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Thread: Robert Levy Using His position To Meddle in Local Politics

  1. #1
    Regular Member Virginiaplanter's Avatar
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    Mr. Levy has written an opinion piece today against the passage of Florida's trend setting law that forbids employers from banning employees from possessing firearms in their cars. You can bet that he will lobby the same when the Virginia General Assembly takes up the issue.

    Mr. Levy States:

    "But the "Take Your Guns to Work" law signed by Florida Gov. Charlie Crist last week, with vigorous backing from the National Rifle Association, has nothing to do with the Second Amendment.

    It has everything to do with violating the rights of private property owners.

    ....But I am even more confident that the court would never consider whether the Second Amendment prevents a private company from banning firearms on its property. Quite simply, that question does not implicate the U.S. Constitution."


    http://www2.tbo.com/content/2008/apr...l-the-trigger/

    One of the first laws by the Virginia General Assembly in 1623 which Mr. Levy has brushed aside was :

    " That men go not to worke in the ground without their arms (and a centinell upon them)."

    This was a law that applied to all property both public or private and to both master and servant alike. It was a part of a Well Regulated militia which is not divorced from the second part, the right of the people to keep and bear arms in the Second Amendment.

    ""I don't see how there's any, any, any contradiction between reading the second clause as a -- as a personal guarantee and reading the first one as assuring the existence of a militia, not necessarily a State-managed militia because the militia that resisted the British was not State- managed. But why isn't it perfectly plausible, indeed reasonable, to assume that since the framers knew that the way militias were destroyed by tyrants in the past was not by passing a law against militias, but by taking away the people's weapons -- that was the way militias were destroyed. The two clauses go together beautifully: Since we need a militia, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." - Justice Scalia

    The militia is composed of the body of the people. The militia is to be ready at all times to repel invasions and insurrections and enforce the laws of the Commonwealth. The take your guns to work laws in 1623 and 2008 assures a well regulated militia always in readiness.

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Oh, oh, it's now a trend... I guess when KY, OK and AK passed similar laws that wasn't a trend but rather states acting unilaterally.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Mr. Levy isn't ALL wrong...

    http://bighammer.net/blog/2008/04/22...-self-defense/

    But he is good at spinning his issue.

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    Mr. Levy, for those that don't know, is the man who single-handedly funded the DC v. Heller case from beginning to end. He never said how much it cost him, but I would guess it cost himat least a few million dollars. He's undoubtedly on our side.

    I've argued alot on my view of this issue on another thread so you all know that I agree with Mr. Levy that the take your guns to work law is a government infringement on property rights in the same way that saying I can't own a gun is a government infringement on property rights.

    I view this law as no better than laws the anti-gun people push for. Both are trying to use government power to force others to live according to your values. Saying this is about 2nd Amendment rights makes about as much sense as me saying a private video storeshouldbe forcedto sell Michael Moore's movies becausehe has aFirst Amendment right to speak (he does have a negative right against government or anyone else using force to shut him up but he does not have the positive right to have another listen to or distribute or otherwise help his message). Any initiation of force is wrong, even if it has an outcome in accordance with your values. The reason we are no longer free is because we refuse to relearn that principle.

    I will once again post the video explaining what liberty is and where it comes from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muHg86Mys7I



    Virginia Planter, regarding the 1623 Virginialaw you posted, surely you know that law has nothing to do with the 2nd Amendment since the 2nd Amendment didn't apply to the states at that time (and unless DC v. Heller says any differently, still doesn't). None of the Bill of Rights had anything to do with individual state laws until the passage of the 14th Amendment. And, as Mr. Levy pointed out, the 2nd Amendment still does not apply to private individuals. There are very few parts of the Constitution that do apply to indiivduals (one example of a Constitutional proscription on private action is the 13th Amendment's prohibitionon slavery).

