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Thread: Weapons policy paper for my management class

  1. #1
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    While trying to edit my paper for MGT-301 class, Iasked myselfwhere could I find some of the most nit-picky guys around...so I am coming to you. I recognize that we have some of the most intelligent and gun savvy members right here at OCDO.

    Below is my draft, please be kind and provide constructive criticism. I look forward to hearing about any "solutions" you may offer that I have not considered.

    While you're free to criticize until the cows come home, only criticism submitted prior to Friday, 3 October will make it into my final draft...deadlines you know.

    Thanks in advance, Tac

    Management and Gun Owners

    A worsening problem facing managers today is that State and federal gun laws continue to conflict with management and business owners’ policies concerning firearms in the workplace. In July 2008, Florida and Georgia passed new laws regarding access to guns. The laws appropriately called “take-your-gun-to-work” laws don’t restrict access to firearms, rather they affirm a personal freedom by allowing those licensed to conceal a handgun to take their weapons to work and leave them in a locked vehicle against private business owners’ objections. Florida and Georgia join six other states with similar laws. Are laws in eight states enough to define a problem that managers and business owners must address? It certainly is an issue in those eight states. Additionally, since 1987 when Florida passed its “Shall Issue” law, requiring state officials to issue licenses to any non-felon over the age of 21 who clears a background check, many states followed. Now there are 39 “shall issue” states and an additional 8 states with some form of concealed weapon license. According to the NRA, as of February 2008, 48 states have some form of concealed carry. How long will it take before many more states pass similar “take-your-gun-to-work” laws? Because these gun laws may soon come to a state near you, management and business owners must act now to develop policies that protect their businesses, employees, and customers while balancing the rights of law abiding gun owners.





    Management Issues

    Management and business owners, hereafter known as management, have a legitimate need to protect their business, employees, and customers. According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, “77% of workplace homicides are committed with firearms and 60% of major employers said in a 2005 survey that disgruntled employees had threatened to assault or kill senior managers in the last year.” From a management standpoint, gun violence has become a severe problem. In an effort to reduce workplace gun violence, abide by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safe workplace requirements and presumably to keep liability insurance premiums low, numerous businesses have developed a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to employees and weapons in the workplace.

    Many employee handbooks clearly warn employees that a weapon found on business property, to include privately owned parking areas, is grounds for termination. Western Michigan University’s employee handbook states,

    “No person shall possess on university property any firearms or other dangerous weapons with the exception of police officers, transfer agents licensed to carry weapons and persons using any such weapons for class instruction when authorized by the dean of the appropriate college. Any student, faculty member or other university employee violating this rule shall be subject to suspension or dismissal. Any person violating this rule will be subject to criminal prosecution.”

    The Brady Campaign also points out that “[a] May 2005 study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that workplaces where guns were permitted were 5 to 7 times more likely to be the site of a workplace homicide compared to workplaces where guns are prohibited.” These statistics alone drive management, with the aid of human resource personnel, to review and put into action safety measures to ensure weapons are absent from the business place.

    Reasononline argues, from a legal perspective management feels these new “take-your-gun-to-work” laws infringe upon their rights as private property owners. These laws turn managers into criminals if they bar employees with guns from their place of business and property. Further, this is not a place where government should substitute its judgment for that of management.

    Management also has the right to post no gun signs, available from their local better business bureau, on the entrance(s) to their place of business to prevent customers from carrying a weapon while patronizing their establishment. Any customer violating this policy can be asked to leave or face criminal trespassing charges. Management does this in an effort to keep people safe. However, many businesses—mostly retailers—that post these signs have faced boycotts by gun advocacy groups. Management must account for potential backlash from law abiding gun owner customers when implementing such policies.

    Law Abiding Gun Owners Issues

    As a law abiding gun owner who is licensed to conceal carry a weapon—and does, I am very familiar with the concerns of gun owners. The Supreme Court ruled in both Warren v. DC and Castle Rock v. Gonzales, among others, that the government and its agents have no duty to protect individual citizens from violent criminals and there is no negligence for failing to do so. The courts have essentially said it is the individual’s responsibility to protect him or herself. With that in mind, the law abiding gun owner carries a weapon for self defense and to protect the lives of family members, not to commit crimes.

