Corporate Headquarters Are “Gun-Free Zones–Not Too Many Shootings There
It is hard to believe that every store, restaurant and public place in the US bans smoking yet people carrying lethal weapons–some not even trained or permitted–are welcomed.
“Accidents” and rage incidents from gun carriers happen so frequently, they do not even make the news. Who remembers that a guest felt he needed a gun for a Waldorf Astoria hotel wedding and shot another guest in the head? Who remembers the shootings at Starbucks stores in Cheyenne, Wyoming and St. Petersburg, Florida by customers who felt they needed to carry a gun to buy a latte?
A growing number of businesses do ban guns and many others, afraid to go on record as banning guns because of a backlash, politely request guests leave their guns “in their cars.” According to top law firm Mayer Brown LLP property owners are governed by a “common-law standard of care,” and failure to put up signs banning guns may expose them to significant financial risks: if someone is shot accidentally or intentionally in an office, retail, mall or residential building, they can sue the property owner if “No Guns Allowed” signs were not posted. (Some gun safety advocates add that if businesses allow guns, customers should be warned on signs that they are entering a zone with gun carriers.)
When it comes to gun bans, gun advocates argue their “right” to defend themselves is violated (never addressing why they feel threatened in the same places women, children and old people don’t.) They also argue “gun-free zones” are inherently unsafe though gunmen recently attacked a Dallas police station, an Arkansas Air Force Base and other clearly armed places. In fact, “at least two service members involved in the Chattanooga shooting were carrying personal weapons during the attack, in possible violation of current military rules, and unsuccessfully returned fire,” reports Military Times. Clearly the problem is not lack of guns but why an obvious terrorist passed his background check and killed our troops.
Gun advocates also think by carrying they will “save the day” in a crime situation though Mayer Brown says there is a body of evidence demonstrating that armed citizens do not protect themselves and others but make the environment far less safe than if no guns were present. Beside the lack of training of most armed citizens as exposed in NGVAC’s nationally cited research this summer, how are law enforcement officers supposed to know who are the armed good guys and who are the armed bad guys?
Of course the ultimate proof that so called “gun-free zones” are not inherently dangerous are corporate headquarters. It’s no secret that corporations ban guns in their executive offices and boardrooms. Companies don’t have to be told the risks of an enraged shooter or accident to their CEO and corporate staff. Has anyone ever heard of a shooting in Exxon Mobile or General Motors headquarters?
Corporations clearly know guns are dangerous and protect their highest paid staff. But they refuse to protect employees and customers from the same risks by banning guns–saying they are just “following local laws.” They don’t “follow local laws” with their CEOs and officers. That is why NGVAC is launching a new, aggressive campaign to force corporations to take a stand against gun violence and get “off the sidelines.” Stay tuned.