory training because the country didn't have a military in the U.S. sense of the word, and if I knew they had been trained properly because they were our National Guard, and they received repeated mandatory refresher training, then yes, maybe it would be different.  

            So as far as I can see, to implement the same types of laws in the US, we would have to back the draft.

            Maybe in Switzerland they carry guns around like Americans carry our keys.  But that's Switzerland.  Maybe anyone who wants to carry guns around like that should move to Switzerland.  

    •  Slightly O.T., but their defense budget, as %tage (11+ / 0-)

      of GDP is about 1/5th that of the US.  Think of all that extra money we could use on things like health, education, employment training in NON-defense related occupations....

    •  And looking at statistics, they don't make (7+ / 0-)

      people less safe. Legal gun purchases, including scary rifles, have soared while the violent crime rate has dropped.

      The U.K. has less gun crime but the level of social inequality that lingers unaddressed creates the conditions for a rise in violent crime.

      Quality of life is the key issues to ending violence, gun or otherwise.

      Draconian prohibition only works in the minds of people who lack the strength or the willingness to uplift people and deal with the real problems in their communities.

      The vast bulk of gun violence is done with illegally acquired weapons by gangs funded with drug money. Once again, ending the War On Some Drugs and the violence, including gun violence, drops overnight.

      The whole decade needs an asterisk.

      by James Kresnik on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 04:24:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But there are dozens of other things that probably (7+ / 0-)

        helped reduced violent crime in spite of the ever increasing number of guns.  How about Clinton's efforts to put more cops on the streets, to name one?  So my conclusion is imagine how much better those violent crime statistics would have been if we had had a sane gun safety policy in place.

      •  This is simply false. (11+ / 0-)

        The drop in violent crime rates was unlikely to have had anything to do with the increased number of guns in US society, since there was an even steeper drop over the border in Canada, where there has always been little toleration for the "gotta defend myself" fantasists.

        "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

        by sagesource on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 04:58:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  An increase in guns coupled with a drop in crime (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PavePusher, BlackSheep1

          certainly contradicts the idea of 'less guns, less violence'.

          Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

          by FrankRose on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 05:52:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, it doesn't. Correlation is not causality. (7+ / 0-)

            There have been carefully controlled studies which show that having a firearm in the house makes you several times more likely to die from gun violence.

            He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

            by Sophie Amrain on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 06:27:22 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Then don't own a gun. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BlackSheep1

              But seeing as how an increase in guns can happen while crime decreases suggests that guns aren't the issue.

              Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

              by FrankRose on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 06:51:36 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, it doesn't. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Johnny Nucleo, RUNDOWN

                Correlation is not causation, no matter how many times you insist it is.

                The problem with going with your gut as opposed to your head is that the former is so often full of shit. - Randy Chestnut

                by lotusmaglite on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 06:54:26 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I never claimed causation. (0+ / 0-)

                  To the contrary.
                  Nor is there correlation between increase in guns and  crime.

                  Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

                  by FrankRose on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 07:09:42 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You just said it. (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    nobody at all, Johnny Nucleo, RUNDOWN
                    But seeing as how an increase in guns can happen while crime decreases suggests that guns aren't the issue.
                    Just because it's in the negative doesn't give you a free ride.
                    More guns does not equal more crimes, ergo guns are unrelated to crimes. That is the argument you are making. You are stating a correlation (more guns and same crime rate), and basing a conclusion from it.

                    That's not even to address the tired, worn-out bait-and-switch from "gun crime" to "crime" when defending the indefensible. More guns equals more gun crimes. Gun crimes are what we're trying to affect. Ergo, reducing guns reduces gun crime.

                    Which of course is all a red herring, since most of what we're talking about here isn't less guns, but more regulation of guns.

                    As we all know, since we've been over it a thousand times, every time we go through these same, repetitive, ad infinitum, argumentum ad nauseam talking points.

                    The problem with going with your gut as opposed to your head is that the former is so often full of shit. - Randy Chestnut

                    by lotusmaglite on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 07:25:30 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Same as don't get gay married or have an abortion, (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                FrankRose, DarthMeow504

                looks to me like. If it bugs you that much don't do it.

                Why does the most progressive, live-and-let-live community on the Web go so completely bananacakes authoritarian  over this one issue???

                LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

                by BlackSheep1 on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 12:08:26 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Don't like violent movies or video games (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                FrankRose

                Don't buy them.

                Don't like abortions, don't have one.

                Don't like the president of a country, don't live there.

                etc ... etc ... etc ...