    Concealed weapons permit holders have been through state and federal background checks to ensure they are not fugitives, have not committed a crime punishable by one or more years of prison, are not addicted to a controlled substance, have not been adjudicated as mentally defective, are a lawful U.S. citizen, have not been dishonorably discharged from the military, are not subject to a restraining order, have never been convicted of domestic violence, nor ever committed a felony. Permit holders are also subject to finger printing and are required to have passed an NRA approved safety course. Additionally, less than .001 percent of crimes have ever been committed by concealed weapons permit holders.

    Policies intended to keep the work place safe restrict a gun owner’s ability to self protection. If a gun owners cannot lock the weapon in their vehicles while at work, they cannot defend themselves to and from work, or while making convenience stops enroute. Emergence Disaster Management, Inc., a company that provides services to numerous state and federal agencies, details over 30 workplace shootings in the last 22 years, many involving multiple deaths. How many deaths could have been prevented if the law abiding gun owner employee was permitted to carry in the workplace? Without full time security and metal detectors at each entrance, policies will not prevent employees with a grudge and the capacity to commit senseless violence from committing these acts. Additionally, it’s not only fellow employees that cause gun violence, but customers as well.

    As a customer, I will not patronize any business that posts no gun signs on their entrances. In gun owner lingo, these are Criminal Protection Zones (CPZs). When a business posts the signs, only the criminals, who by definition already break the law, will have guns. Some examples of terrible violence within these CPZs are: Virginia Tech; Luby’s Cafeteria in Texas; mall shootings in Utah, Chicago, Omaha, and Illinois. What each of these have in common is that law abiding citizens were forbidden by management policy from carrying a weapon to protect themselves. Additionally, there are laws being proposed today that will make those establishments that have prevented law abiding gun owners from carrying their weapons for protection in the event violence occurs in which the individual was harmed. According to Georgia State Representative Tim Beardon, a former police officer, “criminals benefited from restrictions on citizens carrying weapons.”

    Government Issues

    The recent Supreme Court decision in DC v. Heller upheld an individual constitutional right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. The Heller decision specifically states that individuals have the right to own a gun for self defense in the home. So how can the government mandate the actions of managers when it comes to private land?

    State and federal agencies have levied various requirements on business managers for decades. OSHA oversees workplace safety, state building codes ensure structural safety, and various state and federal laws require handicapped access and parking spaces. Parking spaces must be a certain size and lighting must be provided in parking lots. Government intervention into private property is not new to managers. Representative Beardon also said, “[p]roperty's great, but nothing's better than your life.

    What solutions are there that balance management’s responsibilities and law abiding gun owner’s rights?

    Solutions

    Aside from state-by-state court battles pitting business against gun owners, there are other solutions that allow managers the flexibility to protect their business, employees, and customers.

    To avoid future litigation, managers should consider full-time armed security personnel in establishments that cater to large numbers of patrons such as malls and large department stores. While this may not prevent someone bent on violence, it should minimize the destruction.

    Managers should acknowledge that a posted gun ban sign will not prevent criminals from entering the premises. Only law abiding gun owners will obey these signs.

    Managers should also recognize that they cannot prevent a would-be criminal intent on robbery or set on violence to perpetrate their crime. What remains is mitigating the harm.

    Managers can install approved individual gun lockers within close proximity to the entrance and under the supervision of security personnel. This would effectively end the practice of guns in parking lots while managers could maintain a gun free work environment. Pennsylvania law requires court houses, which controlled entry with metal detectors, to provide lockers for handgun owners. There a no known cases of violence resulting from this policy.

    Short of carelessness involving weapon safety or due to other physical work-safety issues that prevent the concealed weapons on company property, management policies involving employee weapons should be revised.

    Conclusion

    Because gun laws are being revised nationwide that make private business weapons policies illegal, management must act now to develop policies that protect their businesses, employees, and customers while balancing the rights of law abiding gun owners.

    From 1978 until June 2008 the District of Columbia had a strict ban on all handguns, yet city managers routinely found their city atop the list of handgun related murders year after year. In fact, handgun violence increased after the law was established. When laws are passed by city managers and policies are implemented by business managers that ban guns, only criminals will have guns.

