- Politics and Social Issues
Gun Control - Swizz Army Mentality - The Key to America's Future
America is in a continued downward spiral and our crime rates are among the highest in the world. We are number one in both adults prosecuted and in our ratio of prisoners among the world. We are 6th in the world for assault, 4th for drug crimes, 8th for murders with a firearm, 9th for forcible rape, and 8th in total crimes for the whole world, all figures are based on a ratio of based on population (Nationmaster – North America) .
We need to take a hard look at life in America and find a resolution to this terrible trend We need to take a stand like Switzerland, who is one of the safest and most peaceful countries in the world.
But what really makes Switzerland so special? According to the CIA’s website, Switzerland also has been having problems with the economy and like American their banking sector fell under hard times and also needed a government bailout. Some interesting factors of Switzerland include their military, gun laws and unemployment; these three factors go hand and hand.
First let’s take a look at Switzerland’s crime rate. Switzerland is 28th in assault, 5th in drug crimes, 19th for murders with a firearm, 34th for rape, and 20th for total crimes; these figures also are based on population ratios (Nationmaster - Europe). So, besides the drug problems, they are currently facing it is obvious they stand upon much more stable ground. Why is this?
Who are those people committing these crimes? Statistically speaking, a large percent of criminals around the world fall into a troubling category, they are young, male and single. 18 to 24 year olds accounted for one-fourth of the total violent crime and twenty eight percent of property crimes within the United States. This is not just a trend in the United States but throughout the whole world (Sun).
Gun control must be the answer, if there are fewer guns then the problems with violent and non violent crimes could not possibly be as bad. If the perps were not able to use a firearm, then how can they commit these crimes? Taking a look at Switzerland’s gun laws shows just the opposite to be true. All males within the ages of 20 to 42 are required to keep rifles and/ or pistol in their homes. (Halbrook). Gun control laws certainly are not the case of the low crime rates where every home is required by law to have a firearm. It is possible that criminal behavior could be curbed by the fear of retaliation. A decrease criminal temptation for breaking the law might be a factor in reduced crime rates it probably isn’t enough to alter a world trend and probably needs more assistance.
Studies have shown that “economic indices, such as income inequality and unemployment, are predictive of homicide rates” (Sun). So if economic indices are a key factor in crime how does the country face this problem? Surprisingly, the unemployment rate of Switzerland is only at 3.9 percent (CIA - Switzerland). This is roughly one-third of America’s current unemployment rate. Where do these jobs come from? Let’s take a look at the current employment status in Switzerland.
“Switzerland’s economy benefits from a highly developed service sector, led by financial services, and a manufacturing industry that specializes in high-technology, knowledge based production” (CIA - Switzerland). So like America they have a large, stable supply capability but how does this keep their employment to such a low level?
Let’s take a look at the last factor their military. Here is the main difference between the United States and Switzerland. Every man between the ages of 19 and 26 must be in the military. It is not a volunteer military but a required by law military placement, and women are not required to join but are welcomed. Remove these people from the traditional job pool, thus freeing up thousands of jobs for the other residents of the population. In the United States the military is a voluntary service which is a path that only a few young men and women decide to embark upon.
“Military personnel live and work in an environment that can be described as a total or closed institution” (Sun). In the military most service men and women are conformed to a mold of similarity with everyone participating in the same exercise, meals, living arrangements and more. These soldiers learn advanced survival skills and taught gun control. In a rigid environment that helps harness their energy and at the same time gives them lifelong lessons of control, honor, and patriotism. But does it really help our crime rates?
Let’s take a look within our own borders. In the “Crime and Justice Atlas 2000” report, the JRSA pointed out that “The average annual growth rate [for prisons] was about 4% for the period of 1925-1997…. The longest interruptions in the increase occurred in the peak selective service draft years during the World War II and Vietnam Eras. These were the only years in which prison populations actually decreased” (JRSA). Historically speaking, within our own country the only time in which crime and prison population decreased was during the mandatory military times.
Is this the only advantage of having a standing military? Not at all. Let’s look at some more facts about the Swiss history and their military. The Swiss have never had a school massacre. They were not invaded in either World War that ravaged Europe, and the Holocaust never happened in Switzerland. When we look back at the hopes and dreams of our forefathers here in the United States we find that they used the Swiss mentality to write the second Amendment. “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed” (qtd. In Halbrook).
Taking these facts into consideration it is easy to see how a mandatory military service could lower the high crime rates within our wonderful country. Teaching our young men and women proper gun control, survival skills; and giving them the ability to protect those at home and abroad, who might otherwise be terrorized or victimized.Works Cited
Central Intelligence Agency. The World Factbook: Switzerland. 20 January 2011.
23 January 2011 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/sz.html
Central Intelligence Agency. The World Factbook - United States. 20 January 2011.
23 January 2011 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/us.html
Halbrook, Stephen P. "US. Vs. Switzerland Gun Laws." The Wall Street Journal Europe
4 June 1999.
Justice Research and Statistics Association (JRSA). "Crime and Justice Atlas 2000."
Historical Data. 2000.
Nationmaster. Nationmaster - Europe - Switzerland - Crime. 2011. 24 Febuary
—. Nationmaster - North America - United States - Crime. 2011. 24 Febuary 2011
Sun, Ivan Y. A Cross-National Analysis of Military Participation and Crime Rates. Winter 2006.
24 Febuary 2011 http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3719/