Thursday, December 3, 2015
Switzerland and San Bernardino
Switzerland has a guns-per-household ratio almost as high as the United States does. Semi-automatic arms are completely legal, and people are allowed to carry firearms as long as they are not concealed. Most of the firearms are provided by the government, but you can also purchase other guns if you like, up to three per person.
Yet Switzerland is a country that has one of the lowest rates of death by firearms in the world...not so much because everyone has guns, but rather because everyone is responsible enough to have guns and not allow them to either fall into the wrong hands (little children, mentally ill folks) or become tempted to participate in some bizarre mass murder of innocent people.
I don't understand this. Is it our shoot-'em-up, violence-loving culture, or that we're just less mature as a nation, or something else which makes us so very different from them? Are they smarter, wiser, or less reactionary than us? How can weapons that cause HUGE problems in one country not even register a blip on the radar screen of violence in another?
Either way, I am sad to see things like what happened in San Bernardino yesterday happening more and more in our land -- and in more and more odd places for violence. And looking at Switzerland, I can honestly say that I don't think guns are the problem. But I'm not sure what is.