    Allowing concealed weapons permit holders to carry their weapons will not suddenly send the country back through time to the “wild, wild west”. Nor will there be “blood running in the streets” as many journalist and gun rights opponents predicted as state after state passes concealed carry permit laws. A business known to be frequented by law abiding gun owners may actually reduce the chances of gun violence in that workplace. How often are police departments, military installations and gun shops the target of a criminal venture?



  2. #2
    Regular Member rodbender's Avatar
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    Very well written. The only thing I can see is maybe you should point out that "take your gun to work" is not really an appropriate description.
    The thing about common sense is....it ain't too common.
    Will Rogers

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    I don't think your validation for the invasion of private property rights is going to fly. "Just because it's always been that way," isn't a sufficient argument for it continuing. And that's really the wholeissue here.


    You also use lines and ideasthat get used around here and you take for granted that they're fact without ever really proving them.


    The gun locker solution is a good idea though. Although it still raises the issue of employees having access to their guns at work against management's (ownership's) wishes.


    If your professor is pro-gun you'll probably do well enough, but if he (she) is anti-gun and even semi-articulate and informed you're going to get shredded, especially in a 300 level class.



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    Technical:
    -I have a bit of an issue with the way the paragraphs are organized, as they tend to lack structure and, as such, create some confusion. Try writing as an expanded outline rather than stream-of-consciousness.
    -I don't know how/what the assignment specifically was, but it may be better to avoid headings for different sections and, instead, structuring it strongly enough that the various sub-topics are clearly defined without headings.
    -I'd avoid rhetorical questions, catchy phrases ("coming to a state near you"), and other tools used in arguments. They sound too informal, and add an ambiguity to the work that is not necessary.
    -I'd also watch the length of sentences. If you must write longer sentences, watch your commas (and utilize semicolons) in order to better organize the sentence. A few sentences in there took a few seconds, after reading, for me to reorganize in order to make the logical thought you intended. In other words, while we know what you're trying to say, an uninformed reader may have difficulty making the same jumps.
    -Do you have footnotes/endnotes in your original copy? There are a lot of claims/statistics used, and only a few are cited. Each "fact" should have a citation. Remember, people reading this might believe that guns are evil, "go off" without provocation, and cast an aura of violence over the world. Chances are that they won't believe any evidence to the contrary, especially if it isn't cited.

    Theoretical:
    -You seem to be saying, "Guns are a source of violence, so we need to find a good way to ban them." But then you make statements to the contrary, especially toward the end, and you are posting to a pro-gun forum. Once again, I understand what you're trying to say, but an anti-gunner will very easily read this as a piece that supports better gun bans than the "no guns" signs, rather than (presumably) your intended purpose to suggest more pro-gun policies for employers.
    -I'd give some lip service to open carry and the open carry movement. After all, concealed is concealed, and generally businesses aren't wanding customers for concealed weapons. OCers are the canaries of anti-gun policies. Whereas an anti-gun business could have 10% of their customers CCing and not have to dust off their company policy, one OCer is all it takes to bring up a policy crisis.
    -You should clarify your position on gun checks. They may be a good idea for employees, as employers can look good to their insurance companies by promoting a "gun-free workplace", while providing employees a safe place to store their guns, allowing them safe travel to and from work. For customers and store safety in general, gun checks are pointless, especially without metal detectors. See "concealed is concealed", and the fact that criminals won't bother to check their guns.


    Overall, though, the piece is decent, and breaks open a topic that I haven't seen given much thought before. Feel free to PM me if you care to implement any of my recommendations and would like some added input or assistance.

  5. #5
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    Taclead wrote: "
    Permit holders are also subject to finger printing and are required to have passed an NRA approved safety course. (Fingerprint requirement can vary from state to state (even within a state). Not all qualifying courses are NRA approved.)
    You should cite some specifics to bolster the claims in your conclusion.

    Keep in mind that your reader/grader may not be as "plugged-in" to the gun culture as you are.

    You're off to a good start.