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    Regular Member Virginiaplanter's Avatar
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    Virginia Planter, regarding the 1623 Virginia law you posted, surely you know that law has nothing to do with the 2nd Amendment since the 2nd Amendment didn't apply to the states at that time (and unless DC v. Heller says any differently, still doesn't). None of the Bill of Rights had anything to do with individual state laws until the passage of the 14th Amendment.

    Was is it not Cicero who said, "That a people must not forget their history, just as an individual must not forget their own personal history so they may not make the same mistakes twice...He said that a people must not forget their history for in doing so they will remain children all their lives, always ready to be led, but never to lead." And so the Supreme Court routinely looks to the origins of the Amendment in an attempt to never forget its history and to understand the contemporary understanding of the Amendment when it was adopted. "The Court should examine the state of things existing when the Constitution was framed and adopted by those who wrote it, in order to ascertain the meaning or intent of the law. See State of Rhode Island v. Com. of Massachusetts, 37 U.S. (12 Pet.) 657, 721 (1838).

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    I keep a copy of an old Soviet propaganda poster on the wall at work here, translated as "work with your rifle nearby." It was from their revolution/civil war (ca. 1917), when workers were well advised to have a weapon handy at all times (whichever side they were on). I'd send a copy to Mr. Levy, but I doubt he can read Cyrillic.

    -ljp

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    view this law as no better than laws the anti-gun people push for. Both are trying to use government power to force others to live according to your values. Saying this is about 2nd Amendment rights makes about as much sense as me saying a private video storeshouldbe forcedto sell Michael Moore's movies becausehe has aFirst Amendment right to speak (he does have a negative right against government or anyone else using force to shut him up but he does not have the positive right to have another listen to or distribute or otherwise help his message). Any initiation of force is wrong, even if it has an outcome in accordance with your values. The reason we are no longer free is because we refuse to relearn that principle.
    Your analogy is somewhat flawed in that there is no "literary minuteman" introductory clause in the 1st amendment :P However, there is an infingement of the 2nd Amendment created by employers who have policies against employees unable to provide for their ownor the common defense. Does the 2nd not say
    "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state..." ?

    In an emergency, are you going to be able to get home and grab your rifle? Do you remember what traffic among other things was like around here after the remnants of Hurrican Isabel rolled through? These employers are irresponsible corporate actors who violate the public policy of the Commonwealth.Even if you eschew your preparedness responsibility, you still have a duty to protect yourself. Florida isno more wrong for imposing this responsibiliy upon employers than states that passed their own civil rights laws preventing discrimination. While I think having a firearm in avehicle is just a bit too far away, it's better than having to run homeand it serves the public policy interestsof self and common defense. As the Supreme Court is fond of saying, if there is a compelling state interest, then it is opento legislation.




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    Mr. Y wrote:
    However, there is an infingement of the 2nd Amendment created by employers who have policies against employees unable to provide for their ownor the common defense. Does the 2nd not say
    A private company not affilliated with the government cannot infringe on the 2nd Amendment. It's an impossibility. The 2nd Amendment doesn't apply to private actors. As I said before, almost no part of the Constitution applies to private actors (the 13th Amendment being one exception).

    It's that way for a reason. Private individuals deal with each other on the basis of mutual cooperation. When they don't, it's called a crime. The government does not act this way and always - always- acts with the threat of force. That's why we have proscriptions on what they can do in the Constitution.

    Once again, the 2nd Amendment does not apply to private actors anymore than the First does (hence my Michael Moore example).


    These employers are irresponsible corporate actors who violate the public policy of the Commonwealth.

    Then don't deal with them. As I said earlier, you using the violence of government to force others to live according to your (and my) values means you view government the exact same way as the antis. You both are doing the same things. The only difference is you have a different value system. That's nothing but mob rule.

    Even if you eschew your preparedness responsibility, you still have a duty to protect yourself.
    Get a job where you can do that to your satisfaction.

