We have already seen that the Swiss have both more backbone and more common sense than your average EU-citizens. In November 2009, a referendum brought up by the Swiss People's Party, despite its name rightwing, led to a ban on the construction of minarets. Today, Sunday 13 February 2011, the Swiss roundly rejected a bill that would have imposed severe restrictions on gun ownership:
SWITZERLAND REJECTS TIGHTER GUN CONTROLS
"Swiss voters have rejected proposed tighter controls on gun ownership, final results show. Twenty of the 26 cantons and 56.3% of voters rejected the plan, meaning the current system allowing army-issue weapons to be kept at home will remain.
Supporters of the tighter curbs wanted to have weapons kept in armouries and were demanding stricter checks on gun owners. Opponents said the move would have undermined trust in the army.
For the proposal to succeed, it required the support of the majority of both citizens and cantons. Geneva and Basel both bucked the trend by approving it, according to the Swissinfo website. But German- and Italian-speaking cantons outvoted the plan's supporters in the French-speaking west.
The result is a blow to gun-control groups in Switzerland, the BBC's Imogen Foulkes in Geneva reports, but supporters of the initiative said they had at least started a debate.
"We achieved a great deal by launching the initiative... There is a growing awareness of the risks of firearms," leading women's organisation Alliance F said in a statement quoted by Swissinfo."
Belgium's "top" newspaper De Standaard wouldn't be the leftist rag that it is if, in the runup to the referendum, it wouldn't have forwarded completely ludicrous arguments as to exactly WHY the Swiss would be better off if they turned their weapons in:
The key sentence here is:
"In Zwitserland plegen jaarlijks zo'n 1.300 mensen zelfmoord; in een kwart van de gevallen wordt een vuurwapen gebruikt, dat is voor Europese begrippen erg veel."
"In Switzerland, some 1,300 people commit suicide yearly; in a quarter of the cases a firearm is used, a staggering figure for Europe".
Fucking BOGUS De Standaard. A quick reality check:
Switzerland has 7.8 million people. As we have seen every year there's 1,300 suicides.
Now for Belgium. Belgium has 10.8 million people. Belgium also has one of the severest gun control laws in the entire world. Citizens are basically absolutely powerless to stop criminals, and every once in a while, if a jeweller DOES shoot a perpetrator, it's the former who lands in prison. Well, the number of suicides in Belgium in 2009 was:
Only one EU country, Finland, does bet, erm, worse. Even if you adjust for the population disparity (7.8 million vs 10.8 million), Switzerland would have around 1,500 suicides compared to Belgium's 5,700 or...
... only ABOUT A QUARTER.
Which is a thought exercise De Standaard won't bother to make, let alone suggest you do it. Instead it adds the completely superfluous "in a quarter of the cases, a firearm is used, a staggering figure for Europe".
Which proves absolutely NOTHING, except for the fact that in a country where so many firearms are at home, and some of those hapless souls who do decide to commit suicide - relatively speaking only 25% of those in the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics of Belgistan - simply grab for the most obvious and most easy way out of this life.
As if these people wouldn't commit suicide IF ONLY there were no firearms at home. The reality is that WERE IT SO, the person involved would simply jump off a bridge or in front of a train. But thinking that through must have required too much brainpower from De Standaard's editors.
Well, maybe they do possess the brainpower, and like always it's just that plain old leftist reflex again, Power not to the People, as they so often claim, but to their self-invented God, the State. Liberals and socialists alike, they don't like people who can think for themselves, can fend for themselves, and can DEFEND themselves.
I'd like to end with two memorable quotes. The first one is from Thomas Jefferson:
"An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject."
The second one is from Niccolo Machiavelli:
"The Swiss are the most free and the most armed people of Europe."
Damn right. Congratulations for the Swiss.
Or rather, for the true descendants of Wilhelm Tell.