                If not us ... who? If not here ... where? If not now ... when?

                by RUNDOWN on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 10:49:45 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Drop in Crime Correlates with use of unleaded gas (4+ / 0-)

              For real.  Google it.  Fascinating stuff.  Leaded gas created neuroligical damage to parts of.the brain responsible for.impulse control.

              This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

              by Beetwasher on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 06:53:17 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  A report out of the University of Chicago attribu- (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                FrankRose, DarthMeow504, Janet 707

                ted the drop in homicides to 3 factors:  More police presence, more incarcerations, elective abortions increases by single mothers.

                •  The Drop Was Global (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Susan from 29, Janet 707

                  And correlated almost exactly with countries implementing use of unleaded.  Furthermore, neurologists found the effects of environmental lead to cause damge specifically to the parts of the.brain responsible for impulse control and higher cognitive functions and reasoning.

                  This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

                  by Beetwasher on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:43:24 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  So, why do the mass shooters choose gun-free zones (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DarthMeow504

              for their rampages, rather than, say, firing ranges?

              Oh, and the celebrated "Fort Hood" case? That's NOT an exception.

              The only person in that building with a firearm that day was the turncoat who murdered and injured American soldiers and their dependents.

              LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

              by BlackSheep1 on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 12:07:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Canadas laws are a free-for-all (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wishbone, Boris49, DarthMeow504, RUNDOWN

          compared to Mexico, which has a complete ban on citizen ownership and is currently, a complete clusterfuck.

          You're also confusing cause with effect. Guns are still easily available in Canada. Gun crime is low because Canadians are actually concerned about improving quality of life as opposed the U.S. bad habit of moral grand-standing and declaring fiscal war on the poor.

          Moreover, Canada is loosing its restrictions by ending the problematic and dysfunctional registry system.

          The whole decade needs an asterisk.

          by James Kresnik on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 06:15:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Canada is not losing any restrictions (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            zinger99, Johnny Nucleo, RUNDOWN

            the long gun registry has been dropped by a right wing government. Hand guns remain restricted firearms and must be registered.

            Canada is still strict on permits for all guns, it revokes many of them. Canada is till strict about storage of firearms and where one can carry one.

            ❧To thine ownself be true

            by Agathena on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 06:25:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Canada also has 1/10th our population and quite (0+ / 0-)

            a large land mass.

          •  And maybe because more Americans (0+ / 0-)

            are being taught to fear and despise their government (in certain circles), and being "taught" that the remedy to that "fear" - is more guns.

            Add to that a community of "sovereign citizens" who hope for things like "revolution" and rapture - so they can one day find their anti-government, anti-societal views vindicated.

            Meanwhile Canadians, and Swiss (another perceived gun enthusiast "utopia") ... are chuckling.

            If not us ... who? If not here ... where? If not now ... when?

            by RUNDOWN on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 10:31:37 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Drop In Crime Correlates With Widespread Use of (0+ / 0-)

          Unleaded gas.  For real.  The effect of lead in the environment from leaded gasoline resulted in widespread neurological damage to many populations, especially inner-city.  The type of neuro damage was.specific to parts.of the brain responsible for impulse control.  Google it, fascinating stuff.

          This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

          by Beetwasher on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 06:50:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not sure I understand how requiring (18+ / 0-)

        background checks from 100% of gun buyers, making gun owners responsible for the safe keeping of their weapons, limiting magazine capacity, and ordering studies of gun violence by the CDC can possibly be construed as:

        Draconian prohibition only works in the minds of people who lack the strength or the willingness to uplift people and deal with the real problems in their communities.
        That is a straw man argument. No one has seriously suggested the prohibition of all weapons.

        "I cannot live without books" -- Thomas Jefferson, 1815

        by Susan Grigsby on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 05:02:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My ass they haven't. (0+ / 0-)

          They're all over various threads I've been in. You're either ignorant or lying.

          "Is there anybody listening? Is there anyone who sees what's going on? Read between the lines, criticize the words they're selling. Think for yourself, and feel the walls become sand beneath your feet." --Geoff Tate, Queensryche

          by DarthMeow504 on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 02:32:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I said seriously as in someone with any power to (0+ / 0-)

            change our laws. I am neither ignorant nor have I any need to lie and I resent your accusation.

            Perhaps you have been busy in all of the other gun diaries. I have been busy in the real world. And out here, no one is seriously suggesting the prohibitions of all weapons.

            An apology is in order.