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    A private company not affilliated with the government cannot infringe on the 2nd Amendment. It's an impossibility. The 2nd Amendment doesn't apply to private actors. As I said before, almost no part of the Constitution applies to private actors (the 13th Amendment being one exception).
    Is it your position then that government employers are bound by the 2nd, or not?

    Back to private actors. The private actor may not be held to the restrictions in theBill of Rights, however, they can be held to violate the public policy of the state and federal government. My question about the opening clause of 2A was to point out that the obligation still exists. Companies which impose burdensome restrictions that impede the right of self defense or the common defense violate the public policy of the several states which respect the rights of people to defend themselves. And, by implication when such a bad actor punishes an employee for doing so, they should not be exempt. I believe it was 7/11 in WV which was found to be in violation of just such a public policy.So while the Bill of Rights enumerates several principles that are intended to restrict the government's authority, they do also endorse many of the principles of the common law and as a result, public policy. When a private actor interferes with such a policy a government may intervene to stopit.
    It's that way for a reason. Private individuals deal with each other on the basis of mutual cooperation. When they don't, it's called a crime. The government does not act this way and always - always- acts with the threat of force. That's why we have proscriptions on what they can do in the Constitution.
    mutual cooperation. I like that. I don't think companies like Weyerhauser, or AOL were or are operating under the premise of "mutual cooperation".

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    Mr. Y wrote:
    A private company not affilliated with the government cannot infringe on the 2nd Amendment. It's an impossibility. The 2nd Amendment doesn't apply to private actors. As I said before, almost no part of the Constitution applies to private actors (the 13th Amendment being one exception).
    Is it your position then that government employers are bound by the 2nd, or not?

    Yes. Government actions are bound by the entire constitution. Private actions aren't.

    <snip> When a private actor interferes with such a policy a government may intervene to stopit.
    I see where you're coming from, but I don't put much stock in public policy. I think it's usually just a euphamism for majority rule. I think rights should exist regardless.

    mutual cooperation. I like that. I don't think companies like Weyerhauser, or AOL were or are operating under the premise of "mutual cooperation".
    Really? When have either of those companies forced you to do business with them? Unlike government "services," I've never been forced to fund or do business with either of those companies (except to the extent that they partner with government and get corporate welfare through government force).

    In fact, if either of those companies did get me to use their services through any means other than mutual cooperation or government coercion, I'd have quite a criminal and civil case on my hands. I deal with AOL when I want to and I don't deal with them when I don't want to (which is always...I can't stand AOL).

    Alllawful private actions are products of mutual cooperation (and even many unlawful ones).

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    Regular Member Virginiaplanter's Avatar
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    Amagi, You might be on to something here.


    Follow me here, Now I am may not believe this myself, I am just throwing this out as a hypothetical.

    It is your position that an employer cannot infringe on the right to a jury trial too , right? That would be an impossibility, right? Private actors can't infringe on the Bill of Rights because it only limits government action, right?


    If you are called to jury duty and your employer tells you that you will be fired if you go, they have not infringed on the defendant's right to a trial by jury?


    In your words then, how would you square a private company's company policy that anybody who fulfilled their obligations under the constitution as a juror would be fired?


    (I've got that Justice Breyer Thing Down pretty good)

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    I read the property rights thread without commenting much. I refrained because I couldn't decide. Although the arguments in favor of life over property were pretty compelling, I have to say.

    I wonder if it doesn't come down to the point where so many property owners exercise their property rights to the detriment of self-defense that the scale tips too far.

    Particularly when it is an emotionally-decided prohibition. That is to say, it isn't based on rationality or facts. Or say that it is monetarily driven--fear of lawsuits.

    It would seem we have to grant property owners some degree of sovereignty over their property. And people some degree of sovereignty over their person.

    I just can't put my finger on it.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Virginiaplanter wrote:
    Amagi, You might be on to something here.


    Follow me here, Now I am may not believe this myself, I am just throwing this out as a hypothetical.

    It is your position that an employer cannot infringe on the right to a jury trial too , right? That would be an impossibility, right? Private actors can't infringe on the Bill of Rights because it only limits government action, right?


