Paul Eisen

Paul Eisen

Monday, 17 December 2012

Oh Switzerland - an assault rifle in every home



I don't think that this is a very convincing argument - in fact it would be hard to think of two countries more dissimilar than the U.S. and Switzerland.

As a Brit, and one who takes quite a bit of pride in the fact, imparted with such high seriousness to us fifties and sixties youngsters, that, alone in the world, our policemen don't carry guns, I've always been rather pride of our still largely gun-less society. However, the American adherence to their right to bear arms has always fascinated me. It's part of that very impressive American patriotism, centred so often on love of the Constitution (how utterly wonderful for a society to worship such a document!). And, no matter how absurd it might now sometimes seem, I just cannot resist all that egalitarian "Mr President" and "My fellow Americans" stuff

So, the American love affair with the gun has always rather appealed to me. The spluttering rage with which many Americans view the notion that while the military may be armed, they may not, has always appealed to my anarchic side. I also recall being really impressed wwith the argument, out to me by an American colleague, that the first thing a totalitarian wannabee  does is to disarm the population.

Having said that, the present gun culture of  America is a long, long way from eighteenth-century American patriotism and it really does look like something's going to have to change.