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Posted: 9/27/2001 12:49:54 PM EDT
Man Kills 14 at Swiss Legislature Photos By PETER HODY, Associated Press Writer ZUG, Switzerland (AP) - A man enraged with local officials opened fire with an assault rifle and tossed a grenade in a crowded state legislature before shooting himself Thursday. Switzerland's worst-ever shooting spree left 15 people dead, including the gunman. The rampage by Friedrich Leibacher, a 57-year-old Zurich resident, killed three members of the canton of Zug's seven-member government, as well as 11 of its 80 lawmakers. Fourteen officials were seriously injured, including government chief Hanspeter Uster, who was shot through a lung. The spree plunged Switzerland into mourning and prompted an immediate rethinking of security standards in a country where even the president has little police protection. ``It was like an execution,'' said lawmaker Hanspeter Hausherr, who was in the chamber when Leibacher stormed in, wearing a police vest and firing at least one magazine of 20 bullets from his 5.6 mm SIG ``Sturmgewehr 90'' in a five-minute frenzy. He then detonated a grenade, which ripped doors off and shattered windows of the stately two-story building near Zug's quaint old town and glistening lake not far from Zurich. He then shot himself with a pistol. As lawmakers hit the floor in panic and the injured screamed in pain, journalists who were covering the parliamentary meeting cowered behind their press desks for cover. ``Unbelievable, just unbelievable,'' said lawmaker Jo Lang, one lens of his glasses shattered and still in shock from the bullet that whizzed through his curly hair. ``I just remember the shout 'Get Down,' said another lawmaker, Jean-Pierre Prodolliet. ``Then I heard bang, bang, bang, five or 10 times. Then there was silence until the next bang, bang, bang.'' Zug's famously low taxes, proximity to Zurich airport and stunning Alpine views have made it a favorite base for numerous foreign firms, including all the world's major commodity traders. Marc Rich (news - web sites), a fugitive U.S. financier who caused a storm by being pardoned by former President Clinton (news - web sites), has long been based there. Swiss President Moritz Leuenberger broke off a meeting with Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade and headed to Zug upon learning of the attack. He ordered all state flags to fly at half-staff for the next three days.
Link Posted: 9/27/2001 12:51:02 PM EDT
``Our democracy and freedom has been put into question,'' a choked Leuenberger said. ``I'm just so shocked I can find no more words.'' At a news conference, police officials said that Leibacher's grievances dated back to a row with a Zug bus driver two years ago. He subsequently insulted all public transport workers, leading the transport department to file a complaint against him. Leibacher responded with counter-complaints against transport and justice department figures, alleging they were violating their public duties. He filed suits at every level of the Swiss legal system, including the Supreme Court. All his cases were dismissed - he was told of the most recent rejection shortly before he went berserk. ``He did this purely out of revenge and fury,'' said local investigator Kurt Bloechlinger. Bisig said Leibacher had bombarded state officials with letters and pamphlets demanding his rights. But all the accusations were dismissed because ``they were so far from reality,'' said Bisig. A note found alongside a cache of weapons in Leibacher's car was entitled ``Day of Rage against the Zug Mafia.'' In it, Leibacher accused authorities of being a ``band of criminals,'' ``pirates'' and ``alcoholics.'' Even though Leibacher was wearing police clothing, authorities said he did not belong to the force. It was unclear whether he had served in the country's militia army when he was younger, entitling him to keep a weapon at home. The town of Zug has a population of just 22,000, and 100,000 people live in the canton - or state - that bears the same name. The legislature has widespread powers over issues ranging from education to taxation and health care. Part of Zug was cordoned off and locals left bouquets of flowers by the barricades or handed them to police. Officials were at pains to stress that there was no link to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. But, for the 7 million Swiss inhabitants used to living in a low-crime environment, the shock was profound. New security measures were immediately announced for government and parliament buildings in the capital Bern, including metal detectors, baggage screening, identity controls and protective grills on windows - routine steps in most other countries. ``We were proud that until now politicians could move freely,'' said President Leuenberger. ``That has been put into question by this attack.''
Link Posted: 9/27/2001 12:54:29 PM EDT
Considering that Switzerland was already being pounded by the EU for its lax gun laws and for its militia this could only be a bad thing. The Sturmgewere 90 and grenade are almost assuridly going to be found to be his government issue weapons.
Link Posted: 9/27/2001 12:58:20 PM EDT
I was aware that the Swiss lets its citizen soldiers take and store their weapon at home, but didn't think they would let them take home grenades?
Link Posted: 9/27/2001 1:01:03 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/27/2001 1:05:24 PM EDT
This may have just put the nail into it.
Link Posted: 9/27/2001 1:08:09 PM EDT
I think it is just a matter of time before terrorist try something like that here. All they need is someone friendly to their cause to purchase several AR's or AKs's maybe even a .50. They have shown that they have the funding and the fanatics to do it. If they ever do something like that we will probably face some serious changes in firearm ownership laws in the U.S.
Link Posted: 9/27/2001 1:18:13 PM EDT
Low taxes? Machine guns and grenades? I wish I lived in Switzerland.
Link Posted: 9/27/2001 1:24:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/27/2001 1:24:33 PM EDT by 95thFoot]
Originally Posted By JIMBEAM: I think it is just a matter of time before terrorist try something like that here. All they need is someone friendly to their cause to purchase several AR's or AKs's maybe even a .50. They have shown that they have the funding and the fanatics to do it. If they ever do something like that we will probably face some serious changes in firearm ownership laws in the U.S.
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And because of the general negativity towards guns and self-defence in the USA, there wil be, of course, more unarmed victims, the survivors of which will scream, "Why doesn't the government save us?" "Well, the govt. can't be there to save you- there aren't enough personnel/money, etc." "Well, then let's ban all guns- now!" It still won't solve the problem- but it will make people feel better- until the next massacre of the unarmed. Then what can people do? Nothing. They'll have to face the consequences of their actions. They'll have voted "no more guns", and that is exactly what they will get. No guns = no defence. Fools.
Link Posted: 9/27/2001 1:29:31 PM EDT
Originally Posted By raven: Low taxes? Machine guns and grenades? I wish I lived in Switzerland.
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You only get the Grenades if you take Swiss citizenship and do 2 years in their army. The Sig 550 (StuG 90) is available over the counter though.
Link Posted: 9/27/2001 10:20:10 PM EDT
There goes the swiss pro-gun argument! And with emerson going with the decision of "collective right" all guns will be banned! Woo hoo!
Link Posted: 9/27/2001 10:24:42 PM EDT
Just be thankful that sort of stuff can't happen here! Eric The(Well,NoGrenades,NoSig550sEither)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 9/27/2001 10:52:20 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Imbroglio: There goes the swiss pro-gun argument! And with emerson going with the decision of "collective right" all guns will be banned! Woo hoo!
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Did I miss something somewhere about the Emerson case ???
Link Posted: 9/28/2001 12:17:33 AM EDT
No just Imbroglio trying to recruit for his revolution again.
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