Safety in Numbers

When a disgruntled citizen, Friedrich Leibacher, opened fire with an assault rifle inside the chamber of the regional parliament in Zug in September 2001, killing 14 and injuring 14 others, the incident sent shockwaves through a nation unaccustomed to crime and violence. But there's a paradox in this peaceful and safety-conscious country, which boasts one of Europe's lowest crime rates: firearms are as ubiquitous here as chocolate and edelweiss. Weapons and ammunition are routinely issued to, and kept at home by, Swiss men aged between 20 and 42 for their military service. The idea of having guns at home is tied...

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