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02/14/2019 / By JD Heyes
With the passage of time, even ‘tolerant’ Europeans are growing increasingly weary of the authoritarian tendencies of their leaders.
Switzerland is a case in point. The central European country of about 8.5 million has historically been “neutral” and self-reliant. In September, its government agreed to comply with a European Union construct, the Schengen Treaty, though Switzerland isn’t an EU member.
The treaty includes gun regulations (read: Gun control), ostensibly incorporated as a way of reducing crime and terrorism. The treaty’s main objective, however, is to allow for the free movement of people and goods throughout Europe.
Switzerland was given a deadline of May 2019 to comply with the treaty, The Firearm Blog reported.
“According to Swissinfo.ch, the Campaign for an Independent and Neutral Switzerland and the Swiss gun lobbyists mounted the opposition ahead of Parliament’s vote and said they would launch a referendum,” the website reported further. “According to a Swiss resident on ar15.com, they only had 100 days to get 50,000 verified signatures. Since that time, they were able to collect 125,000 signatures.” (Related: Anti-gun protester says you should never shoot home intruders who want to rape or murder you… because stopping them with a gun would be WRONG.)
A referendum vote is to take place in May, which is the same month that the Schengen Treaty is scheduled to take effect. Swiss lawmakers have warned that failure of the country to comply will result in an ‘unwanted’ dispute with the EU.
To those who know Switzerland and its people and culture, the speed at which pro-gun activists were able to gather more than 120,000 signatures opposing firearms restrictions in the treaty isn’t surprising. The country has a strong tradition of owning guns, much of it due to the fact that Switzerland has historically remained a neutral country throughout most of Europe’s violent history.
For instance, only about five percent of the armed forces are professional troops; the country relies primarily on its militia system which consists of conscripts and volunteers aged 19-34. In all, as of 2009, there were more than 1.5 million males and 1.47 million females between the ages of 16 and 49 who were fit for military service. According to published reports, Switzerland has a very strong military tradition; every male under 50 is considered a reservist. In fact, the country lives under an adage, “Switzerland does not have an army. It is an army.”
Needless to say, firearms are part of that militia national defense structure; they have to be in order for Switzerland to sustain credible self-defense (which it does). Militia members are obviously encouraged to keep a government-issued rifle at home along with ammunition so they can respond rapidly to national emergencies.
As reported by the Christian Science Monitor in March 2018, “Switzerland has one of the highest per capita rates of guns in the world.” The Swiss, it seems, have as strong a tradition of owning firearms as Americans do, and many are as resistant to gun control measures as we are.
Under the Schengen Treaty, current and former Swiss militia members would still be able to keep their government-issued weapons, The Firearm Blog continued, via exemptions. But there are new restrictions on magazines for semi-automatic guns “that are part of the general compliance measures along with heavier restrictions on the acquisition of firearms,” the website reported.
Hence the mounting opposition.
In addition to gun ownership, shooting competitions are extremely popular in Switzerland. According to lebendige-traditionen.ch, the “Feldschiessen,” or Field Shoot, drew about 128,000 participants for a weekend national shooting competition, which made it the world’s largest event of its kind.
And as CS Monitor reports, there are shooting ranges in virtually every Swiss town.
Europe’s gun-grabbers are no different from Democratic Leftist gun grabbers in the U.S. They all want one thing — control over our lives. And to get that, they must steadily work to disarm us, which is the ultimate objective.
Here’s hoping the Swiss won’t let the EU gun grabbers win.
Read more about the Left’s non-stop efforts at imposing more gun control at Guns.news.
Tagged Under: conscription, European Union, firearms, freedom, government rifle, gun control, gun culture, gun rights, guns, Liberty, militia members, militia system, Schengen Treaty, Swiss armed forces, Swiss army, switzerland, treaty provisions
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