Read Case Study 8.4 “Have Gun, Will Travel….to Work’
Answer the following questions in your post: Questions 2, 3 and 4 at the end of the Case. For question 4, since it is being debated at the state and federal levels, answer it in relation to schools and teachers
2. Moral or legal right to park cars w/ guns in them in company parking lot? If so, what about the property rights and safety concerns of employers? Would it be a good idea to let them stow guns in their cars? Do companies have good grounds for being concerned about weapons in their parking lots?
I don’t really think it is a moral right that employees can have a gun in their car in the company parking lot, it seems to be a much more legal issue. Morally, it seems okay, if the employee(s) can be trusted, then they should have the right to have this weapon in their vehicle, in case of self defense, of course considering if they have the license to carry a firearm. Legally it is kind of scary as it can apply to a variety of employees and companies. I think it is all up to the employer, but it also depends on what kind of business the people are in. Location may also be a factor.
If employees don’t have this right already, I think it would be good policy to let companies allow them to stow guns in their cars. First of all, the weapons are in their cars, not on their person. The risk that this comes with though would be car theft/break-ins on the company property. I think that would certainly concern some employers. Factors taken into that would be how tight security is on their property.
3. Would banning guns from parking lots actually “take a wrecking ball to the Second Amendment” or nullify the right of people who have weapons for self-defense? Does the state legislature have the right to get involved, or should the matter be left to companies and employees to settle?
I don’t think banning guns from parking lots would actually take a wrecking ball to the Second Amendment. It would be legitimate to ban guns from some parking lots, like universities, grocery stores, etc. Those kinds of places with lesser security should be where the law is stronger, and that could have some potential in bringing some prevention of issues with guns. It might bring up some questions for those people that do carry a firearm wherever they go, but even that still seems almost crazy. If it were left to the companies and the employees, that might be the better way to go, and maybe the easier way to solve the problems. Companies and people that work for those companies might come to a solution easier than the state legislature. Also, it could be better for just the companies and employees to settle it, as the rules for the guns in parking lots could vary easier from location to location.
4. Are there circumstances in which bringing guns not only into the parking lot but also the workplace itself might be reasonable? Or would the presence of guns automatically violate the rights of other employees that are guaranteed a safe working environment?
Similar to the previous questions, I think it all depends on the location, type of business, or workplace, to determine whether it would be reasonable or not to bring the guns onto the parking lot or inside the buildings. But, in relation to just schools and teachers, it shouldn’t be lawful that the teachers bring firearms into the premises. People might say that it would be best if some or all teachers were allowed, and it would be secure if teachers underwent background checks, or took gun safety classes, but the thing is, that won’t make it 100% safe. Who is to say a teacher won’t commit a school shooting? As awful as it sounds, it could certainly happen. All it could take would be a student or anybody to cross the line, and a serious injury or death is just a trigger pull away… So yes, bringing firearms into the workplace, or having armed employees, would likely violate the rights of other employees, or even customers, a guaranteed safe environment.
3 Comments for “Warthen, M8”
AJ – Part of me feels that this discussion is different in different parts of the country, and it’s related to responsible gun ownership. I think that most people in Alaska would shrug off someone having a gun in their car at work, because they’ve learned to use it hunting, for example. This is different than LA. I agree with you that this may be another opportunity for businesses and employees to work together for a solution, instead of regulation, to treat it as a recruiting tool: we think the company, and country, is safer if your 2nd amendment rights are respected, so come work for us. If they lose other good employees, or customers, because of the policy, that’s free market at work.
I agree that it doesn’t destroy the 2nd amendment. Does it actually open more dialogue for acceptance in private businesses? I am one of those people who believe that gun ownership should be like car ownership: take a test, register the gun, get liability insurance. If those steps were taken, maybe private companies may be more willing to allow them in the parking lot?
AJ, I agree that location is everything as to whether guns should be allowed in the workplace. Depending on the area, rural or urban, there are a lot of things to consider. I worked in Oakland, California for years and was lucky enough to have had security guards protect me as I walked to my car during the day and at night. Still no guarantee that nothing would happen, but I felt a bit better with a guard at my side. I’ve also worked in a rural area where everyone had a gun in their car and I’m pretty sure the boss had guns stashed in the store. For that area, it was fine. As far as schools are concerned, I like the point you bring up about that maybe a teacher could commit a shooting. I’m of the same mindset, guns and kids don’t mix too well. I have seen videos of child abuse at the hand of a teacher, you never know what people are capable of in a stress situation.
While location is a big factor, I don’t think that it should be an overarching thing. I don’t think that many legal gun owners are going to fire it off in a non-threatening situation. As long as the gun is not accessible or visible to those who would misuse it, I see no issues having guns in parking lots.