Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: The Gazette Opinion (19 January 2009) from the Editors

  1. #1
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    37

    Post imported post

    NRA Courting Trouble In Suit

    Law shouldn’t trump property rights

    It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing our rights trump everything else, especially the natural right of self defense. This page has used thousands of words over the years to defend Americans’ access to firearms because one’s right to defend one’s life is foundational to a society that respects the rights of its members. That being the case, some might find it odd that we’d argue against a law that forces businesses to allow firearms on their property, but property rights have a place in society, also.

    The Jan. 15 issue of Gun Week, the publication of the Second Amendment Foundation, reported a federal appeals court in Denver is mulling a case that pits gun rights against property rights. It’s a case that could have far-reaching effects on what property owners are allowed to permit on their land.

    The case stems from an incident at a Weyerhaeuser paper mill in Valliant, Okla. Company officials, enforcing firearms prohibition on company property, found rifles in several vehicles in the company-owned parking lot. Ignoring pleas that the employees were simply trying to save time before they went hunting after work, Weyerhaeuser fired the employees. In response, firearms advocates successfully lobbied state lawmakers for a law that forces employers to allow firearms on their property.

    Some companies, including ConocoPhillips, sued the state, claiming the law infringes on their right to use their property as they wish, and it endangers the safety of their employees. Reasonable folks can disagree with the latter, but it’s not government’s place to decide what is and isn’t allowed on private property.

    U.S. District Court Judge Terence Kern sided with Conoco & Co. and struck down the law in 2007. Oklahoma officials took the case to the federal Court of Appeals in Denver. Gun Week reports the court heard arguments in November and is expected to issue a decision later this year.

    Even the National Rifle Association got involved in the case, filing an amicus brief backing the state and organizing a boycott of Conoco products. The gun-rights organization looks at it as a Second Amendment case. “We’re going to make ConocoPhillips the example of what happens when a corporation takes away your Second Amendment rights,” NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said when announcing the boycott in 2005. Although this page often agrees with LaPierre and the NRA, he’s off base in this instance. The Second Amendment enjoins government from infringing on citizens’ right to own, carry and use guns. But in the Oklahoma case — and at some Colorado businesses such as The Gazette — it’s private property owners barring firearms, so the only right the state is infringing is the right of ConocoPhillips and others to freely use their property.

    It’s no different than a friend asking you to not bring your carry pistol into his home. That’s his right, just as it’s your right to decline an invitation to visit based on that request. The same holds true for employees of companies that prohibit firearms; they’re free to find a job where such proscriptions don’t exist. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in a number of cases that workers do not have a right to any specific job.

    Rather than relying on the courts, a better approach for the NRA and other gun-rights advocates would be an education campaign aimed at changing the way corporate America views firearms. When employees or former employees go into a business with a gun and shoot people, it’s understandable businesses would want to keep their workplaces free of firearms. Unfortunately, if someone is intent on doing harm, a rule against guns isn’t going to stop them, so the ban likely does more harm than good. The vast majority of firearms owners are responsible citizens, and if they bring a gun to work, it’s most likely to protect themselves and others from that angry, armed person at the front door. That’s the message LaPierre and others should be sending to businesses.

  2. #2
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    37

    Post imported post

    I thought this was an interesting article and again shows that The Gazette is in line with Colorado gun owners. We are lucky that we are served by a media that has not succumbed to the mass hysteria that so many other news sources have given in to.

  3. #3
    Campaign Veteran
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Castle Rock, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    392

    Post imported post

    It's a good article. While I disagree with the position that Conoco is taking, it is certainly the right of a private property owner to ban firearms.

  4. #4
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Thornton, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    113

    Post imported post

    Seems to me like this is a tricky situation. I agree that the owner of the property can say that they don't want guns on the property. However if the gun is kept in the truck I would feel that is the private property of the owner of said truck and would be his choice to leave it in the truck. Now if he leaves the truck with the gun on his person to go into the workplace where he knows they don't want guns then he would begoing against the rights of the property owner.I guess what it comes down to is where does ones rights takeover the others. If you couldn't keep the gun in the truck because the truck was on the property then it would seem somewhat logical that the property owner has rights to your truck, at least temporarily. Whose property rights trumps whose?

  5. #5
    Campaign Veteran
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Castle Rock, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    392

    Post imported post

    Bebop wrote:
    Seems to me like this is a tricky situation. I agree that the owner of the property can say that they don't want guns on the property. However if the gun is kept in the truck I would feel that is the private property of the owner of said truck and would be his choice to leave it in the truck. Now if he leaves the truck with the gun on his person to go into the workplace where he knows they don't want guns then he would begoing against the rights of the property owner.I guess what it comes down to is where does ones rights takeover the others. If you couldn't keep the gun in the truck because the truck was on the property then it would seem somewhat logical that the property owner has rights to your truck, at least temporarily. Whose property rights trumps whose?
    You raise an excellent point. It will be interesting to see what happens.

  6. #6
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    37

    Post imported post

    I completely agree with your view. I too believe that as long as it remains inside the vehicle, it should not be subject to the businesses anti-gun policy.

