The Senate Corrections, Criminal and Civil Matters Committee has passed a bring-your-gun-to-work bill (SB 25), which would prevent employers from having policies that ban weapons from workplace property. The Indiana Chamber of Commerce, representing nearly 5,000 member companies with 800,000 workers, is urging defeat of the bill as a workplace-safety move:
Allowing guns on or near employer property opens the door for more workplace violence. The self-defense argument was clearly refuted by an October 2009 study by University of Pennsylvania researchers that reveals that people in possession of a firearm are almost 4.5 times more likely to be shot in an assault than those not possessing a firearm.
Individuals have the right to bear arms, but businesses have the right to control their own property. If this passes, the legislature is taking sides and negating the private property rights. Should it?
Since Indiana is a concealed-carry state, that means almost anybody I meet out on the street might be armed. I also have the right to carry out there if I choose to, so that I might defend myself if one of them goes nuts. But I can't have a gun in my workplace and would therefore be defenseless should one of those carriers decide to bring the gun into the building and start blasting. We don't have any signs posted saying "Don't bring your guns in here," so should we feel confident that people will assume that and leave their guns in the car? In Texas, which last year rejected a bill that would have allowed guns in college classrooms and car parking lots, they're much more gun aware, so businesses that don't allow guns tend to have clearly posted signs.
None of the cases cited by the Chamber, as far as I can tell, involved an employee who pulled a gun out of his desk or got mad and ran out to the car to get heeled. The shootings were commited by deranged employees who came back to work hours, days or even weeks later, armed and dangerous regardless of what anti-gun policy the company might have. None of them were stopped by saner employees who were also armed. Maybe some of them could have been.
On the other hand, I've worked with some people I am very glad were not allowed to bring guns into the building. It was bad enough dealing with their tempers when they were unarmed.
What do you think, fellow gun nuts?