US Gun laws

This cartoon is as you will notice not factually correct, it makes for an interesting talking point though in light of the recent Colorado shooting don't you think?

Thanks for the update Brian! I used to live in Monza, not that far from the Swiss border, so lots of trips to Switzerland shopping etc... but now I think about it, it was nearly 30 years ago!!!

Having said that, I didn't say anything about taking guns home in my post, that was someone else. And the training for young men IS obligatory, they haven't got rid of that, as are the follow up training days - I've checked on the Swiss gov website (Confederazione Svizzera) so I stand by my reasoning that comparing the US with Switzerland now or 30 years ago is invalid.

Not true about Switzerland, they used to. My nephew is in the army at present and does not take his rifle home. That was abolished over 30 years ago. My brother in law who is about 50 was one of the last years who did. They used to have to have a locked, metal cabinet to keep it in and a small amount of ammunition only. Incidentally, the up to 50 rule and training is also gone. It is also not men, it is men and women, if the latter volunteer. Indeed, more people do civil defence than the military which is the alternative of choice. For that there are no weapons required, of course. Now weapon possession, except for hunting clubs, is very strictly controlled. Gun crime is very uncommon. But the old history of the military persists. Oh yes, all of my family, except I, is Swiss.

Been reading the comments here with interest and notably gun restriction not stopping killing sprees, and Switzerland having an armed civilian population have come up again and again as an arguement for continuing to allow ordinary people to own hand guns. I don't think you can compare any other nation to Switzerland in this discussion. Every elligible male serves in the military for 6 months, PLUS regular training days that go on until he is 50 years old. They are a highly educated nation, with the majority being university graduates. There are very few people in Switzerland you could apply the term 'red neck' to. Not only that, but all men in Switzerland who have been through military service are still legally soldiers, not civilians, and can be conscripted at anytime. This considered, I don't see any validity in pro gun argument that compares the armed Swiss nation, to that of the US. Now for the killing sprees. As at least one person in this discussion has pointed out, the killing sprees, horrific and evil though they are, account for a tiny percentage of the annual civilian gun deaths in the US. In Norway on the other hand, that horrific event will have accounted for most if not all of they annual total of civilian gun deaths!! The average Jo on the street should NOT have legal access to a gun, full stop. Here are some interesting stats: homicides using a firearm per 100,000 people US 4.14, Norway 0.3, England+Wales 0.07

No, you're right Sally - SFN does cover a diverse range of topics, mostly France related of course but also global. As James pointed out above, this one, prompted by the cartoon, could be a good talking point eliciting different opinions. It certainly achieved that.

If you're looking for any specific information on life in France or groups you'd be interested in joining but have any difficulty finding them, give a shout.

Been studying this site for some time now and have been both interested and also impressed with the range of subjects covered and also some very interesting comments. However, can some one tell me, is every one bored half to death today as this seems to be bordering on another 'well known ex-pat' site which is also full of mindless rubbish ........ sorry to you all if this is your only lifeline to society!

Carol, look, if you work in a mental health hospital, it is of course, very likely that the people inside are damaged. Otherwise they would not be in a hospital.

"Being a nurse" doesn't give you the knowledge to answer all. I studies psychology briefly when I finished secondary school, and didn't know what direction to take. We visited mental hospitals, and the psych ward of hospitals... I learned things there, yes, but I'm not going to pull that out and use it as a playing card everytime "the way the mind works" gets tossed on the table.

Those people shared their thoughts with you. Great, for them, and for you.... but they are damaged. Saying that EVERYONE you talked to is damaged is somewhat of a fallacy, if they are in an institution for damaged people.

Carol, with due respect, it does not answer Zoe's question. Sharing is still second hand, you must admit. You have none of the either guilty or indifferent feelings and all between personally. Also, and I am not criticising you, but what the heck were you doing a fully qualified psychiatrist/clinical psychologists for? You are, are you not, a nurse. There I would raise a really contentious point about how 'good' the NHS is.

You are going a long way over the top with 'beyond salvation'. A small minority of many millions of US citizens turn their guns on others, let alone injure or kill them. That is too melodramatic to take seriously. fair enough, it is your opinion. But then do not, please, go to to describe US burglary as if you know exactly what you are saying. You are tempting angry responses.

Steve is also allowing himself opinion. Some of it is quite real in parts of the UK, not just Liverpool. I do not agree with Steve about carrying weapons either, but I do not consider his comments to be any more derogatory than what you are saying, which is not derogatory either. Carol, if you cannot answer questions as they are asked and if you do not like people's opinions, move on and please do not turn a post into yet another rhetorical battleground. comments come from working in a mental health hospital and a hostel...where ex prisoners are discharged I have had one to one sessions with people who have killed...either through mental health problems or the result of crime. I am sharing the feelings they shared with me. Steve...allowing people to carry guns doesnt solve the problem of violence...look at the US...they are beyond salvation with guns and as a 'civilised country' suffer the 4th highest death rate through gun use. As an analogy, if countries that dont have nuclear bombs feel vulnerable and all were able to have them...would you feel more or less safe? In the US when a burglar goes into someones home to steal their goods...they carry weapons because the chances are the homeowners will have you have two people shooting at eachother...guns are carried for less frequently in countries without permitted guns. I object to your comments, you know nothing about others on this site yet feel free to make derogatory comments...maybe ask some questions before commenting, which incidentally Zoe does do.

