Guns Don’t Kill Americans, Stale Bad Arguments Do

Claim: Switzerland has high levels of firearms ownership and the country’s citizen militia members are able to keep fully automatic rifles in their homes without American levels of firearms violence because the country is “ethnically homogenous” [or some other explanation that avoids discussing gun control]

This argument is both factually incorrect and racist (see also “gun violence is an ‘urban’ problem”). Switzerland, a country with four official languages and major ethnic divisions, is only “homogenous” if one is talking about skin colour. The reality is that Switzerland has strong laws concerning the acquisition of arms (in contrast to the ownership of arms) for any reason other than sport shooting, hunting, or collecting. It has a strong permitting regime and does prohibit certain categories of firearms. Fully automatic weapons held by milita members are subject to particularly strict restrictions concerning storage and maintenance.

This (and not “ethnic homogeneity” or other magical explanations) creates a situation of a country with a high rate of general firearms ownership compared to other Western countries but also a far lower incidence of per capita gun violence than that of the U.S.