January 21, 2016
It’s every employer’s worst nightmare. An angry employee with a gun takes out his revenge on a boss, coworkers or both. Recently the San Bernardino holiday party massacre and the on-camera Roanoke TV crews shootings were workplace violence. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘Caterpillar’
It’s every employer’s worst nightmare. An angry employee with a gun takes out his revenge on a boss, coworkers or both.
In 2012, Andrew J. Engeldinger did it when he killed five and injured three after being fired from his job at Accent Signage Systems in Minneapolis. Lawrence Jones did it when he killed two coworkers and wounded two others at a Fresno chicken processing plant the same year. In 2011, Rocky T. Christian, did it when he shot and killed his boss at Build Direct Floor, LLC in Apopka, Florida. This summer in Chicago, Tony DeFrances, a chief technology officer for ArrowStream, also brouht his gun to work and shot the CEO in the head and stomach. Hey, he was mad!
In 2012, 375 employees were shot and killed on the job, says the Department of Labor. If you are an employee, you are five times as likely to be shot to death at work if your employer allows guns says an American Journal of Public Health study.
Gun advocates have pushed through laws letting people bring their guns to work, storing them in their cars, in 22 states. The NRA says an Alabama version of the law, which went into effect last summer, “extends the current Castle Doctrine to include places of business to ensure the right of self-defense does not end when you enter your business.”
Employers see it differently. “Allowing employees to have near, immediate access to firearms, at work, creates an element of risk that is unacceptable,” said Mark Hogan, FedEx’s vice president for security, in testimony in 2012 before Tennessee lawmakers. “Much like a private homeowner is able to tell his guests whether they can bring a gun into his yard, FedEx should have the right to decide what it will and will not allow on its private property,” says Hogan. Volkswagen, Caterpillar and Bridgestone joined FedEx in opposing the expansionistic gun laws.
Forcing property owners to allow guns is so intrusive, even an NRA member objected when the laws began surfacing eight years ago. Bob Thornton, a former liquor store owner, actually heckled NRA leader Wayne LaPierre at an Atlanta news conference which announced the campaign. “I really object to the government getting involved to say what’s allowed on my property,” he said, sporting a “Wayne Never Asked Me” T-shirt.
Joe Fleming, senior vice president for government affairs at the Georgia Chamber of Commerce agreed in a 2008 newspaper oped. The NRA has “threatened all Georgia senators who fail to fall on bended knee with ‘F’s’ on the next NRA re-election scorecard,” he wrote. “Those senators who don’t succumb to the NRA’s bully-tactics, name-calling, temper tantrums, insults and lies will be subjected to election-year retaliation.” The Florida Retail Federation and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida also opposed the coercive gun laws which force property owners to take on risks not their own.
As always, the NRA tries to make gun carriers victims instead of aggressors. Banning weapons on parking lots “is a wrecking ball for the Second Amendment,” pronounced Wayne LaPierre. “It’s also a blueprint for totally eviscerating and nullifying right-to-carry legislation in 38 states in our country,” because despite the “constitutional right to have a firearm” carriers “couldn’t stop anywhere.”
Of course safety and insurance-minded property owners say that is exactly the point. Like cigarettes, you can have your gun at home but don’t even think of bringing it in here. Why should employees and customers be exposed to a 500 percent increase in their gunshot risk because carriers are afraid to go places without their guns? Lawmaker may be muzzled by the gun lobby but corporations aren’t.
Tell corporate America to get off the gun violence “sidelines.” Join our action against TrackingPoint’s sniper weapons and Hallmark, the only major corporation that has publicly sworn it will never support anti-gun initiatives. When corporations want sane gun laws, we will have sane gun laws.
It “simply defies common sense to believe that imposing a new and entirely arbitrary number of bullets that can be lawfully loaded into a firearm will somehow eradicate, or even reduce, future instances of mass violence,” you said while vetoing a bill to reduce the size of ammunition magazines this summer. Instead, you suggested a series of changes to New Jersey’s mental health system to help prevent future shootings. Right. It was James Holmes’ mental illness not the 50 to 60 shots a minute he got off that caused the Colorado movie theatre massacre!