    If you are called to jury duty and your employer tells you that you will be fired if you go, they have not infringed on the defendant's right to a trial by jury?


    In your words then, how would you square a private company's company policy that anybody who fulfilled their obligations under the constitution as a juror would be fired?


    (I've got that Justice Breyer Thing Down pretty good)


    Lol, you do have the Breyer thing down. The only thing you need now is for your "questioning" to go on for 4 pages.

    Your hypothetical is excellent, and probably points out the biggest whole in my thinking.

    I personally think that a business owner contracting with its employee so thatthe employeecould not serve on a jury under threat of being fired would not infringe on the employee's right to serve on a jury. However, to protect the rights of others to have a jury, ... well, I'd probably force the employee to serve as a juror anyway and let him deal with the consequences of his contract that he signed, knowing this could happen. After awhile, I think that employer would have a hard time finding employees (or would get tired of losing good people to jury service).

    It's not a very satisfactory answer, I guess.

    --EDIT--

    Aghhh! Did I just say that people have a positive right to a jury trial??!! Looks like I've got quite a contradiction in my belief system here. Maybe that's ok, but it still bugs me.


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    Remember, there is a social contract here as well. Each of us has a duty to be good and responsiblecitizens. I don't create a public nuissance (Sp?) for my neighbors, I expect them to do the same.

    When the same employer hires a new manager who makes it a policy to have your significant other perform sex acts with the new manager, or be terminated, has the company any liabilityhere?

    What of the company who won't hire guardsmen or reservists or give these same folks a hard time when they come back from active duty? Sure, they are sub human piles of fecal matter,but I'm not comfortable allowing them to get by waiting for them to receive their punishments in the afterlife, they deserve punishment now. THAT is why laws to protect these servicemen exist. Sure, they could go somewhere else, but we expect employers to respect our armed service folks and if they don't, then we compel them to. These laws were fully debated, passed and signed into law and advance the 2ndAmendment minimally by helping ensure that people will serve their countryin Armed service. When employers undercut your ability to defend yourself, or the community they are doing a similar disserviceto the employers who shun Guardsmen, Reservists or soldiers on active duty.

    When you roll into work tomorrow, take a serious look around you and ask just how safe you are. If Cho came to your 'office', would you be safe thanks to your company's "safety" measures?



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    Mr. Y wrote:
    Remember, there is a social contract here as well. Each of us has a duty to be good and responsiblecitizens. I don't create a public nuissance (Sp?) for my neighbors, I expect them to do the same.
    Arguing this point would take us too OT, but I fundamentally reject any idea of some ficticious "social contract." I never consented to give up any of my rights. I mean, if I live inDC, does that mean that I should accept the gun ban because it's part of the social contract of the area (whatever the heck that means)? In your example of a nuisance, that is infringing on your neighbor's property rights so I agree that it should be dealt with.
    When you roll into work tomorrow, take a serious look around you and ask just how safe you are. If Cho came to your 'office', would you be safe thanks to your company's "safety" measures?

    No, I don't, but I don't have to work there.

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    I stand by my rather lengthy post in the last thread on this issue. As I argued, this law violates the private property rights of a very tiny percentage of businesses and I think those particular businesses should be exempt.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Just because a thing is pro-gun, doesn't always mean it is right. I believe that we as gun owners have focused on fighting oppressive gun laws for so long, that when something pro-gun comes up, the knee-jerk reaction is to support it.

    This "Take your gun to work" law, while pro-gun, is not right. It infringes on the entire idea of private property. Look at it this way:

    Someone comes to your house who you do not feel is safe with firearms. You feel this person does not follow the four rules, always sweeps others with a loaded gun, points it in unsafe directions, and is a general nuisance.

    Should you be able to make him leave your house? It is YOUR house. This law says you can't. You would be infringing on his 2nd Amendment rights.