Steve, some people will not see reality until it stares them square in the face. That is usually too late if you are about to be deprived of anything of value with a knife or gun pointing at you. So, let them believe what they believe until the event. I have been in places like Kurdistan where just about every man, most boys over about 12 and plenty of women carry weapons. They do not trust Iraq. They do not, however, turn those weapons on people like me who are there to assess the situation of their children, in my case it was street children. The two women based there for whose donors I was working are not in the least bit afraid. The English one did not fancy returning to London because of, amongst other things, the violence.

I know people sniff about statistics, but if anybody wants to have a look at UN figures on violence in countries not in a war or internal conflict situation, the UK comes out quite high out of the 192 members of the UN. Gun crime has increased incredibly over the last two decades and armed assaults are almost as common as unarmed assaults. France, by the way, is considerably lower down the list.

Zoe, good points, especially the last one. I think blaming parenting is not entirely to blame but dominant local cultures are. Whatever one looks at, dig slightly under the surface and poverty emerges quickly plus xenophobia early in the list of causalities.

Steve, don't be so quick to dismiss people. Who exactly are you referring to when you say certain people live in a bubble, and the hardest situation has been crossing the road?

Having been involved in gun, knife, crackhead with syringe, and broken bottle attacks, I would never think to dismiss anyone else as "not having lived" after reading a sentence or two of what they have to say. Google "stab city". I grew up there.

Carol.. do you know how it feels to have been responsible for the death of someone? Have you killed another person? If not, leave it, as it is subjective, and depends on the person, and their experience, not a general across the board feeling,like people seem to think with abortion, or religion.

When you say "the children", you mean, the children in the cinema that night??, or children as in, those that Jerry referred to? Either way, sloppy parenting is to blame, not guns. It is much like the anti-4WD brigade that bang on that 4WDs kill children. No, actually, a combination of letting your child run riot, plus a driver who does not pay attention kills people.

I still believe all it would have taken was ONE person with a concealed carry permit that night, to stop the shooting, but, as I said, law abiding people with gun permits abide by the laws, and will not take a weapon into a gun free zone.

I also notice nobody touched the Anaheim shootings with a barge pole. Does being an armed thug in a uniform make someone less of a thug?

Oh and after all I have been through …the answer is yes I am damaged but no more damaged than the person who has lived their life in safesville…

Jesus some of you people have not a freakin clue ,you live in a bubble , I am from UK Liverpool and my eldest son skyped me a couple of days ago with the news of one of his friends was stabbed six times and had his nose cut off his face …why because he was told not to stick into other peoples business( did not even get into the local news paper…why because it so so common place).not hyperthettical theories but real life, real people, real situations…I was the owner of a nightclub back in the day in Liverpool and could give you nightmares with the stuff I witnessed and lived through,it just pissesme off with some of the libereral comments that come from people who the most dangerous situation they have been involved in was crossing a busy road, I do love to see the different comments from you guys, but before you offer your two pennies worth,please draw down on your experiences as most of you would die of heart failure if you were actually involved with gun or knife incidents…

Thanks Carol, I agree with all your posts!! Causing someone to lose his life would tramatize me. I someone ran out in front of my car and was killed, it would be an accident that was not be my fault. And yet, I would fell great grief knowing that I was involved in the death of another person.

Zoe...I still believe that if you are young and you are involved in killing someone you become matter if you did something which could by some people be perceived as good....guilt will still happen at some point..killing someone is not something you shrug off..

Zoe..if the guns were not there..the children would not be dead...end of.

Zoe...some people with mental health conditions have a psychotic condition and that can include homicidal tendencies...I worked as a general nurse in a mental health hospital. Some mental health conditions such as bi polar, depression and anxiety dont cause these problems...but I think there is a difference between mad and bad and some people are just plain bad.

Jerry, people just dismiss shooters of killing sprees all too often with the wirds "he was a nutter"....

being "mentally ill" doesn't cover it. I know plenty, and I reeally do mean plenty of mentally ill people who would never shoot up a cinema, or harm another person. There is no need, or urge.

Some folks can be "sane as sane can be", but still one day decide to shoot someone they don't like. What about the news last week fo the police officers in Anaheim that shot unarmed, and handcuffed men DEAD, and then when people protested it, peacefully, they shot them with rubber bullets, bean bags, and let attack dogs loose on them. Where is the "nutter factor" there. The police were worse in that instance than any other armed street gang, yet nobody seems up in arms about it.

In saying that, the media has kept is failry quiet

Must go to work...

Regardless of what the cause of these tragedies, there are too many guns. Like James Salazar, I know many people that have arsenals of guns in their homes. A pistol and a rifle for hunting is more than enough. Gun stores and shows hand them out left and right in many states because "Citizens have a right to bear arms.". You lose your right when you abuse the privelege of having them. The vast majority of Americans have no business having guns. I personally choose not to have a gun in my house. And you do not have to only worry about criminals. Many mentally ill people also have weapons. Mental illiness is a larger problem than most people are aware of.