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Posted: 1/4/2012 7:53:38 PM EDT
Every man is mandated to serve in the military if he is able, and they keep their automatic rifle after they get out of the service. They can be called upon to defend their country at anytime, and can mobilize in minutes.

Pretty cool view on guns and protecting yourself, your country, and family.

Link Posted: 1/5/2012 2:56:12 AM EDT
While this is true, there are also man other contributing factors,
The standard of living is fairly high,
The people of Switzerland have an amazing work ethic,
The law over there doesn't fuck around.

The flip side to EVERYONE having automatic weapons is that any advantage either party may have is fairly well negated.
The potential victims and the crooks are both armed.
And the vast majority aren't carrying their weapons around all day long every day.

It has a lot to do with the culture, more so than the fact everyone is armed.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:04:17 AM EDT
What about "the elephant in the room?" Wanna take another guess why crime there is so low? Same reason crime in Wyoming is so low.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:26:50 AM EDT
I have spent quite a bit of time working with Swiss folks, and quite a bit of time in Switzerland. Some Swiss feel that they are actually 2 or 3 groups (Swiss German, Swiss French, Swiss Italian), but they are really a pretty homogeneous society. The vast majority of Swiss take great pride in organization, smart thinking, order, and doing things "properly" None of these ingrained attributes are really high on the criminal attribute list, so crime is not something your average Swiss guy is going to be able to generate a "knack" for.

The youth culture is somewhat different, too, think less thug rap/ angry thrash metal, more top 40 and traditional music. A number of my younger coworkers very much enjoy Elvis Presley, and lighter club music. It is not unusual to see a seven year old walking home from school alone through a marketplace in a city like Basel, as most everyone in the market is paying a little bit of attention to the child, to ensure they are safe as they pass them. High school students are pleased to participate in the annual shooting competitions for their area, 300 yard, prone precision shooting with the standard issue military rifle. Kids that do well are rewarded with neat prizes, like popular brand clothing, or small mementos of the occasion.

It's a pretty different world, there are good things to be said about it, it's also a bit uncomfortable for those that think differently, or try to do things in a "Non Swiss" way. The Swiss are good people. I'll be staying here in Georgia though. Georgians are good people, too.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 6:07:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/5/2012 6:08:02 AM EDT by s30series]
My research methods proposal was on the Swiss. Titled, A Shot At Crime: Gun Ownership and the Effects Of Victimization. I can post if you want to learn some interesting crime and gun stats about Switzerland
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 6:19:59 AM EDT
Please do, should be a good read.

Link Posted: 1/5/2012 7:06:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/5/2012 7:19:30 AM EDT by jeffco55]
Originally Posted By s30series:
My research methods proposal was on the Swiss. Titled, A Shot At Crime: Gun Ownership and the Effects Of Victimization. I can post if you want to learn some interesting crime and gun stats about Switzerland

Post it up.

Also to comment on the original topic. America is a melting pot of several different cultures and the clash between some of those cultures and clashing within some of those cultures are the reason for most of our violence. I think I remember seeing that a 15-60yrold Caucasian male is safer in America than he is in several of the EU countries.

Link Posted: 1/5/2012 8:51:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/5/2012 8:52:40 AM EDT by s30series]
Ill post it when i get home. It was for research methods in CJ at KSU with Dr. Petersen....got an "A" on it which i am told is very rare for her proposals.

Basically, the Swiss are awesome....their towns compete with each other in local shooting competitions. They are required (while in service) to keep a Sig 55X series in the home with them...more so for readiness than protection....
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 1:02:55 PM EDT
Switzerland is a terrific place. It's clean, organized, cultured, and safe as milk. It's also expensive as hell.

They're also very strict with immigration. I looked into emigrating there after retiring, and they really weren't interested. They had a pretty specific list of desirable attributes, and they involved careers that serviced the populace, (like doctors) very high educational background, (like phds) and tons of cash.

And you pretty much need at least two, if not all three.

As a high school dropout that really just got lucky in life, they were not interested in me at all. Denied!

Link Posted: 1/5/2012 1:25:58 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Fragalistic:
What about "the elephant in the room?" Wanna take another guess why crime there is so low? Same reason crime in Wyoming is so low.

they have Buffalo in Switzerland?
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 3:30:50 PM EDT
Originally Posted By birdbarian:
Originally Posted By Fragalistic:
What about "the elephant in the room?" Wanna take another guess why crime there is so low? Same reason crime in Wyoming is so low.

they have Buffalo in Switzerland?