    Of course, this is an exaggerated scenario. We all know that the majority of us would safely carry our weapons and most likely just store them in our cars at work. But it's the idea that the rights of a private property owner are being overridden that I'm trying to illustrate. You wouldn't like it done to you, at your house, would you?

    Another thing to consider is that I believe the proper way to address this issue is to make employers liable for any injuries received while unarmed at work. If a private company had to pay HUGE damages to someone injured on their property because they were unable to defend themselves, this might sway them to sart allowing their employees to be armed. Well, now the jig is up. Can't sue the employer for not letting you have a gun on private property. They now HAVE to let you keep it in your car. (Where it STILL won't do you any good.) Now, you just can't sue them.

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    Consider this though - should the government's court's enforce private contracts or property rules which conflict with federal or state constitution? In contract law, courts sometimes strike down or refuse to enforce contract provisions which conflict with public policy.

    In Shelley v. Kraemer the US S. Ct. said "no" to enforcing racial land alienation convenants - extending this case to gun rights would be interesting.

    If racially-based restrictive covenants are not legal under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, then why should courts enforce gun bans in the workplace or establishments open to the public via, inter alia, tresspass and contract law?

    Just food for thought.

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    I mean, if I live inDC, does that mean that I should accept the gun ban because it's part of the social contract of the area (whatever the heck that means)?
    Their law is a public policy failure for all to see. Too many of us are disinvolved in the process of government. This allows people with not too altruistic motivations to set up their own little fiefdoms. That's what DC did knowing Congress would have better things to do than exercise oversight. So back to what I meant; the social contract I referred to was that of abiding by or supporting the 'public policy'. While for all practical purposes the National Guard fills the bulk of the militia role today, certainly it has to draw support from the people at large. An extension of this has been CERT volunteers. These folks aren't as legally protectedas Guardsmen and reservists, but certainly a great deal of them fulfill vital roles. If an employer tells a CERT volunteer that despite the rioting thugs burning neighborhoods that if you leave your call taking job for volunteer duty to help quell the riots you'll be fired are they advancing public policy? No, they're in fact opposing it, but from everything I know their act would be perfectly legal. Immoral, unethical but technically ... legal. Now, change the CERT volunteer to Guardsman or reservist called to active duty, and said employer can find themselves in a very uncomfortable legal spot and rightly so.

    Now, did you do you homework and see just what "so called" security measures are taken to protect you at your employer? Are they there to protect you, or company assets? How effective would they be against a ticked off, disgruntled employee?

    I've been in the immediate vicinity of 2 acts of battery, 1 stalker a conflict where a knife was pulled and a disgruntled, laid off employee returning with a gun. All this despite a "zero tolerance" policy against violence and weapons! That employer was a corporate bad actor. They regulated everything right down to the method with which they laid folksoff; more personal than say... ComputerAssociates, but very devious and underhanded. Basically, they compiled an "enemies" list of folks in a manner similar to the witch trials, sent it to HR with qualifications be damned. They were sued mercilessly for letting go minorities, women, a few folks with disabilities, but kept several folks who were... problememployees. The guy who came back with the gun - obviously I can't approve ofit, but I understand part of what drove him to it. One of the managers there confided to me that he was bailing so "he wouldn't be next". While you're correct that you can simply "get another job" it's not so simple as you make it out to be. I'd venture to say very few people here made it an interview question: "Will you respect my right to defend myself here"?

    Another thing to consider is that I believe the proper way to address this issue is to make employers liable for any injuries received while unarmed at work. If a private company had to pay HUGE damages to someone injured on their property because they were unable to defend themselves, this might sway them to sart allowing their employees to be armed. Well, now the jig is up. Can't sue the employer for not letting you have a gun on private property. They now HAVE to let you keep it in your car. (Where it STILL won't do you any good.) Now, you just can't sue them.
    This situation wasn't created in a day, it won't be fixed in a day.
    This "Take your gun to work" law, while pro-gun, is not right. It infringes on the entire idea of private property. Look at it this way:

    Someone comes to your house who you do not feel is safe with firearms. You feel this person does not follow the four rules, always sweeps others with a loaded gun, points it in unsafe directions, and is a general nuisance.

