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"Only on the general arming of the common people can a good society be built."

Photo: Närke, turn of the century 1900. Photographer Gustaf Ferdinand Hallberg (1860 - 1934)

About the many attempts to disarm the Swedish common people throughout history, and about the history and importance of the Swedish sharpshooter movement then and now as a voluntary defence movement.

With the Edsförbundet, the vicar Didrik Petri aimed at the old swiss confederation, the forerunner of modern Switzerland, which was a defensive alliance between the original cantons in 1291 that lasted until 1798. Vilhelm Moberg mentions in his history My Swedish history that the vicar Didrik Petri explains the misfortunes of the Swedish general population by the fact that it "has made itself defenceless". On this point, however, the author and Social Democrat Fabian Månsson with, as Moberg tells us:

"Fabian Månsson knew that a general disarmament of our country's peasants had never been carried out. Many attempts have been made to deprive them of their arms, but they have only partially and for the time being succeeded. The peasants always kept their weapons for hunting, and they were the same ones they used for feud and war. And they made their weapons themselves: when they were forced to surrender their crossbows, they could immediately make new ones."

Vilhelm Moberg, My Swedish History

These days, libertarian blogger Henrik Alexandersson has given a contemporary perspective on the matter, which you can read here. Do it. Then find your nearest shooting club and learn to shoot and meet friends. Mainly because shooting is really fun, of course. It suits old and young, woman and man, tall and short, weak and strong. Sure, you might benefit from a bit of arm strength, but as a whole, shooting is still a very egalitarian sport.

But there is also a deeper seriousness to shooting, to learning how to handle weapons safely and competently. In the event of war, it's about your own personal defences and the defence of the country as a whole - rather than what threatens our freedom. This is also precisely how the shooting movement was born, as a people's movement with the aim of strengthening our defence capabilities.

Swedish Shooting Sports Federation is a Voluntary Defence Organisation. Shooting sports and also Sweden's entire hunting corps contribute greatly to strengthening the Swedish people's defence capability. As early as 1860, the Skarpskytterörelsen started as a voluntary defence movement, following foreign models. This first marksmen's movement became a genuine popular movement, and by 1864 there were 239 associations with over 33 500 members. During the Second World War there was a similar influx of tens of thousands of people to the shooting ranges.

The initiators of the Swedish sharpshooter movement were some famous publicists - Viktor Rydberg and Sven Adolf Hedlund in Gothenburg and August Blanche and Lars Johan Hierta in Stockholm. The initiators considered Sweden's defence to be too weak, and the willingness to defend was perceived as poor. Instead of the old professional army, they wanted universal conscription and a voluntary armed force based on the Swiss model.

Wikipedia

That said, if it sounds interesting, I encourage you to seek out your nearest shooting club and see if it's something you get hooked on. A strong and united shooting and hunting community is also the best guarantor against power hungry politicians who aim to restrict our right and opportunity to own guns and practice shooting and hunting. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of such politicians in Rosenbad.

If you're the type who appreciates nature - and meat - one option is to take a hunter's exam and get to know your nearest hunting team. If there's one thing that can be considered our oldest tradition, a central part of Swedish and Nordic culture, it's hunting. It is worth protecting and passing on to future generations.

A third option is to join the local Home Guard, or if you are of the right age - do your military service. Why? Because if history teaches us anything, it is that war and unrest are the constant companions of mankind. Wars come and go, but man's inability to learn from his mistakes remains.

For me, the motto of the Scouts still remains: always ready.

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