Loose firearms laws and gun circulation in the world: it’s not only the US

An aspect of expat life I never really thought about before switching countries is firearms control.

One reason for that is the fact that I was moving to a country which has never been at war in the last two-hundred years, plus it is well-known for its neutrality, it almost never experienced political unrest, and has a low crime rate.

However, I soon learnt that those factors don’t necessarily mean strict gun control.

This is what I saw when I boarded a tram downtown on a Saturday morning.

Just an ordinary Saturday morning

Just an ordinary Saturday morning

Friends of mine confirmed that it’s nothing unusual. However, I was shocked.

A guy showing such nonchalance on a bus in my native country, would probably have to wait only a few minutes before being immobilized onto the floor, even before being asked a single question, provided that it would have been possible for him to find a way to legally buy an assault rifle, which I doubt.

But you know, my native country experienced both fascism and internal terrorism, both factors that favored a strict firearms control.

Swiss people are well used to owning firearms, as adult males attend military service for many years in a row in their twenties and early thirties. They can keep their gun at home if they want.

A consequence of that is the relatively high rate of firearms-related deaths, despite the low overall crime rate.


Did you notice a difference in gun circulation when moving to another country?

What was your reaction to that?

 

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About TheTuscan

I'm a full-time expat and a part-time traveler. I moved abroad to seek a better life. I travel the world to come into contact with places and cultures. Such a lifestyle has given me more wealth, fulfillment, and happiness. I'm the editor of AnyLatitude.com

Comments

  1. Of all countries, I’m surprised that so many people there have guns. To see someone exposing an assault rifle like that in public is a total shocker! Because of so many people carrying, it’s not shocking that there’s a ‘relatively high rate of firearms related deaths’.
    Mike | Earthdrifter recently posted..The Saudi SkinnyMy Profile

    • Believe me, I was there and even more shocked! The funny thing was that the guy looked surprised when he heard the “click” of the [photographic] shot.
      Another funny thing was the reaction of a friend of mine, who said “he had an assault rifle on the tram, so what?”
      This country is one of a kind. :)

  2. I think firearms should be banned and I’m shocked that places like America still don’t have stricter policies given the multiple incidences that occurred last year. To tell you the truth, I didn’t know the Swiss adopted the use of personal firearms… as a residence, that would make me feel really uneasy.
    Shing recently posted..Visiting Svalbard: The Last Stop Before the North PoleMy Profile

    • The Second Amendment is there exactly for this reason: to prevent you English colonialist to overwhel unarmed free citizens! :)
      No seriously, going back to Switzerland: a friend of mine was showing the rooms of the house he was sharing with other young men to a prospective new tenant; in one of the them, there was a gun on the desk. She chose not to rent in the end :)
      I don’t feel uneasy, for I have a strong confidence in the tendency of the Swiss in avoiding conflicts.
      However, I hate firearms. They can bring no good.

  3. Yet another compelling post Mr. Tuscan! American repugs love to tout that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Ironically though, when you have more guns, more people manage to kill more people. Interesting coincidence…and now I understand why the Swiss have all those holes in their cheeses :)
    Alex-Wanderlust Marriage recently posted..First time in Scotland = Haggis and whisky feast!My Profile

    • Nice words, thank you!
      You’re jocking about that, but I can tell you that when some time ago traces of lead were found in our water, they first thought that it could be due to the bullets shot in the groud. I would have never thought of that.

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