We must be slipping. It’s unusual for us to miss a hugely important and widespread new story about the multitude of people facing sanctions because they chose not to obey an employer’s prohibition against bringing guns to work.
What’s that you say? There is no such hugely important and widespread new story? Well, that’s a relief.
But we’re still confused, because if there is no such hugely important and widespread Second Amendment outrage happening, then why was state Sen. Rich Alloway, R-Franklin, rushing to insert legislation to address that nonexistent outrage into a bill that has absolutely no relevance to guns?
Most likely habit. As a prime mover behind Pennsylvania’s Stand Your Ground law in 2011, Alloway has a track record of boosting the National Rifle Association’s legislative priorities.
Which brings us to June 26, when the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 10-4 to add Alloway’s legislation as an amendment to a bill dealing with criminal penalties for retaliation against witnesses. The so-called Bring Your Gun to Work amendment would, in a nutshell, bar employers from prohibiting employees from bringing their guns to work so long as they secure them in their vehicles.
There are the usual exceptions associated with school grounds, government buildings, certain industrial operations and private property. But at its most basic, the Senate Judiciary Committee has voted that an employee’s gun rights trump an employer’s property rights. If nothing else, we’ve got to give Alloway credit for the dilemma he’s presented to conservatives who tend to support both property and gun rights.
But this is yet another activist solution to a problem that doesn’t exist, similar to the GOP citing nonexistent voter impersonation as a reason for a vote-suppressing and ultimately quashed voter ID law. In both cases, we’re talking about lawmakers doing the bidding of out-of-state lobbyists (the NRA and the American Legislative Exchange Council, respectively) interested in social engineering for the sake of making points instead of solving problems.
Furthermore, who thinks it’s a good idea to increase the number of firearms present at the one place where people are most likely to face make-or-break consequences for their behavior? “Oh, you’re firing me? Hold that thought, I have to run to the parking lot!”
The rationale for this legislation, like all other proposed reductions in gun controls, is based solely on fear. But what if someone attacks you during your commute? What if someone jumps you in the parking lot while, um, your gun is still locked in your trunk? What if that scruffy dude in the mailroom steals your parking spot? What if?
It seems as though anyone who owns a piece of land should be able to set rules for acceptable behavior thereupon. They should be able to decide who’s allowed on premises, and what they’re allowed to bring with them. There are many valid, real-world reasons why some employers might wish to keep guns off their property, and nothing but hypothetical what ifs to argue otherwise.
The following editorial appeared Monday by Digital First Media Pennsylvania.