  6. #6
    Regular Member Decoligny's Avatar
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    Taclead wrote:

    As a customer, I will not patronize any business that posts no gun signs on their entrances. In gun owner lingo, these are Criminal Protection Zones (CPZs). When a business posts the signs, only the criminals, who by definition already break the law, will have guns. Some examples of terrible violence within these CPZs are: Virginia Tech; Luby’s Cafeteria in Texas; mall shootings in Utah, Chicago, Omaha, and Illinois. What each of these have in common is that law abiding citizens were forbidden by management policy from carrying a weapon to protect themselves. Additionally, there are laws being proposed today that will make those establishments that have prevented law abiding gun owners from carrying their weapons for protection in the event violence occurs in which the individual was harmed. According to Georgia State Representative Tim Beardon, a former police officer, “criminals benefited from restrictions on citizens carrying weapons.”
    You need to fix the sentence that is in bold. It is missing something as it makes no sense as written.

    I believe it might be something like this:

    Additionally, there are laws being proposed today that will make those establishments that have prevented law abiding gun owners from carrying their weapons for protection in the event violence occurs in which the individual was harmed, liable for damages.



  7. #7
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    I remember reading a paper/study on workplace violence awhile back (and right now I wish I could find it...), that gave a number (percentage) of shooting instances that were instigated by non-employees. It was a huge number, and off the top of my head I want to say it was like 80%. The basis of the number stems from armed robberies / shootings of convenience store clerks,fast-food delivery drivers, etc.

    So with that number and scenario in mind, the image of some employee going wacko in the workplace and shooting the place up - is notentirely accurate. Those types of shootings are extremely rare, but they do tend to make the news and thus, reinforce the image and the bias against guns in the workplace.

    Probably a morecommon / likely scenario of workplace violence involves domestic issues in two categories. The first is an employee who gets capped in the parking lot by an estranged husband / boyfriend (often involving a protective order against that individual), or the second similar secenario is the jealous husband / boyfriend taking out the competition in the parking lot.

    The next issue involves the disgruntled, former employee seeking revenge against his boss.

    In any event, I feel it is just a matter of time before somebody who is normally a practicing, armed individual, who by following his / her company's pathetic administrative policy, was unarmed at the moment they really needed it - and the surviving family members levy a huge civil suite against the offending company.

    I hope that helps...I will continue looking to see if I can find those statistics and their source information.

  8. #8
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    I hope that helps... I will continue looking to see if I can find those statistics and their source information.
    Is this what you were looking for?


    Parking Lot Gun Laws and the Right to Transport Firearms

    Should people who lawfully possess firearms be able to leave them locked in their motor vehicles, on business property? Common sense would say, "yes." All 50 states allow the transportation of firearms in motor vehicles for all lawful purposes and 48 states allow the carrying of firearms in vehicles for personal protection, in some manner.(1) More than one of every four of America`s 65-80 million gun owners carries a firearm in his or her vehicle for protection.(2)

    The U.S. Constitution and the constitutions of 46 states protect the right to arms and/or self-defense.(3) And since 1986, federal law has protected the right to transport firearms in vehicles interstate.(4)

    However, over the last few years disagreements over the right of people to leave firearms locked in their vehicles on business property have arisen. As a result, five state legislatures have passed, and during their current legislative sessions additional states are considering passing, laws to protect that right.(5)

    The issue began in 2002 in Oklahoma, when the Weyerhaeuser corporation fired employees for having guns in personal vehicles on company property. The Oklahoma Legislature responded, unanimously in the House and by a vote of 92-4 in the Senate, by prohibiting "any policy or rule" prohibiting law-abiding people "from transporting and storing firearms in a locked vehicle."

    Arguments raised against the right of people, particularly employees, to leave firearms in locked vehicles on business property are unconvincing:

