In the day we live in today, it is not surprising that the question is being raised as to whether or not it is okay for employees to leave their firearm in their personal vehicle while it is parked at their place of employment. I personally do not think that this should be banned. If the individual has legally obtained their firearm (and perhaps even possesses a concealed carry permit) I do not see where that is an issue to the employer. I can understand and respect the concern that an employer may have with regards to possible safety issues allowing employees to keep their firearm in their vehicle. In my opinion, though, this is not enough grounds for concern for an employer. Take for instance the case in Kodiak, AK in April 2012. There was an employee, who before work hours, entered into his place of employment and fatally shot two of his co-workers. This is an example to demonstrate that it does not matter what rules are set in place, if an individual gets compelled to use workplace violence, they will initiate it without regard to any company policy. I do not feel that employees should be prohibited form keeping a legal firearm in their vehicle on the chance that someone might choose to attack the workplace.
I do not necessarily agree with the NRA that “a wrecking ball to the Second Amendment’ would take place by banning guns from parking lots, but I do believe this ban would infringe upon an individual right to have a weapon for self-defense. As I stated earlier, the majority of people obtain their firearm legally. Many choose to also obtain a concealed carry permit. I do not understand why the majority should be limited based on the what-if chance that an individual may choose to execute workplace violence. I do believe that topic of guns has become highly political from both sides of the argument. When it comes to whether or not employers allow guns in the parking lot, this manner should be left to be determined by the company and its employees. Ultimately, if an individual does not agree with the company policies, they can choose to seek employment elsewhere.
With all of the recent media coverage regarding school shootings, I am still on the fence on how I feel about the idea of teachers being allowed to bring a firearm into the school. I understand that if a teacher is armed, he or she could potentially help save lives in the event of a school shooting. I also know that there is other training that can be provided to staff that is beneficial in school shooting situations. It is unknown if a teacher with a firearm will be able to react safely and appropriately in a deadly situation. Another thing to consider is that while teachers have to undergo background checks, it is never known when an individual might “snap.’ In my town, there is a teacher under investigation for allegedly making comments against the students of their school. If this teacher is found guilty, what would the difference have been if they were allowed by the school to have a gun and have the turn of thought of wanting to harm students. They now have easy access to a gun that has been allowed in the school to carry out the threat.
I have taken three active shooting classes in the past three years (it is mandatory for my job). I truly believe that this training is vital to our schools and the safety of our children. Currently, most kids are taught to be easy targets; hide quietly in the corner of your classroom. The trainers have studied school shootings and have determined two key ideas: if the shooter is inside, do not make yourself an easy target and to be prepared to fight back. This idea was taught to the Marysville School District in 2014, approximately two months before the MPHS shooting. The staff was not fully engaged in the training and the trainers remember the faces of some of the staff that had the look of “it will never happen to us.’ The two key points that is stressed (get out if you can or be ready to defend yourself) were witnessed by law enforcement following the terrible shooting. Those students that could safely get out and run, did. Those that could not, were found in their classrooms ready to defend themselves with objects found in the classroom. I am not anti-gun, but I understand that not everyone is comfortable with firearms. There are other resources and training available for schools that could better equip and prepare them in the unfortunate event that they are faced with an active shooter in their school.