Recently, a link to a video was sent to me which claimed that the "key to Swiss independence" (and happiness) was their.
- Compulsory Military service
- Compulsory sending home of high power rifles with the service men after their duty was over.
Aside from the fact that it seems that the Swiss hold military service to be a facet of citizenship, it is clear that the sender of such a video believes in a 1-variable solution to government policy and national happiness. Namely that if Americans all had guns then Americans would be more free safe and secure.
It seems that more than anything American political culture is characterized by this love of 1-variable solutions which take on the form, if X policy was put in place, then Y, Z,Q, and T and S problem would also be solved.
Conservatives - If everyone had a gun then there would be less violence, more prosperity and therefore less need for public health care options, therefore decreased immigration (both from the fact that they will be shot and because they wont get welfare when they get here), fewer jobs stolen from tax paying citizens, no unions, general happiness.
Liberals - If guns were made illegal then there would be less violence, more prosperity and therefore a publicly fundable health care option, increased legal immigration which would lead to a more diverse society with full employment for all in which workers had more power than capitalists and general happiness.
But the truth is, 1 variable solutions don't exist in the real world. The Swiss not only encourage gun ownership, but they also compell military education. They also have a highly educated population and happen to live in a geographically easily securable location. They also fund public health care and maintain strict immigration control while taking part in the European Union. Switzerland borders France and Italy as well... two extremely wealthy and highly educated countries.
There aren't any easy solutions in a globalized, industrialized society. Even green energy isn't as simple as the fact that with less than 4% of the earth's surface we could power the world... it's true that that's all it would take landmass-wise. But power consumption and production very rarely line up in a way that makes it easy to achieve. And we surely couldn't lay down power cables from the Sahara desert to America...
The world is complex, and that's what makes it both wonderful and miserable.