The parallels between Europe and America, when it comes to gun control, can be somewhat foreboding. Much like politicians from gun control anti-gun states want all states to follow their lead with respect to restrictions on law-abiding gun owners, European countries that think tighter firearm restrictions are the way to end violence want to force their way of thinking on other countries. Switzerland will be the next test site for whether this way of thinking prevails.
In May, Swiss citizens will vote on whether its country should maintain some autonomy when it comes to what works best for its culture or whether its citizens should cave to the whims of the European Union (EU), which does not include Switzerland, by infringing upon the privacy and freedoms of gun owners.
It all comes down, basically, to how much value the Swiss place on the Schengen Agreement, a treaty that makes free movement across borders easier. A1F and NRA-ILA wrote about the Schengen Agreement in May 2018. The EU apparently thinks that if Switzerland doesn’t want to share information about gun ownership, the Swiss shouldn’t be able to take advantage of the treaty’s benefits regarding visas and international travel. So they’re hanging membership in the Schengen Area—a broad swath of Europe made up of the countries that signed the treaty—over the heads of the Swiss populace. That’s apparently a powerful enough motive that some pundits are predicting that the Swiss will vote to give up some of the firearms freedom they have long enjoyed.
The vote itself is a victory for Swiss gun owners. The Swiss government agreed to the gun control measures last September, but Swiss gun owners responded by collecting more than enough signatures to put the measure to a referendum by the voters.
Hopefully, the Swiss voters see the vote for what it is: a chance to defend their sovereignty and their firearms freedoms. Gun grabbers don’t care a whit about the fact that the lawful firearm owners in Switzerland haven’t been remotely linked to the terror attacks in recent years that spurred the EU to push for broader gun control. And you can bet they’ve also discounted the fact that Switzerland—with one of the highest gun ownership rates in Europe—is a generally peaceful country with a low crime rate.
None of that matters to the anti-gunners. The gun control crowd in Europe, much like their counterparts in America, are singularly minded when it comes to firearms. It’s their way or the highway, with no room for negotiation, and they’ll just cast you aside like detritus if you dare to disagree.
That mentality is one of the things you really have to fear from the gun grabbers. They’re basically people who think a cookie-cutter approach—if it’s their cookie-cutter approach—is the only way to solve the world’s problems. They wave off the notion that an armed citizenry carries societal benefits. They generally reject the very idea of a right to armed self-defense. They ignore that not only can an armed citizen stop a crime that is being perpetrated, but also that the very prospect of wondering if someone in a home is armed could give a would-be criminal pause before he commits a bad deed. All they care about is coming up with some unattainable “solution” to a problem that has already happened. Impossible, we know, but since they can’t turn back time and prevent something bad from happening, they figure they have to show their constituents that they’re “doing something”—even if that “something” would not have stopped the crime in the first place.
What the world needs to see is for more people to own up to the fact that gun ownership is not what ails us. Leaders need to realize that tackling an array of social challenges would be a better way to reduce the incidence of violence.
This May, the Swiss voters have a clear opportunity to protect their freedoms. Or they can choose to submit to the anti-liberty pressures of the EU. We wish the Swiss people the best of luck and hope they make the choice to protect liberty.