Forum Post: If you're going to cite Switzerland as a poster boy for universal firearm ownership, *please* know what you're talking about.
Posted 2 years ago on Dec. 17, 2012, 1:22 a.m. EST by ARod1993
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Switzerland is a very special case. They're a tiny country with 2.5 percent of our population, nearly twice our median per capita income (about 2.5 times as much if you count before-tax income), a booming manufacturing industry, an amazing social safety net, universal milita service, very harsh immigration laws, and an education system ranked fourth in the world by the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report. There are lessons to be learned from how Switzerland does things, but to boil those lessons down to "Give everyone guns" would be a serious mistake.
Basically, if we want the US to be more like Switzerland we'd have to overhaul our current social and economic policies to put us on track to creating a society like theirs:
-Replace Obamacare with actual single-payer healthcare, accomplished by directly pouring funding and support into municipal hospitals and clinics and allowing private medical facilities to continue treating patients, with the bill sent to Uncle Sam rather than people in need; tied to this would be automatic student loan forgiveness and public funding of education for doctors and healthcare professionals.
-Include mental health coverage in the above plan (and just massively improve the quality of our mental health system in general; that might have prevented at least one of the recent mass shootings).
-Embark on a massive overhaul of our nation's roads, bridges, aqueducts, power grid, rail infrastructure, etc. and pay for it with deficit spending. There would be no subcontracting of actual work out to private entities; rather, the actual works would be managed by a reborn CCC and WPA. As part of this, set up a system where steel plants and other manufacturing facilities that have gone defunct receive start-up funds and first preference for overhaul-related contracts as long as they are owned and operated by their (new) employees and can pass a basic safety and efficiency evaluation.
-Re-implement Glass-Steagall, break up most of the biggest banks, and begin the process of re-regulating the financial sector.
-Pass an Americanized version of the Mitbestimmungsgesetz (a German law that requires just under half of the managing board of any firm employing over 500 people to be democratically elected by the employees) with the threshold reduced to 250 employees.
-Replace the Fed with a Credit Union of the United States of America (with membership conferred on citizenship) responsible for monetary policy in much the same way as the Fed, but with the authority to act as a lender to ordinary citizens, small businesses, cooperative institutions, and local governments.
-Return to a moderate degree of protectionism as necessary to safeguard newly created American manufacturing jobs.
-Pass an alternative minimum tax for corporations over a certain size (but not for cooperatives)
-Take a pretty large chunk out of our military budget and put that money toward education, healthcare, and social welfare.
-Federally recognize marriage as a binding social contract between any two individuals regardless of anatomical sex and/or gender
-Federally recognize a blanket right to privacy that would cover (among other things) legal protection of any sexual act in which all parties are of legal age and have given consent.
-Dismantle the DHS and the TSA; turn protection of our nation's transportation hubs over to state troopers and militiamen and add some legal protections restricting the degree of invasiveness in screenings of travelers.
-Put an end to the War on Drugs. Instead, arrange things such that alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and certain other drugs (MDMA, modafinil, and hallucinogens) may be purchased for oneself and consumed from the age of 18 onward. Harder drugs (amphetamines, cocaine, opiates, etc.) would be technically legal to possess and consume but are not to be purchased.
-Allow alcohol, tobacco, and soft drugs to be produced by licensed manufacturers (pretty much all cooperatives and generally prevented from advertising on TV or advertising to children) whose licenses include payroll and production caps and who are not allowed to buy or be bought by firms operating in other industries (especially big pharma). Allow for medical marijuana to be prescribed in certain special cases to those under 18, but even then to be obtained from a licensed dispensary rather than a pharmacy.
-Continue to regulate hard stuff strictly; outright prohibit sale, and only legalize transport, manufacture, and dispensation when conducted by licensed entities (licenses would typically be restricted to rehabilitative and detoxification clinics that are run either by the government or by nonprofits and charities).
-Put an end to warrantless wiretapping, repeal the Patriot Act, and require a good deal more accountability when it comes to impinging on the privacy of American citizens.
-Enshrine net neutrality in the laws, but otherwise require that the Internet be left the hell alone; go after child porn, snuff films, etc. not by criminalizing their existence and then authorizing censorship in the name of stamping them out but by designating them as evidence of a crime and charging those caught with it with obstruction of justice unless they help the police bring down the originator of the material.
-Replace current firearm restrictions with a simplified, relaxed code based on my proposal at https://www.unitedstatesmilitia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10062 under the name AdamR1993
-Require comparable legal due process for any American citizen abroad who is being targeted by the CIA/NSA/US military/etc. as would be provided for a citizen on American soil (warrants before wiretapping/search/apprehension, even if the information is not necessarily accessible to the general public, and a full trial and conviction in abstentia before allowing the aforementioned citizen to be targeted for termination.