Barbecue ( Discuss barbecue and grilling--southern style "low and slow" smoking of ribs, shoulders and briskets, as well as direct heat grilling of everything from burgers to salmon to vegetables.

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Old 15-10-2009, 09:54 AM posted to
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Sarah Austin wrote:,00.html

Heidi Get Your Gun
By _Helena Bachmann_ (javascript:void(0)) Tuesday, May. 01, 2007

September the hills around Zurich are alive with the sound of
gunfire. Nobody is alarmed, however, because they know it emanates
from a bunch of teenagers doing what comes naturally to nearly every
Swiss: sharpshooting. And there's nothing random about it: The 12- to
16-year-olds are participating in Knabenschiessen, the world's largest
youth rifle competition, which blends the jarring report of rifle fire
with the melodious ringing of cow bells. There's a paradox in this
peaceful and neutral country that would make the NRA drool with envy:
Firearms are as ubiquitous as chocolate and edelweiss.
Weapons and ammunition not multitasking pocket knives are

issued to, and kept at home by, all able-bodied Swiss men for their
annual military service. This custom is tied to the long-held belief
that enemies could invade tiny Switzerland fairly quickly, so every
reservist had to be able to fight his way to his regiment's assembly
point. The Swiss learn to shoot from an early age, and develop a deep
sense of responsibility toward their firearms. Every summer, hundreds
of thousands of military arms are retrieved from closets and attics,
slung over shoulders, and taken on bikes, buses and trains to
compulsory shooting practices held in nearly every village and town. In
fact, firearms are so anchored in Swiss society, and the crime rate so
low, that gun control has never been an issue. "We feel it's our
patriotic and civic duty to use the guns wisely," explains Felix
Endrich, a spokesman for the Swiss Armed Forces. "We respect this
tradition." A 1999 law regulates the sale and licensing of private
guns, including a ban on carrying concealed weapons, but the tradition
allowing military rifles and 50 rounds of ammunition in private homes
dispersing an estimated 2 million firearms and millions of rounds of
ammunition throughout a country of 7.4 million people has mostly
gone unchallenged. Until now, that is. Some political and pacifist
groups are planning to force a nationwide vote to end the cherished
custom of "a gun in every closet." Murmurs of discontent have been
reverberating since 2001, when a disgruntled citizen opened fire with
his army rifle inside the chamber of a regional parliament, killing 14
and injuring 14 others. Opposition to the guns-at-home tradition
gained momentum last year when a ski champion was shot to death by her
husband. And, in the past few weeks, discontent has grown more
vociferous following reports of a man brandishing his army rifle in a
hotel, killing one person and injuring four others. "Keeping guns at
home is outdated, useless and dangerous," says Chantal Gallard?, a
socialist parliamentarian who is spearheading the fight for stricter
arms legislation. Gallard?'s argument is bolstered by statistics
showing 300 gun-related deaths mostly suicides every year. "These
deaths are impulsive decisions taken in the heat of the moment," says
Hans Kurt, who heads the Swiss Society of Psychiatrists and
Psychotherapists, and supports tougher gun-control laws. "Take away an
easy access to a gun, and these tragedies are preventable." Supporters
of the status quo say anyone intent on committing a crime or suicide
will find a way regardless of the availability of firearms. "There is
always that risk, but the majority of our people are law-abiding," says
Ferdinand Hediger, head of international relations for Pro Tell,
gun lobby, aptly named after the country's legendary apple shooter,
William Tell, who used a crossbow to target enemies long before
firearms were invented. Seventy five million rounds of ammunition are
fired every year, Hediger says, yet only a tiny number are used in
killings. "Every death is one too many, but statistics have to be put
in perspective." The Swiss Parliament recently threw out a plan to
tighten the gun law. Still, acting on the outrage over the recent
shootings and the mounting pressure from left-wing groups, politicians
vowed to reconsider the issue in June. Ultimately, under the Swiss
system of direct democracy, the citizens might have the last word. But
for now, the crack of rifle fire is the sound of springtime in the
hills around Switzerland.

Nick, KI6VAV. Support severely wounded and disabled Veterans and their
families: Thank a Veteran!
Support Our Troops: You are not forgotten.
Thanks ! ! ~Semper Fi~ USMC 1365061

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