Here I was wondering how we’d made it so far into March without an Albanian killing someone somewhere — which lately is how the new year is rung in — and it turns out I missed a recent item: Three dead in Swiss factory shooting (BBC.com, Feb. 27)
Imogen Foulkes reports on the shooting and the questions it raises about Switzerland’s liberal gun laws
Three people have been killed and seven injured during a shooting at a factory near the Swiss city of Lucerne, police have said.
The killer, a 42-year-old man who had worked at the factory for 10 years, is among the dead.
Shooting broke out in the canteen at the Kronospan wood processing plant in the town of Menznau at around 09:00 (08:00 GMT).
Five of the injured are reported to be in a serious condition, the Associated Press reports.
“The workers were eating a snack in the cafeteria during the morning, and there was a massacre,” said a man quoted by the Swiss news website 20minutes, who had phoned the factory to check on the welfare of his father.
The chief executive of Kronospan, Mauro Capozzo, denied rumours that job cuts were due to be announced.
He described the man who opened fire as quiet and unassuming. “One almost didn’t see or notice him,” he said, according to Reuters.
Switzerland has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the world, with an estimated 2.3 million firearms owned by the country’s eight million people, but such gun attacks are relatively rare.
All healthy Swiss men aged between 18 and 34 are obliged to do military service and all are issued with assault rifles or pistols which they are supposed to keep at home.
Until recently, many kept their weapons even after completing their military service - though rules on this have recently been tightened.
According to the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey, Switzerland ranks third in terms of gun ownership, behind the United States and Yemen.
Street gun violence is very rare in Switzerland, says Emma Jane Kirby, who recently investigated the subject for BBC News.
However, there are more domestic homicides and suicides with a firearm in Switzerland than virtually anywhere else in Europe except Finland, she says.
Interesting. The article mentions that the killer was 42 years old, but nothing else about him. So the reporters were able to get his exact age at the time of writing, but not his name or ethnicity? Does one show up to a crime scene and ask, “How old was the guy? …Oh, 42, OK — thanks, that’s all I needed!”
Is the thought process: “Well we can no longer get away with calling these guys ‘Yugoslavs’ or being from ‘former Yugoslavia’ — people just aren’t buying it. So let’s omit the killer’s name and ethnicity altogether and then talk about gun control issues in Switzerland to throw people off.”
We’re getting a little warmer with the next item, from Swissinfo.ch, which mentions an “immigrant background” but otherwise follows the formula:
…The gunman, a 42-year-old Swiss who had been with the Kronospan company for more than 15 years, is among the dead. He used a pistol and reportedly shot himself.
The suspect fired a Sphinx AT 380, which is not an army-issue gun, Lucerne police said on Thursday. It is still unclear how he came into the possession of the pistol and whether he legally owned the weapon.
The suspect had a criminal record and was sentenced for robbery in 1998, according to the justice authorities. He was from an immigrant background and the father of three children.
The shooting occurred shortly after 9am on Wednesday, according to the police. The gunman had apparently picked out the victims, all of whom were Swiss.
Kronospan chief executive Mauro Capozzo said the suspected assailant, who was still with the company at the time of the shooting, was “a quiet man, no other incidents involving him are known”. He added that the company hadn’t laid anyone off recently.
Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga said the incident showed how much suffering can be caused with weapons, but also that the legislation has to be continuously improved. There are still hundreds of thousands of unregistered weapons in Switzerland, she added.
Gun ownership is widespread in Switzerland, the result of liberal regulation – a 2011 initiative to tighten controls failed – and a long-standing tradition for men to keep their military rifles at home after completing compulsory military service.
An estimated 2.3 million firearms are owned by the country’s eight million people.
There have been several high-profile incidents over the years, including the killing of 14 people at a parliamentary session in canton Zug, in 2001. […]
So the focus remains on lenient gun laws. Which arguably becomes more of an issue if you’re simultaneously importing crazy foreigners. It’s the combination that doesn’t bode well, and that’s the question this should raise. But since Western elites are bent on packing our countries with as many questionable and often criminal individuals, naturally they would prefer to decrease guns. Increase the crazies and decrease the guns, to limit our ability to defend ourselves from the crazies they’re importing, such as this one in England who managed to kill his restaurant manager without benefit of a gun. (And of course I note that we’ve just learned from the item above that the gun this perp had wasn’t even the kind that Swiss laws allow.)
So how did one find out that the guy’s “immigrant background” is Kosovar? That took until the next day’s reporting, which mentioned it:
BERLIN (AP) — A person wounded in a shooting at a wood-processing company in central Switzerland died Thursday, police said, raising the death toll to four including the suspected attacker — a 42-year-old Swiss man originally from Kosovo.
Among the victims was Swiss athlete Benno Studer, 26, Wigger said. Studer was a successful wrestler in the traditional sport of Schwingen, also known as Swiss wrestling — considered one of the country’s national sports.
Wigger said he could not confirm media reports that the shooter killed himself.
Swiss police did not release the name of the shooter, but in Kosovo authorities said the attacker was born there and that Swiss officials had been in touch with them about the case.
A Kosovo government official close to the contacts with Swiss authorities identified him as Viktor Berisha, an ethnic Albanian…
In Berisha’s home village of Nec, relatives began pouring into the family house late Wednesday to express condolences. Viktor’s father, Mark declined to meet with reporters because he was shocked by the news, said a distant cousin, Pal Binishi.
The Nec area borders Albania and is home to most of Kosovo’s ethnic Albanians who are Roman Catholic.
Many ethnic Albanians from Nec went to look for a better life in Switzerland during the violent breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s when Kosovo was brought into the strict control of Serbia’s security apparatus led by then-president Slobodan Milosevic.
One might almost start to wonder whether Serbia wasn’t dealing with an Albanian situation that required strict control. (For a moment, this Albanian Catholic priest in Detroit quite agreed.) But let’s instead bring the guns under strict control as we import more and more of what Serbia was dealing with. Recall the way this gunrunner, when busted in 2005 for continuing his war during the Kosovo “peace” — by smuggling elephant guns for Serb-killing — diverted the “60 Minutes” interviewer’s attention to America’s lenient gun laws as the culprit.
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