Shot and Killed at Work? It Happens About 400 Times a Year in the US
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.
So were a double shooting at a Moorestown, New Jersey armed security company last year and a shooting of four at Sioux Steel Co. in Lennox, South Dakota.
In 2014, there were workplace shootings at the Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf and Resort Spa in Hoover, Alabama, a UPS facility in Birmingham, Arrowstream, a computer company in the middle of Chicago’s Loop and a mass shooting at Fort Hood.
Since the early 2000’s, the gun lobby has sought to let employees “extend the current Castle Doctrine” by pushing through laws that let them bring their guns to work. In some cases, the lobby has gotten laws passed that criminalize an employer for asking if his employee has a gun in his car. It’s none of his business, right?
While the gun lobby says it is trying to let employees protect themselves against “bad guys,” the armed employees often are “bad guys” like Andrew J. Engeldinger who killed five and injured three at Accent Signage Systems in Minneapolis and Lawrence Jones who killed two and wounded two at a Fresno chicken processing plant, both in 2012.
Nor are all workplace shootings industrial. Between 2011 and 2015, women in six different beauty parlors were shot by irate gunmen seeking to harm their partners, and 17 died.
While the Florida Retail Federation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, Volkswagen, Caterpillar, Bridgestone and FedEx have spoken out about the gun lobby’s workplace gun agenda, corporate America remains egregiously quiet against the NRA’s gun expansionism.
All major corporations ban guns in their headquarters and boardrooms for obvious reasons: someone could get shot. Yet they will not stand up to the gun lobby and protect their employees and customers by banning guns in their stores and outlets. Often they say they “follow” local laws which is disingenuous because businesses can always override local laws.
This month, NGVAC is launching a new, aggressive campaign to force corporations to take a stand against violence and get “off the sidelines.” US corporations know gun dangers or they would not ban them in their headquarters and boardrooms. Why should customers and employees not similarly be protected? Our new campaign will disallow corporations their cop-out of “following local laws” and force them to take a stand against gun violence. Stay tuned.
Tags: Accent Signage Systems, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, Bridgestone, Castle Doctrine”, Caterpillar, FedEx, Florida Retail Federation, human resources, mass shootings, San Bernardino, Volkswagen, workplace, workplace violence