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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Guns at work

Indiana Senate Bill 11 would prohibit most public and private employers from adopting or enforcing rules barring firearms from company property. The Journal Gazette is, naturally, appalled:

Advocates for gun rights argue that law-abiding citizens should be allowed to keep weapons locked in their cars, but they ignore the tragic examples of employees who have taken the lives of co-workers when overcome by rage.

The editorial's sole argument is to list several examples of people going nuts and shooting up the office and then chide the bill's sponsor for "supporting workplace violence." No mention is made of the possibility that many, if not most, of those shootings occurred at businesses that prohibited firearms, that people in a rage don't care much about rules or that some of those armed, law-abiding citizens might have stopped the rage-induced shooters with fewer innocent people killed.

But there is a better argument against the bill that does not involve going around in the same old gun-debate circles, one which the JG briefly quotes the Indiana Chamber of Commerce head as offering but which it does not pick up on itself:

"We believe that the property rights of the employers should trump the Second Amendment rights of the person owning and wanting to bring the gun on the employer's premises," Brinegar said.

That's the same argument expressed by many against government-ordered smoke-free workplaces. Such laws co-opt the private-property rights of business owners. And there is no conflict between property rights and Second Amendment rights, Mr. Brinegar's remarks notwithstanding. The Second Amendment prohibits the government -- and, specifically, the Congress of the United States -- from interfering with the right to bear arms. It does not prohibit property owners from saying what may or may not be brought onto their property.


tim zank
Tue, 03/10/2009 - 4:59pm

No big surprise there. The Journal Gazette is once again reinforcing my firmy held belief that most liberals (especially those with a platform) simply cannot see the forest for the trees.

The biggest hole in their argument (of which there are many but I'll just point one out) is this:

In every single example they list in their editorial, what possible difference would a law banning guns in the workplace have made? NONE. ABSOLUTELY NONE.

In each case, you had a disgruntled, mentally ill person that most certainly would not have paid attention to the HR memo about leaving your gun at home, or the "deterrent" of knowing there was a law on the books that forbid taking your 38 to work. Sorry, but if you think a law would have made any difference, you are a moron.

They didn't just "snap" and remember their "piece" was on their hip, they set out that day to SHOOT people, as many as they could and themselves. To think having a law in place would have stopped any of the incidents is asinine and pure folly.

I swear to God, you people live in a different universe.

Bob G.
Wed, 03/11/2009 - 8:21am

It's called BIZARRO WORLD!

(where everything truly IS back-asswards)


tim zank
Wed, 03/11/2009 - 12:45pm

Here's a timely event for an update:


In a country that has argueably the strictest gun laws on the planet, this moron kills 16 people.

The moral to the story is: People who are evil, crazy or both will find a weapon in the most regulated circumstances to carry out their carnage.

When I'm standing in a line somewhere and some yahoo starts shooting, I feel a whole lot better knowing I can shoot back, thank you very much.