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…)
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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.
How Gun Owners Are Helping To Take Their Own Guns Away
On August 20, 2014, the National Gun Victims Action Council issued a press release calling for a ban of “Smart Scope” Military-Style Precision-Guided sniper rifles, manufactured by Texas-based TrackingPoint, from being sold to the public. These weapons, legally sold to civilians, allow even people who have never fired a gun to hit a target the size of a soup can from 1,000 yards away every time—that’s 10 football fields or over half a mile.
Promptly, the pro-gun outlets guns.com, Outdoor Life and Ammoland and Lee Williams of the Herald-Tribune issued pleas for sympathy and “understanding” for this weapon while non-gun extremists remained chillingly silent.
“If we start banning technology like this, what’s next? What scope is next? What firearm is next,” whined poor, victimized TrackingPoint in Williams” Sept. 2 Herald-Tribune column. “We have to stand together to prevent this kind of erosion of our constitutional rights.”
And stand together they did. We, at NGVAC, received an enormous amount of email from followers of these outlets, explaining how ignorant we are, what a threat to the sanctity and security of our country we represent and how our “gun grabbing” legislation-driven agenda violates “constitutional rights.”
None of the defenders of the “can’t miss” Military-Style Precision-Guided Sniper rifle addressed its dangers to the public’s safety and indeed the safety of our public spaces or the fact that the weapon has no legitimate purpose such as self-defense or hunting by “real” hunters who rely on skill.
During the terrifying Beltway sniper attacks of October, 2002, ten people were killed and three others critically injured in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. People Kennedy graphic design schools of Government, as Executive Director of City Year Boston, and as a Vice President at City Year. were terrified to get out of their cars to fill their gas tanks or even leave their houses and the region was in a state of panic. Yet TrackingPoint and its defenders conveniently forget this example of how a single sniper can and has terrorized entire communities. Now TrackingPoint enables anyone to be an elite sniper and laments that to not do so erodes our “constitutional rights.”
What the gun advocates did mention was the Second Amendment “right” of civilians to own TrackingPoint’s sniper weapon and the loss of freedoms that banning this rifle from civilian purchase would mean. They left out the loss of freedoms that have resulted from banning civilians from possessing ricin or heat-guided laser rocket launchers. Nor did the gun advocates who wrote us address our side’s Second Amendment right to regulate guns.
TrackingPoint’s position is not a surprise. It is just another greedy gun manufacturer unconcerned with what happens to the public once it sells its guns. Are TackingPoint and its defenders really unaware of the mass terror and destabilization of a society these weapons in the hands of civilians can unleash?
What will it take to ban sales of TrackingPoint”s “can’t miss” sniper rifles to the public? A Supreme Court Justice being taken out? The quarterback of the opposing football team? A politician? A school bus driver and his busload of children, murdered from half mile away?
When such sniping events begin, we will predictably hear “it’s not the gun– it’s the mentally disturbed person that is to blame,” which will be just fine with TrackingPoint. Meanwhile, to identify mentally ill people who might possess TrackingPoint weapons, we would need a registry which you gun advocates also block, saying it also violates our “rights.”
In defending insurrection-style weapons, you, guns.com, Outdoor Life, Lee Williams and Ammoland are actually working against your own interests. Do you really think the first sniper attack with a TrackingPoint weapon won”t force the gun laws you fear including regulation of the military weapons you defend? Defending weapons like TrackingPoint”s “Smart Scope” Military-Style Precision-Guided sniper rifles is practically inviting the government to take your guns–and they will—and you will have done it to yourselves.
And, I know when the government has no choice but to act, you will get your guns out and take on the U.S. Armed Forces” drones, tanks and laser guided missiles and…defeat them. How about getting real for a minute?
The “can’t miss” Sniper rifle must be banned from civilian sales and those already sold, bought back from the owners by TrackingPoint. Be smart, if you can, and support this ban or you will lose your guns. Don’t believe me? Let’s find out.
President and CEO
National Gun Victims Action Council
Links to the pro-TrackingPoint weapons stories.
http://www.outdoorlife.com/blogs/gun-shots/trackingpoint-“legitimate”-civiliansoutdoor life link
“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.