STILL CAVING TO GUN EXTREMISTS, YOU, CHRIS CHRISTIE, ARE THE NRA PUPPET OF THE WEEK
Tell corporate America to get off the gun violence “sidelines.” Join our action against TrackingPoint weapons and Hallmark, the only major corporation that has publicly sworn it will never support anti-gun initiatives. When corporations want sane gun laws, we will have sane gun laws.
“How are those Chicago gun laws working out for you?” gun activists like to goad NGVAC and other anti-gun violence groups. They act as if some invisible metal detector stops illegal guns from states and counties with looser gun laws at their borders. And that legitimate and licensed gun dealers aren’t flooding the criminal gun market themselves.
The truth is, since 2009, 1,500 guns found at crime scenes in Chicago have come from one gun store, Chuck’s in suburban Riverdale. Chuck’s along with Shore Galleries, Midwest Guns and Westforth Sports provided 20 percent of Chicago’s crime guns in the last four years says a May Chicago Police Department report. None of the criminal-friendly operations are in Chicago city limits and only one is even in Chicago’s Cook County–which is the “How are those Chicago gun laws working out for you?” answer.
It takes a lot of nerve for gun activists, who mostly reside in rural and exurban areas, to both berate Chicago’s gun violence rate and add to it. Days after the Newtown massacre, pro-gun lawyers got Illinois’ concealed carry ban lifted and unloosed thousands of “carriers” on the state. Then, they gratuitously targeted a ban on gun dealers within Chicago city limits, getting it overturned in February. What?
Last weekend, Father Michael Pfleger, a beloved Chicago anti-gun activist, led a demonstration at Chuck’s where a phalanx of belligerent gun activists shouted “gun home.” In an offensive email about the event, the Illinois State Rifle Association derided the Catholic Priest’s “special brand of frothy-lipped lunacy” and “lies, the fabricated statistics, and the hysterical claims about how private firearm ownership is dooming mankind,” and actually compared an unarmed religious leader to… ISIS!
In the Chicago suburb of Niles, similar intimidation tactics are at play and also working. In July, the municipality approved a special use permit to allow the opening of a gun range 1,000 feet from new Hope Academy and close to five other schools including Niles West High School. The firing range “is not necessary for the public convenience, since Niles already has a store that sells guns and a ﬁrearms training facility,” says a flier from People For a Safer Society. “The public health, safety, and welfare are not protected, given the serious concerns of community members. The new business will cause substantial injury to property in the neighborhood.”
Opponents of the gun range say it violates a Cook County ordinance prohibiting deadly weapons dealers within a mile of public or private schools or a public park and that Niles Police Department employees both testified to the range’s safety and are employed there–a conflict of interest. One opponent says Niles police evicted him from a park for distributing literature against the range.
Amazingly, the manager of the Niles range will be Michael Darga who managed another of Chicago’s four leading crime-gun associated dealers. For 20 years, Darga ran Shore Galleries, located in the Chicago suburb of Lincolnwood, which flooded the illegal market with 483 crime guns between 2009 and 2013.
Anyone who has been to a town hall meeting or even posted an anti-gun violence remark knows how gun activists pile on and intimidate anyone seeking better gun laws. No wonder lawmakers cave! But though they are loud and threatening, gun extremists are small in number and meaningless to corporate America. That is why Panera Bread, Starbucks, Sonic Drive-In, Chili’s Grill & Bar, Chipotle, Jack in the Box and Target have renounced guns just this year with a cascade or more corporations expected soon. That is also why in Niles, People For a Safer Society and other supporters, are eyeing a boycott of area shops, restaurants, and businesses if the deranged gun plan goes through.
As corporate America hears from those of us who do not want guns in our communities whether stores, restaurants or near our schools, the days of the old boy’s network that supports a Chuck’s are ending.
Ask corporate America to continue to get off the gun violence “sidelines.” Join our action against TrackingPoint weapons and Hallmark, the only major corporation that has publicly sworn it will never support anti-gun initiatives. When corporations want sane gun laws, we will have sane gun laws.