I've been thinking about getting a new (old) rifle, a Swiss Schmidt-Rubin Karabiner 31 (K31), so I've been doing some research on them. I found this page: http://www.surplusrifle.com/shooting/ka ... /index.asp It's very, very interesting! Points out how little crime there is in Switzerland, yet how heavily armed the population is. Every fit and able man of military age keeps a government-issued, full auto assault weapon (and a closet-full of ammo) in his home, yet they don't have blood running in the streets from road-rage incidents. They don't have gang wars. They don't have unbridled domestic violence resulting in dead spouses. They don't have much crime of any sort! Here are some excerpts of that web page. I suggest you might enjoy reading this in its entirety. " This is perhaps a good time to pause and explain to the reader the Swiss concept of neutrality. There were huge tensions between Switzerland and Germany during the 1870â€™s with Germany casting covetous eyes at the little nation with a view to incorporating it into the Second Reich. The Swiss unified their armed forces under a Federal system so that all equipment, armament and instruction would be done by the central authority. In the years past the Swiss citizen had been required to provide his own arms. This was now changed so that the citizen-soldier kept his government issued arms, ammunition and uniform at home in case of call-up. For instance, when World War 1 broke out the entire Swiss army was mobilized, they could field almost half a million men out of a population of approximately three and one half million. A â€˜cult of marksmanshipâ€™ had also been encouraged. There were very few villages in Switzerland that did not have their own rifle range. Each Sunday they would reverberate with rifle fire as the good folk honed their skills. In addition, the mountain passes which led into Switzerland were mined, and still are. Thousands of strong points with known fields of fire for mortars, machineguns and field artillery were constructed with the view that the Swiss were not about to give up their democracy easily. World War II did not escape Switzerland entirely. Allied bombers often did not notice that they had crossed the Alps, and bombed what they thought was Germany. Hundreds of allied fliers were interned in Switzerland when they were forced to ditch there. The same treatment was applied to French foot-soldiers who escaped there following the disastrous 1940 German invasion of their country. Nazi Germany considered Switzerland a thorn in their side. The Swiss were really Germans and should be part of the Third Reich. Having eluded the Second Reich, the Swiss had no desire to be added to Hitlerâ€™s conquests. The Germans had made at least three plans to invade Switzerland, but all were abandoned when wiser heads prevailed. The massive losses which the Swiss would have incurred and their irritating stubbornness assured that war would go on for a long time.. A three front war was not on the German agenda, even Hitler could see that. Switzerland is the oldest democracy in the world. It is a country where the state trusts its citizens with the custodianship of the worldsâ€™ most modern assault rifles, and does not fear them. The truism which states, "fear the government that fears your guns", does not apply to the Swiss. They are only too aware that the reason they still have their independence is because they have the ability to defend themselves, and the willingness to give their lives in that defense. As that eminently practical Italian civil servant, Nicolo Macchiavelli, said so many years ago about the Swiss, â€œ... They are most armed and most freeâ€. They still are."