    Should you be able to make him leave your house? It is YOUR house. This law says you can't. You would be infringing on his 2nd Amendment rights.
    This policy of disarmament by employers while pro property rights is not right. It infringes the entire idea of self defense.

    ...

    Of course you make the guy brandishing leave, and introduce him to the local patrol officers & magistrate. But unless you're working in someone's house; a domicile, the situation is somewhat different on a property parcel used and zoned for business. Particularly if the company is a public facing one, open to visitation by select or public clientele. Are you saying that any employer has theability to disarm you, putyou at any risk conceivable and then render you helpless against attack by threatening you with loss of the job?



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    I am just glad that my employer does not own the parking lot. It is owned by AAA. The company says I cannot bring my weapon into the work spaces but they cannot control it being in my vehicle.

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    Mike wrote:
    Consider this though - should the government's court's enforce private contracts or property rules which conflict with federal or state constitution? In contract law, courts sometimes strike down or refuse to enforce contract provisions which conflict with public policy.

    In Shelley v. Kraemer the US S. Ct. said "no" to enforcing racial land alienation convenants - extending this case to gun rights would be interesting.

    If racially-based restrictive covenants are not legal under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, then why should courts enforce gun bans in the workplace or establishments open to the public via, inter alia, tresspass and contract law?

    Just food for thought.
    Hey Mike,

    Land covenants are contracts between dead people. That's why the courts are quick to strike them down, so it's a bit of a different situation that you bring up. Second, the Court was alot more active in striking down contracts right after the Civil Rights Act and around that time because they were trying to disassemble the entire Jim Crow/segregated system. They've since said that that was only temporary and have taken a less hands on approach.

    To your question, yes, I think that anything that violates the Constitution should be struck down. So if a person signs a contract to a buy another person, that should be struck down on the 13th Amendment. But the Bill of Rights doesn't apply to individuals so the Constitution isn't implicated.

    As others have pointed out, contracts that limit people's freedom of speech, freedom of movement, etc are all upheld.

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    Legba wrote:
    I keep a copy of an old Soviet propaganda poster on the wall at work here, translated as "work with your rifle nearby." It was from their revolution/civil war (ca. 1917), when workers were well advised to have a weapon handy at all times (whichever side they were on). I'd send a copy to Mr. Levy, but I doubt he can read Cyrillic.

    -ljp

    Do you have a copy of that poster or a source where I could get a copy?

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    The best argument against these "parkinglot laws" is the arguing evident on this board - and every other board where it is discussed. The fact that Gun rights activists are split on this demonstrates its flaws.

    Personally, I think your car should be considered an extension of your "castle" and should therefore be off-limits without solid probable cause and legal formalities.
    That's not going to happen because it would interfere in the "War on Drugs" and now the "War on Terror."

    My solution to this problem - and many others - is simple language passed by state legislatures tipping the scales of liability in favor of business and property owners not interfering in employees' and visitors' defensive capabilities. Disarming them = greater liability, staying out of their personal protection choices = less liability.

    Right now, it is 50/50 and could be effectively argued either direction. By shifting liability to 60/40, it removes the impitus for gun bans. Ninety percent of property owners would erase their "No Guns" policies if they knew it increased their risk.

    Others have proposed legislation that spells out liability in detail, but I think they're too complicated. Something short, simple and sweet that says disarming employees and/or visitors creates additional liability and letting them make their own choices about personal security reduces liability, is all that's needed.

    So there's my two cents.

    --
    If GunVoters don't get busy on congressional elections right now, it won't matter who's in the White House.
    If GunVoters do get busy on congressional elections right now, it won't matter who's in the White House.
    Be part of the solution - www.GunVoter.org

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