High density of horny cowboys and oil-patch workers?

Link Posted: 1/5/2012 3:50:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/5/2012 3:54:31 PM EDT by s30series]

A Shot At Crime: Gun Ownership and The Effects On Victimization
By: Andrew Allen Caldwell

Owning a firearm in America is almost as ritualistic as attending ones hometown opening day baseball game. According to the last survey conducted about gun ownership in America in 1994, 35% of households own a gun, with more than 192 million firearms in circulation in the country. That’s almost one firearm for every two people. Guns are used in America for both the purpose of offense and defense. Every day citizens throughout this country carry a weapon on them for protection against criminals and to hopefully deter being a victim of crime. With this research, I plan to study the affect of gun ownership, and how it correlates with becoming or not becoming a victim of violent crime. In short, does owning and carrying a weapon make you less likely to become victimized? Learning the reasons why people own and carry firearms are vital to our nation so we can determine what if any new legislation needs to be introduced into our legislative process the to protect our future rights as citizens for self defense. Our second amendment was written by our forefathers to give us an opportunity to protect ourselves and our families from the life of crime. Since written, that part of the constitution has been debated for decades on whether owing a firearm is our “natural right” to give us the tools for protection. It is essential to learn the affects of gun ownership to see if in fact there is a direct link to gun ownership and crime.
Literature Review
Since the invention of the firearm, its’ use has been widely debated throughout nations of the world. Self-defense, home protection, competition; all are widely used excuses for owning firearms. These tools are spread throughout the world and are in the hands of nearly three out of every five household in the United States (Miller, 2002). Even though guns in America are used in large quantities in homicides, there are countries in this world that exist with guns, and without (much) homicide in comparison to the US.
Switzerland is a prime example of a country that maintains a low homicide rate, and has a high population percentage that owns firearms. Halbrook states “Among its population of 7.3 million (which includes 1.4 million foreigners) Switzerland experiences an extremely low crime rate. Regarding willful homicide offenses, in 2001 there were 86 actual homicides and 89 attempted homicides, for a total of 175” (Halbrook 2003:143). A startling fact considering that at age twenty, every male is issued (and must keep ready) a Sig 551 fully automatic assault rifle in their household (Halbrook, 2003). The Swiss are so accustomed to shooting that almost every town in the nation has a shooting range where all the townspeople participate in competitions. The Swiss have a feeling of being protected because of their firearms proficiency, as even Adolf Hitler in World War II decided against invading the well armed nation.
Across the Atlantic Ocean, firearms are looked upon in a much different light. Though “the vast majority of Americans believe they will either be more or less safe when others in the community acquire guns” (Hemenway 1995:8), the debate on control presses on in the public as well as our legislative bodies. The recent Supreme Court decision of District of Columbia v. Heller simplifies the age old argument of the second amendment pertaining to individuals of the United States, solidifying the stance that guns are just merely tools used for different purposes.
A random survey study done by Matthew Miller, Deborah Azrael, and David Hemenway found that “In areas with more firearms, people of all ages were more likely to be murdered, especially with handguns” (Miller 2002:5). This study is somewhat non-conclusive, because Miller was not able to discover the causation for the higher instance of homicide. What Miller failed to answer was why there were more firearms in certain areas. Though he does include the statement “However, guns used in homicides, especially homicides committed by adolescents and young adults may often be obtained on the street” (Miller 2002:6), Miller and his associates failed to explain who the homicides were committed against and what (if anything) gun ownership had to do with it. It wasn’t the law-abiding gun owners committing the homicides, it was the criminals.
Hopefully this research will help tie together the act of owning firearms in the house, and what affect that has on the act of becoming (or not becoming) a victim of violent crime in ones local neighborhood. Taking previous research into account, this research will help show the perceived feelings of safety and security by gun owners, and non gun owners alike. Also, this research should dispel the rumor (and findings of Miller) that more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens equate to more violent crime.
This research deals with gun owners and their apparent feelings of safety. Since the proposed research is based on gun ownership, non-gun owners will contribute nothing to the results, so non firearm owners can be omitted.. To be able to select a population of people who own firearms, I will utilize the General Social Survey (GSS) which is seen as the best survey to determine gun ownership in American households. Conducted bi-annually, the GSS is conducted by a personal interview with a national area probability sample of 3000 adults. The sample is chosen to be representative of each of the nine census regions in the United States, but not each individual state (Miller 2002). With this sample, I will have available to me the individuals that own firearms, thus leading to the ability to conduct telephone and/or questionnaire research.
The design includes both questionnaires (dealing from type/amount of firearms owned expanding to victimization questions) and public records analysis. With public records, accounts of specific victimization occurrences will be available from the local police departments. With this data, information can be found about the victim including (but not limited to) whether or not the victim was armed. Also, occurrences of self defense can be found through agency records by reviewing instances of homicides to see if they were in self-defense. This data would then be complied into a spreadsheet to show victims of violent crime and their ability to fight off their attacker with a weapon. Questionnaires will be given to the sample population to ask specific questions dealing with firearms ownership and the amount of times the participant has been victimized by violent crime. Using contingency questions, data will be retrieved by asking simple questions such as the amount of weapons owned to if the participant carries the weapon with him/her daily. From there, further questions will be asked including if the participant has ever been victimized or if they feel safer that they own a firearm.
Working with other researchers, the study should take no longer than a few months, as half of the data has already been found. It is just a matter of collecting the agency records and administering the surveys to complete the data set. Surveys need to be sent out to each and every participant in the survey, as well as follow up calls to make sure answers are given and the survey is collected. Agency records analysis will involve traveling to each local precinct where the sample lives to collect the data relevant to homicides. Analyzing the data will be done by using programs such as SPSS and excel. Once all of the information from the surveys and records analysis is retrieved, the data will be interpreted and entered into the respective programs. Using SPSS, drawing conclusions from the data set will be relatively easy as the program will statistically show the results in every specific category. The correlation between gun ownership and victimization will be able to be seen by reviewing the data collected from both records and questionnaires.

