Swiss Gun Control Referendum Fails

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BY ADNAN S. KHAN You're watching multisource world news analysis from Newsy One of the top three gun-ow...
BY ADNAN S. KHAN You're watching multisource world news analysis from Newsy One of the top three gun-owning nations strongly voted against a massive gun control referendum. Apparently, the people of Switzerland value their firearms as much as their neutrality. France 24 has the story. REPORTER: “On Sunday, voting closed on a referendum that challenged a long held tradition that Swiss men keep army weapons at home, during and after military service. Doctors, churches and women’s group were amongst those pushing for firearms to be stored in secured army depots.” CITIZEN: “I voted in favor of banning firearms at households. Because I think it’s an out-of-date practice today – in Swiss society and in Europe.” There are around two to three million firearms in Switzerland, which puts the Alpine Nation right behind the U.S. and Yemen in civilian gun ownership. No one knows the exact number because Switzerland doesn’t have a national firearms registry. The Wall Street Journal reports- supporters of the referendum argued it would reduce the unusually high number of gun-related suicides. “The referendum’s supporters used a teddy bear with blood dripping from a hole in its chest, brandishing the motto, ‘Protect your family.’” Switzerland barely has a standing army and so is dependent on its vast militia to answer the call of duty. A BBC reporter writes- changing anything about the Swiss Army is controversial. “Opponents of the proposals say taking soldiers’ guns away would undermine the military and could open the door to abolishing Switzerland’s citizen army all together.” But it’s not like the referendum required the militia to bury its guns twenty feet underground. World Radio Switzerland says it simply wanted to remove them from homes. “Aside from requiring rifles to stay at armories, the initiative text called for any person owning a weapon to prove...a need and an ability to use it, as well as a national firearms registry.” Euronews reports for one gun owner it is more than a matter of national security- it’s a matter of pride in a national tradition. “I think guns represent our whole identity - our democratic system, our freedom. Since Switzerland exist thanks to a militia system resulting from civilians serving in the army, its always been the case that firearms have been kept at home.” Finally- a writer for Swiss community online news publication GenevaLunch says she would hate to see this debate butchered by foreign media through comparison with U.S. gun-control issues. “…the Swiss debate is not over the right to bear arms, but the responsibility that goes with bearing them. The Swiss militia obligation for citizens to have firearms is accompanied by the legal obligation to practice shooting regularly.” CNN points out- Switzerland outlawed keeping ammunition at home in 2007. Follow Newsy_Videos on Twitter Get more multisource video news analysis from Newsy Transcript by Newsy
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