Monday, April 14, 2008

I Love the Internets--Swede Corrects My Sweden Facts

We're living in the future, indeed, and that means you really do have to have your ducks in a row, because if you say something inaccurate about a country on another continent, somebody who lives there may show up and set you straight.

Mikael dropped by and corrected me in the Feminist Ezine Fisking the Fisker comments, but I thought his correction deserved to be on the same page as the mistake. Check this out. Here's what I said:

All the countries in Europe that treat "silencers" like what they are--simple devices to muffle a very loud machine--are bad places to live. The author would certainly never want to live in France, or in Sweden, because in those places mufflers for firearms are legal, cheap, and even encouraged in order to lessen the nuisance of noisy guns and increase safety. Step out your door in Sweden, kids, and you're taking your life in your hands. Your evil Swedish neighbor is probably in a sniper hide with a suppressed SIG 550, flipping a coin to see whether today is your day to die.
Because that's what happens to people who are allowed to own weapons.

Of course, I was writing ironically there--I would never disrespect the nation that gave us both the 1896 Swede Mauser and the 1996 Volvo 850R. But Mikael thought I deserved to be taken to task just because some of my facts weren't true! A churlish and provincial notion, but he had a point, so here's his correction:

Sweden has MUCH stricter firearms laws than the US. Silencers are of course totally banned. It takes 2 years in a shooting club to be considered for a handgun licence(and then it's a range licence only, no carry), the same or a hunting licence(requires the passing of a hunting course, and land to hunt on) for rifles. We also have restrictions such as no semi-automatic shotgun can have a magazine that fits more than 4 shells.

Still, we might have as high, or higher per capita number of fully automatic weapons in people's homes in this country, simply because the "Home Defense" forces(national guard) are required to have their G3A1 in a gun safe at home, also some anti-sabotage teams(such as that of Swedish Steel Inc) are allowed SMGs, I know such a person, I believe he has/had a Carl Gustav m/45 at home. American soldiers in vietnam loved their licenced copy of those I understand.

And last, a comment that you're not going to like: it's true that the one possitive influence of heavy gun control is that crimes of passion have less fatalities in such countries, because for example, the husband walking in on his wife cheating on him isn't going to be carrying a pistol.

Still, I'm doubtful that makes up for the lack of firearms as for example self-defense for women.

I took the information about Swedish "silencer" laws from this article in the Western Criminology Review.

Guess I should have checked further! I knew there were several European countries where mufflers were legal and was only looking for confirmation of specific countries, and I still fouled up.

In this THR thread, Norwegian member UltimaThule says mufflers are legal for hunting and theoretically legal to own, but in practice almost impossible to get. Maybe that's where American confusion comes in.

So remember, kids, stick to what you know--and if someone catches you in an error, admit and fix it. My grandpa always told me that the difference between a professional and an amateur is that a professional knows how to fix mistakes.


Anonymous said...

You've been tagged, bro.

Anonymous said...

My grandpa always told me that the difference between a professional and an amateur is that a professional knows how to fix mistakes.

He obviously wasn't talking about journalists or politicians.

Anonymous said...