Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Swiss Day: 1 August

After a string of British victories put New York City in British hands, John Jay composed a December 1776 message to the state's residents from the Convention of New York Representatives.  The Convention reminded the people of New York of the example of Switzerland:

Remember the long and glorious struggle of the United Netherlands against the power of Spain....

Switzerland presents us with another instance of magnanimity.  That country was oppressed by cruel tyrants, but the people refused to continue in bondage.  With arms in their hands they expelled those tyrants, and left to their descendants the portion of freedom.

In the United States, gun control advocates like Dr. Arthur Kellerman and gun ownership advocates like David Campo agree that Switzerland and Israel have rates of gun ownership almost comparable to the United States but without the homicide rate.  Please consult myth number 6 at Campo's item for the Cato Institute, here.  In a 1998 opinion piece for The New York Times, Fox Butterfield suggested the US homicide rate is partly a legacy of slavery.
     For a contrasting understanding of current Swiss firearms laws, please consider the remarks of Janet Rosenbaum, assistant professor of epidemiology at the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center School.  Interviewed for The Washington Post WorkBlog by Ezra Klein, Rosenbaum said, "The laws [in Switzerland]  are done canton by canton, which is like a province.  Everyone in Switzerland serves in the army, and the cantons used to let you have the guns at home.  They've been moving to keep the guns in depots.  That means they're not in the households...."
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