            "I cannot live without books" -- Thomas Jefferson, 1815

            by Susan Grigsby on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 11:21:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  No true scotsman fallacy (0+ / 0-)

              First you claim nobody is saying it, then when called on it you say "oh, well those people don't count!".

              Sorry, that's a no-no.

              "Is there anybody listening? Is there anyone who sees what's going on? Read between the lines, criticize the words they're selling. Think for yourself, and feel the walls become sand beneath your feet." --Geoff Tate, Queensryche

              by DarthMeow504 on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 06:39:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  No. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zinger99, nobody at all, JustinBinFL
        Quality of life is the key issues to ending violence, gun or otherwise.

        There are more than just the two choices. Stop presenting this false dichotomy.

        Draconian prohibition only works in the minds of people who lack the strength or the willingness to uplift people and deal with the real problems in their communities.

        Horribly, horribly wrong. Countries with very strict gun laws or outright bans have microscopic gun violence compared to ours. As for the usual bait-and-switch from "gun violence" to "violence", pull the other one.

        We're talking about gun deaths, here. And this shell game of taking guns in and out of the equation wherever it suits your argument is just childish. It reminds me of the time I asked my 10 year old step son if he did or did not do his homework. He said, "Yes." When I discovered he hadn't, he said, "But you asked if I didn't do my homework!"

        Please.

        And this:

        The vast bulk of gun violence is done with illegally acquired weapons by gangs funded with drug money.
        Even more sophistry. Of the 142 guns possessed by killers in 62 mass murders since 1982, over 75% of them were obtained legally. If we're trying to stop mass murders, this is a logical point of attack. Arguing otherwise with semantic sleight-of-hand looks increasingly desperate and depressingly transparent.

        Stop. Just stop.

        The problem with going with your gut as opposed to your head is that the former is so often full of shit. - Randy Chestnut

        by lotusmaglite on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 07:12:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Countries like Mexico? (0+ / 0-)

          Complete ban on citizen ownership of firearms. If you think their gun violence rates are "microscopic" than you're either ignorant or lying. You can't just cherry pick the countries that support your point.

          I am getting really sick and damned tired of seeing the same bullshit talking points repeated endlessly no matter how many times they've been debunked. It's like arguing with Republicans.

          "Is there anybody listening? Is there anyone who sees what's going on? Read between the lines, criticize the words they're selling. Think for yourself, and feel the walls become sand beneath your feet." --Geoff Tate, Queensryche

          by DarthMeow504 on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 02:37:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Are you shitting me? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Johnny Nucleo, Janet 707

            You bitch about cherry picking, then choose the one country that is a complete outlier?

            Which, by the way, has nothing to do with their gun laws. Ever heard of the fucking Drug War?

            Bullshit talking points? Are you fucking kidding?

            The problem with going with your gut as opposed to your head is that the former is so often full of shit. - Randy Chestnut

            by lotusmaglite on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 03:20:28 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's proof that correlation (0+ / 0-)

              does not equal causation. The "gun laws are stricter in these low-murder rate countries!" is a fallacious argument. There's no evidence whatsoever that disarming nonviolent civilians with gun laws makes any difference whatsoever and those making the argument are either ignorant or lying.

              "Is there anybody listening? Is there anyone who sees what's going on? Read between the lines, criticize the words they're selling. Think for yourself, and feel the walls become sand beneath your feet." --Geoff Tate, Queensryche

              by DarthMeow504 on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 04:28:27 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You're using the statistical outlier (0+ / 0-)

                ...as the rule rather than the exception. And it's an outlier for a reason that doesn't even support your conclusion. I don't think it's me who is ignorant or lying, here.

                The problem with going with your gut as opposed to your head is that the former is so often full of shit. - Randy Chestnut

                by lotusmaglite on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:54:09 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Let's try this again (0+ / 0-)

                  You're using cherry picked examples to try to establish causation through correlation, and I have pointed out where the conditions you imply as causation have not had the result you claim. You already have no evidence to support causation over mere correlation, but hope to imply it by the coincidence. I pointed out the case where there is not only not causation proved, but there isn't even correlation.

                  You fail at logic.

                  "Is there anybody listening? Is there anyone who sees what's going on? Read between the lines, criticize the words they're selling. Think for yourself, and feel the walls become sand beneath your feet." --Geoff Tate, Queensryche

                  by DarthMeow504 on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 06:27:44 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  definition of militia (0+ / 0-)

      10 USC § 311 - Militia: composition and classes

      (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
      (b) The classes of the militia are—
      (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
      (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

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