While there are many differing opinions on gun safety and gun control, one might assume that a concise conclusion may never be reached as to whether the presence of weapons make us safer as a public in America. While America continues to have the highest homicide rate in the world as well as the highest gun ownership, it is hard to deduce that more guns lead to safer lives. As Switzerland is a prime example of civilization with a high ownership of firearms and an extremely low homicide rate (Halbrook, 143), this suggests that there more underlying reasons as to why our homicide rate is so high. This research is aimed to dispel the myth in America that the presence of firearms in the home is a threat to ones’ security, while it in fact it may even help deter crime or save an individual’s life. Clearly as past research shows, more guns do not equal more crime.

Azrael, Deborah. State and Local Prevalence of Firearms Ownership Measurement, Structure, and Trends. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, Vol. 20, No.1, March 2004
Baker, Dennis J. Collective Criminalization and the Constitutional Right to Endanger Others Criminal Justice Ethics Vol. 28, No.2, October 2009, 168-200
Cook, Phillip J. Defensive Gun Uses: New Evidence From A National Survey. Journal of Quantitative Criminology. Vol.14 No.2 1998
Halbrook, Stephen P. Citizens In Arms: The Swiss Experience. Texas Review of Law & Politics Vol.8 No.1 141-173
Hemenway, David. Firearms and Community Feelings Of Saftey. The Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology Vol.86 No. 1995
Miller, Matthew. Rates of Household Firearm Ownership and Homicide Across US Regions and States, 1988-1997. American Journal of Public Health Vol.92 No.12 December 2002
Young, Robert L. Perceptions of Crime, Racial Attitudes, and Firearm Ownership. Social Forces Vol.64 No.2 December 1985

The book highlighted above can be found online probbaly...it's a very good read
Link Posted: 1/6/2012 5:47:30 AM EDT
Originally Posted By s30series:

The book highlighted above can be found online probbaly...it's a very good read

Another good read in the same vein, not specifically about guns and violence, but more about the differences in cultures, societies, governments, and how they all go together, is called "Eat the Rich" by P J O'Rourke. He's very entertaining, even funny, so it's an easy read.

Link Posted: 1/6/2012 11:24:34 AM EDT
I have been told by the people from switzerland that I talk to almost daily that they no longer do this. I don't know if it's true, but I've asked multiple differant arriving tourists into the US, mostly men, and have gotten the same answer from them all. Anyway to verify this? Also crime has less to do with arms than it does with a homogenous society - look at japan. Respect for others in both those countries is paramount. Something the US has lost in many areas save the sparsly populated "country" areas....
Link Posted: 1/6/2012 4:19:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/6/2012 4:24:21 PM EDT by LARRYG]
Eh, fuck it.
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