On Sunday evening, an article published by Business Insider the previous day was all over the internet. The article is entitled, “Switzerland has a stunningly high rate of gun ownership — here’s why it doesn’t have mass shootings.”
The article touts many things wonderful about Switzerland’s gun control laws. Here are some excerpts from the article:
“Switzerland hasn’t had a mass shooting since 2001, when a man stormed the local parliament in Zug, killing 14 people and then himself.
The country has about 2 million privately owned guns in a nation of 8.3 million people. In 2016, the country had 47 homicides with firearms. The country’s overall murder rate is near zero.
The National Rifle Association often points to Switzerland to argue that more rules on gun ownership aren’t necessary. In 2016, the NRA said on its blog that the European country had one of the lowest murder rates in the world while still having millions of privately owned guns and a few hunting weapons that don’t even require a permit.
But the Swiss have some specific rules and regulations for gun use.
Unlike the US, Switzerland has mandatory military service for men. All men between the ages of 18 and 34 deemed “fit for service” are given a pistol or a rifle and trained. After they’ve finished their service, the men can typically buy and keep their service weapons, but they have to get a permit for them.
In 2007, the Small Arms Survey found that Switzerland had the third-highest ratio of civilian firearms per 100 residents (46), outdone by only the US (89) and Yemen (55). But it seems that figure has dropped over the past decade. It’s now estimated that there’s about one civilian gun for every four Swiss people.
Swiss authorities decide on a local level whether to give people gun permits. They also keep a log of everyone who owns a gun in their region, known as a canton, though hunting rifles and some semiautomatic long arms are exempt from the permit requirement. But cantonal police don’t take their duty dolling out gun licenses lightly. They might consult a psychiatrist or talk with authorities in other cantons where a prospective gun buyer has lived before to vet the person.
People who’ve been convicted of a crime or have an alcohol or drug addiction aren’t allowed to buy guns in Switzerland. The law also states that anyone who “expresses a violent or dangerous attitude” won’t be permitted to own a gun. Gun owners who want to carry their weapon for “defensive purposes” also have to prove they can properly load, unload, and shoot their weapon and must pass a test to get a license.”
Read the whole article here.
My problem with this article is the very misleading statement in the headline: “…here’s why it doesn’t have mass shootings.”
The author then starts by clarifying that Switzerland hasn’t had a mass shooting since the Zug massacre in 2001.
Too bad the author didn’t Google “mass shootings Switzerland.”
I did and found out that the author’s statement about mass shootings is NOT TRUE. Here’s a list of mass shootings in Switzerland I was able to locate through a Google search:
- 2001 Zug Massacre (the last mass shooting, according to Business Insider): The Zug massacre took place on September 27, 2001 in the city of Zug (Canton of Zug, Switzerland) in the canton’s parliament. Friedrich Leibacher shot dead 14 people before killing himself.
- 2012 Annecy Murders (see update at the end of this bullet): A couple were found shot to death on a remote road near Annecy along with one of the victim’s mother and a French cyclist. Saad al-Hilli, 50, his wife Iqbal, 47, and her 74-year-old mother all died at the scene of the September 5, 2012 attack. The al-Hilli daughters — Zainab, 7, and Zeena, 4 — survived the attack, although Zainab was shot in the shoulder and severely beaten, suffering skull fractures. Zeena hid for hours under her dead mother’s skirt in the family car but escaped injury. (The reason I included this one was because of the article headline, “Five years on, death of family in the Alps remains a mystery.” Annecy is 22 miles south of Geneva – it’s the Pearl of the French Alps. It’s not clear if the family was from Switzerland. Don’t know why it came up when I searched for Switzerland mass shootings. h/t Facebook reader Todd.)
- 2013 Daillon Shooting:Three women were shot and killed and two men were wounded before police in southern Switzerland disabled the gunman by shooting him in the chest. Police said the alleged assailant, an unemployed 33-year-old who had been treated for psychiatric problems in the past, was arrested and hospitalized after the rampage late Wednesday in the village of Daillon. The man began firing from his apartment down toward the street and through the windows of other houses before coming outside and continuing to fire.
- 2013Menznau Factory Shooting: A gunman opened fire on several people at a wood plant in Menznau in central Switzerland, leaving three people dead and seven others injured. The shooter, a 42-year-old company employee, was among the dead.
- 2014 Wilderswill Shooting:Switzerlandshooting leaves three dead near Interlaken. The bodies of three people were discovered near a train station in the Swiss Alps town of Wilderswill on Monday, police said, amid reports of a murder-suicide. Media reported though that two men and one woman, all Portuguese citizens, had been killed in a jealousy drama.
- 2015 Wuerenlingen Shooting: Married father-of-three opens fire in mass shooting in tiny Swiss town killingfour before turning the gun on himself.
- 2016 Islamic Center Shooting:Three people were wounded in a shooting near an Islamic center in central Zurich, police said. Swiss media said a suspect was on the run after the incident near the main train station in Switzerland’s financial capital.
- 2017 Basel Café Shooting: According to police, two men entered the premises and opened fire on guests at a cafe in Basel, Switzerland. Two people were killed and one critically injured. Investigations are ongoing but a police officer said: “This is a local incident. It has nothing to do with Islamists or terrorism.”
- 2018 Zurich UBS Shooting: A man shot and killed his companion, reportedly an employee of Swiss bank UBS, in front of shocked onlookers in the heart of Zurich on Friday before turning the gun on himself, police said. (Only two shot here, as opposed to the three necessary to qualify as a “mass shooting.” Yet this happened in public and terrified people in this country that doesn’t have mass shootings any more.)
Media, in their desire to “inform” us, really should know that Google is available to all to verify their misleading, pro-gun control propaganda.