  7. #7
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Cañon City, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    64

    Post imported post

    Too bad the Gazette is filled with hypocrites. They preach and publish that they support lawful gun owners, yet their building is a gun free zone.
    Reference:
    http://www.rmgo.org/merchant/merchant_listing.shtml


  8. #8
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    374

    Post imported post

    albritton77 wrote:
    Too bad the Gazette is filled with hypocrites. They preach and publish that they support lawful gun owners, yet their building is a gun free zone.
    Reference:
    http://www.rmgo.org/merchant/merchant_listing.shtml
    How can you say that they're hypocrites when you've had a chance to read their views on property rights?

    Or do you think that they should be forbidden to determine what comes onto their property just because they support gun rights?

  9. #9
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Cañon City, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    64

    Post imported post

    Flyer22 -- You missed the point of my statement.
    HYPOCRISY was the point of the statement.
    Exercising personal/business property rights was NOT.

    Yes, they are completely legal in denying weapons in their place of business.
    NO, they are NOT practicing what they preach when it comes to law-abiding citizens carrying weapons. If they GENUINELY embraced the philosophy that CCW holders are NOT problematic, then they would remove their no weapons postings and policies.

    Therein lies the hypocrisy.
    (Expressed agreement that CCW holders aren't a problem, yet their real convictions lie in the no weapons postings.)

    Definition of hypocrisy:
    an expression of agreement that is not supported by real conviction

    Reference:
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-USfficial&hs=2zO&defl=en&q=define:hypocr isy&sa=X&oi=glossary_definition&ct=tit le

  10. #10
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Cañon City, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    64

    Post imported post

    On the same note of personal property rights....
    I carry in my home.
    I have no problem if my guests carry as well.
    Why would I forbid someone from doing something in my house (or place of business) that I do?

    Therein lies my point: It's all or nothing. Either you ABSOLUTELY practice what you preach, or you quit preaching.

    "Compromise" and "mutual agreements" are the first steps towards destruction.
    (Give a little, take a little.... How much has to be given before the opposition is satisfied?)

  11. #11
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    37

    Post imported post

    Perhaps what The Gazette needs is "an education campaign aimed at changing the way corporate America views firearms."

    As much as I also hate hypocrites, I would rather have a local paper that demonstrates duality than one that constantly bashes gun rights and owners.

  12. #12
    Founder's Club Member Jim675's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Bellevue, Washington, USA
    Posts
    1,037

    Post imported post

    Bebop wrote:
    Seems to me like this is a tricky situation. I agree that the owner of the property can say that they don't want guns on the property. However if the gun is kept in the truck I would feel that is the private property of the owner of said truck and would be his choice to leave it in the truck. Now if he leaves the truck with the gun on his person to go into the workplace where he knows they don't want guns then he would begoing against the rights of the property owner.I guess what it comes down to is where does ones rights takeover the others. If you couldn't keep the gun in the truck because the truck was on the property then it would seem somewhat logical that the property owner has rights to your truck, at least temporarily. Whose property rights trumps whose?
    I agree.
    Guns are also different because they are the only piece of property specifically protected in the Constitution. To me this is different than the employer saying "No one with a red shirt can come in.".

    It seems closer to saying "no one may wear a piece of clothing we associate with religion (yarmulke, cross, reversed collar, head scarf, abaya, etc.)".

    Would that really fly? As tricky as it is to implement any kind of dress code in a US business I would think this would be shot down in seconds.



  13. #13
    Regular Member Anubis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Arapahoe County CO, ,
    Posts
    451

    Post imported post

    The first judge to rule in this case accepted the argument that allowing guns locked in the employees' vehicles violated the OSHA requirement to maintain a safe workplace. But now OSHA has sent a letter stating that OSHA is not concerned with guns in cars or the possibility of random acts of violence and has no objection to Oklahoma's parking lot law.

    http://ohsonline.com/articles/2009/0...er-letter.aspx

  14. #14
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs, ,
    Posts
    6

    Post imported post

    albritton,

    As a longtime Gazette employee AND the author of this editorial, I'd like to explain how the "hypocracy" happens. Our editorial voice is based on the principles that were laid down by our company's founder, R.C. Hoiles. It's based on individual liberty, rights and responsibility, the Golden Rule and the 10 commandments. It's often been called libertarian, but it differs in a few areas from that. Our corporate policies, however, come mostly from the lawyers and corporate guys who don't necessarily subscribe to our editorial philosophy. There was a pretty good discussion of the opposing property rights - personal and corporate - on The Gazette's Web site. You can see the whole thing at http://www.gazette.com/opinion/prope..._firearms.html.

    I won't get into the debate again here, I believe I've said my piece and I'm not likely to change anyone's mind. It's one of those things upon which reasonable people can differ.

    Shoot safely, shoot often.

    George

  15. #15
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    37

    Post imported post

    George,
    thank you for taking the time to comment here. I hope that we see more of your "opinions" here in these forums.

    I hope there are no hard feelings, corporate or personal, regarding my posting from The Gazette on this forum.

    Chief

  16. #16
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs, ,
    Posts
    6

    Post imported post

    No hard feelings at all! But my boss did ask that further postings simply post the link to our Web site rather than posting the actual editorial. But I'm guilty of posting a news report on the self-defense shooting that happened in Colorado Springs last month.

    I hope to participate more here, as I've learned a lot about open carry here and might even start carrying sometimes.



Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •