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  1. 27 Jul '12 02:44
    Does anyone know which country has the largest militia in the world? It is Switzerland. That's right, Switzerland has no standing army. Instead, they train their citizens to use weapons and require them to keep them at home in case of attack.

    So the question begs, why are there no mass shootings in Switzerland it seems?
  2. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    27 Jul '12 02:57
    Originally posted by whodey
    Does anyone know which country has the largest militia in the world? It is Switzerland. That's right, Switzerland has no standing army. Instead, they train their citizens to use weapons and require them to keep them at home in case of attack.

    So the question begs, why are there no mass shootings in Switzerland it seems?
    No magazines with more than 30 bullets comes to mind.
  3. 27 Jul '12 03:28
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    No magazines with more than 30 bullets comes to mind.
    30 bullets? That is alot of bullets.
  4. 27 Jul '12 04:03 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by whodey
    Does anyone know which country has the largest militia in the world? It is Switzerland. That's right, Switzerland has no standing army. Instead, they train their citizens to use weapons and require them to keep them at home in case of attack.

    So the question begs, why are there no mass shootings in Switzerland it seems?
    The word “Militia” is, mentioned in the following sections of the U.S. Constitution—


    Article I - The Legislative Branch
    Section 8 - Powers of Congress


    To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

    To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

    Article II – The Executive Branch
    Section 2 - Civilian Power over Military, Cabinet, Pardon Power, Appointments


    The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States;

    Amendment 2 - Right to Bear Arms. Ratified 12/15/1791.

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.


    Amendment 5 - Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings. Ratified 12/15/1791.

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    _____________________________________________

    Is there any reason to assume that the phrase “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed” was intended by the Framers to be separable from the purpose of maintaining “a well regulated Militia”?

    Is there any reason to assume (whatever else the phrase “militia” might have meant) that it was intended to refer to anything different in the 2nd Amendment than in the other Constitutional texts? For example, did the Framers intend that any member of the armed populace could be lawfully “called forth” by the legislative branch “to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions”, and when called forth “into the actual Service of the United States” to serve under the President as Commander in Chief?

    ________________________________________________

    None of that answers your question, of course. I simply wanted to suggest a parallel. I think we need to know more about the Swiss than I do...
  5. 27 Jul '12 04:59 / 1 edit
    Well I went to Wikipedia to check it out, and the gun crime rates, while high by European standards, are considerably lower than ours.

    There was a massacre a decade ago.

    In 2001 Swiss citizen Friedrich Leibacher entered a regional Swiss parliament building and used a rifle to kill 14 people before killing himself.[7] This was not his personal army issue weapon, but a private version of the army issue rifle. He committed suicide with a pistol and used an improvised explosive device.

    But to answer your question, this might be a factor. While the assault rifles themselves are in every home, the ammunition is highly regulated.

    The sale of ammunition – including Gw Pat.90 rounds for army-issue assault rifles – is subsidized by the Swiss government and made available at the many shooting ranges patronized by both private citizens and members of the militia. There is a regulatory requirement that ammunition sold at ranges must be used there.

    Personally, I think Obama can take some unilateral action here, but if he does it, he probably won't do it until after the election. The ATF can be empowered to track ammunition sales, made much easier now with computers. If it had been tracking the amount this guy purchased, it would have been able to intervene. I don't think it would require anything passed by Congress.
  6. 27 Jul '12 07:17
    Originally posted by whodey
    So the question begs, why are there no mass shootings in Switzerland it seems?
    There are. There are simply proportionately less of them because of the lower population relative to the US. Would you care to produce any statistics showing that there are less mass shootings than in a country where fire arms are effectively regulated? Do any such countries exist?
  7. 27 Jul '12 07:47
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    There are. There are simply proportionately less of them because of the lower population relative to the US. Would you care to produce any statistics showing that there are less mass shootings than in a country where fire arms are effectively regulated? Do any such countries exist?
    Here's Hugo Rifkind in the Times on gun ownership in the US and elsewhere. Can't paste the link as it's subscribers only, but it was page 21 of Tuesday's issue:

    Sometimes guns are ace. I'll tell you what else is ace, though: British gun law. Many British people will never even have seen a gun, save in the hands of soldiers or airport policemen. Pistols are wholly illegal and have been since the Dunblane shootings of 1996. Automatic weapons are also illegal, as are properly functioning pump action shotguns. Those who own guns must keep them in locked cupboards, which are inspected by the police, and can lose their licences if anyone else (even, in one case, their 81-year-old mother) knows where they keep the keys.

    Obviously, it sometimes fails. Three people were killed by a man called Michael Atherton on New Year's Day, and his guns were legally held[...] But contrast the 51 killed by guns in the UK last year with their (deep breath) 31,347 counterparts in the US, and it's hard not to conclude that we're doing something very right. After the deaths of 12 people at last Friday's cinema shooting in Aurora, Colorada, the great question once again is why America doesn't feel capable of doing it too.

    It is surely indisputable by this stage that gun control would save lives. This has to be true everywhere, not just in America, and the stricter it gets the more lives would be saved. Over the past few days various American voices have sought to make despicable hay over the Utoya massacre a year ago, in which Anders Breivik used weapons for which he was fully licensed. "Norway has very strict gun control laws," John McCain told CNN.

    In fact, Norway's gun laws are only strict in comparison to America's. Which is to say, not very. Breivik conducted his slaughter with a Glock pistol and semi-automatic rifle, both of which he obtained with only a little forward planning. In Colorado, though, James Holmes bought his guns over the counter and his bullets online. Maybe even Norway's laws would have stymied him. Britain's laws would have likely thwarted both of them. Certainly you can kill people with a shot gun, but only a couple at a time.
  8. 27 Jul '12 08:35 / 1 edit
    Rifkind continues:

    Why does America so fear to be like us? It can't just be the Second Amendment, regardless of what it is supposed to mean. True, the American tendency to treat their constitution as a holy text is baffling at the best of times (Who cares what Thomas Jefferson meant in 1787? Maybe he hadn't given people bringing semi-automatic weaponry into cinemas that much thought?). But this surely goes deeper.

    Much as it might look this way, America's debate about gun control isn't really about being able to defend yourself (as part of militia or otherwise) from [...] tyrannical government [...]. It's about freedom, and freedom of a very particular sort. It's about the rights of the individual versus the greater good. America just doesn't seem to do the latter. Call it a legacy of the Bill of Rights; call it the upshot of half of century fighting Communism; call it pure and simple selfishness, whatever; it's there. When American politics sounds odd and alien to European ears, this is why. It is the sound of the clamour for individual liberty drowning out everything else.

    On the American right even the desire to not let people do things - have abortions, marry people of the same sex - is today characterised as protecting the freedom of those who object. Right-wing America doesn't want to give up its guns for the same reasons it didn't want to be forced to have healthcare and doesn't believe in global warming.

    Opposition to gun control is this obsession at its purest. American liberty holds that the honest, decent gun owner should not be held responsible for the actions of a minority of criminals and lunatics.

    European liberty starts by worrying about the criminals and lunatics and works backwards from there. Me, I'd rather be in Europe. But then, I am. In any political system other than the American one, it's unthinkable that popular outrage about a domestic problem that causes (let's take that deep breath again) 31,347 horrible deaths a year could be so utterly dwarfed, every time it flares up, by popular outrage about the notion of any possible solution.

    America could solve its gun problem in half a generation if it wanted to. It doesn't want to. That's a whole other problem it needs to solve first.
  9. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    27 Jul '12 19:42
    Originally posted by whodey
    30 bullets? That is alot of bullets.
    It's not 100 bullets like James Holmes had.
  10. 27 Jul '12 19:48
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Is there any reason to assume that the phrase “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed” was intended by the Framers to be separable from the purpose of maintaining “a well regulated Militia”?

    Is there any reason to assume (whatever else the phrase “militia” might have meant) that it was intended to refer to anything different ...[text shortened]... simply wanted to suggest a parallel. I think we need to know more about the Swiss than I do...[/b]
    I think the intention of the Framers was to alllow it's citizenery to bear arms in order to help protect their own liberty whether it be from a foreign power or the state that rules over them.
  11. 27 Jul '12 19:59
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    There are. There are simply proportionately less of them because of the lower population relative to the US. Would you care to produce any statistics showing that there are less mass shootings than in a country where fire arms are effectively regulated? Do any such countries exist?
    Just looking at the US, Chicago has one of the most regulated gun laws in the country. You cannot carry a concealed fire arm and in most areas not even one that is not concealed. Looking at FBI statistics it would seem that Chicago has a murder rate of 5.5 per 100,000 in 2010 compared to 4.8 murders per 100,000 for the rest of the country.
  12. 27 Jul '12 20:00
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    It's not 100 bullets like James Holmes had.
    What of his explosives? Why is the left not mentioning his explosives that were set to blow up his building complex?
  13. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    27 Jul '12 20:02
    Originally posted by whodey
    What of his explosives? Why is the left not mentioning his explosives that were set to blow up his building complex?
    Probably because nobody was killed by those traps.
  14. 27 Jul '12 20:06 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Probably because nobody was killed by those traps.
    Right. Come back when you blow up a building or two, kinda like the first Twin Towers attack.

    My point here is that explosives are illegal. So what? They are easy to make. Personally I would prefer dodging bullets than being blown to bits. At least I would feel like I had a chance to evade my attacker.
  15. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    27 Jul '12 20:14
    This thread is about mass shootings...