    * A business owner`s private property rights are not affected by a law preventing the micro-management of the lawful contents of a person`s privately-owned automobile. Moreover, an employer`s private property interests do not trump a person`s right to have a firearm available for self-defense, if needed, during the daily commute to and from work. As with all civil rights, employers and owners of commercial property may not act with disregard to the rights of citizens. Reasonable accommodation is the foundation of the protection of all civil rights.
    * A commercial landowner is subject to numerous limits, imposed by the federal, state and local governments, on what may and may not occur on its property.
    * Employees have a legitimate private property interest where their automobiles and their contents are concerned. In our legal system, property rights extend to property other than land.
    * Most gun-related violent crimes in workplaces are committed by non-employees. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 84% of all workplace murders are committed by strangers; 7% are committed by current or former employees.(6) Naturally, strangers and former employees are not bound by any company policy pertaining to employees.
    * Anyone determined to commit a violent crime will not be prevented from doing so by a mere company policy against having guns in cars. This should go without saying, since criminals are already willing to break laws against murder, rape, robbery and assault.
    * Laws protecting the right to leave firearms in locked motor vehicles do not authorize a person to have a firearm outside his or her vehicle.
    * Laws protecting the right to leave firearms in locked motor vehicles on business property specifically protect the property owner from liability for any related injuries or damages. Also, if a business prohibits people from possessing the means to defend themselves in their vehicles, it is potentially liable for injuries and damages incurred for failure to provide adequate security.
    * The problem of workplace crimes has been exaggerated. The nation`s violent crime rate has declined every year since 1991 and is now at a 30-year low, the murder rate is at a 39-year low, and workplace violent crime has decreased more than violent crime generally. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health says, "the circumstances of workplace homicides differ substantially from those portrayed by the media and from homicides in the general population."(7)

    Notes:

    1. Only Illinois and Wisconsin do not have such laws.

    2. USA Today/CNN/Gallup National Poll, Dec. 17-19, 1993.

    3. The constitutions of the United States and all states except California, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, and New York protect the right to possess firearms for protection, recreation, sports, hunting, and other lawful purposes. Iowa and New Jersey`s constitutions protect the right to self-defense in general terms.

    4. 18 U.S.C. sec. 926A.

    5. In 1998, Kentucky`s Attorney General determined that state law prohibits employers from prohibiting people from having firearms in their vehicles. Minnesota`s Right-to-Carry law (2003) prohibits employers from prohibiting carry permit holders from having firearms in their vehicles. Laws protecting the right of any lawful possessor of a firearm to have a firearm in a personally-owned vehicle were passed in Oklahoma and Alaska in 2005, and Mississippi in 2006.

    6. "Violence in the Workplace, 1993-1999," Dec. 2001 (www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/vw99.pdf). The study also noted, the highest percentage of work-related murders occur between 8p.m.-12 a.m., when most businesses are closed.

    7. "Violence in the Workplace," July 1996 (www.cdc.gov/niosh/violhomi.html).









  9. #9
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    In your 3rd paragraph where you refer to the Brady Campaign May 2005 study, you might want to see if they published anything more up to date. That study is over 3 years old and may not be correct today. It also seems to be a broad statistic, as it doesn't distenguish between violent crimes committed during robberies and those committed as a form of retribution (psycho on a shooting benge, disgruntled employee, jealous spous/BF/GF, etc.).

    I would explore a perspective of how many businesses are in operation at any given time during the normal work week as compared to the usual single shooting event (referring to the later event above) that may occur on any of those days. An analogy of this would be to compare how many commercial flights that are flown each year, to the number of fatal crashes of such flights that occur for the same year. By doing this, I would suspect that the odds of either event occuring are extremely slim. Those odds certainly haven't stopped folks from flying, have they.


    I would also point out that most of the mass shootings have occured at businesses/institutions where firearms possession by employees/ customers/students was prohibited; in so called "gun free zones".

  10. #10
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    OK- I just finished reading the first paragraph.

    Constructive crtiticism: Where are the citations? I'm not going to go back and count them, but there seemed to be a boatload of statements that needed citations as proof of veracity or demonstration of where you got the information.

    Or are citations no longer required for scholarly works? (I completed my degree requirements a long time ago - things might have changed in the interim.)

    I'll check back after getting past this issue.

    stay safe.

    skidmark
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  11. #11
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    Decoligny wrote:
    Taclead wrote:
    Additionally, there are laws being proposed today that will make those establishments that have prevented law abiding gun owners from carrying their weapons for protection in the event violence occurs in which the individual was harmed.

    You need to fix the sentence that is in bold. It is missing something as it makes no sense as written.

    I believe it might be something like this:

    Additionally, there are laws being proposed today that will make those establishments that have prevented law abiding gun owners from carrying their weapons for protection in the event violence occurs in which the individual was harmed, liable for damages.

    Could even condense and clarify a little more...

    Additionally, there are laws being proposed that will make establishments, that have prevented law abiding gun owners from carrying their weapons for protection, liable for damages that may occur from a violent event.

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