By David Codrea
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- “A Universal Orlando worker who was fired after someone stole a gun from his car at work has sued his former employer,” the Orlando Sentinel reported. “A licensed concealed weapons holder, [Dean] Kumanchik regularly took his gun to and from work and kept it locked in his vehicle. He parked in an area accessible to both employees and the public. In December, someone broke into his vehicle and stole the gun. He reported it to police. Upon learning what had happened, Universal immediately fired him.”
So much for doing the right thing. So much for putting 20 years of your life into a place.
Universal didn’t care. Back when Florida first passed a law allowing employees with concealed carry permits to keep their guns locked in their cars while at work, the theme park giant claimed having a public alternative education school located on a limited section of property exempted the whole place from state law. Ditto for Disney, which maintains their fireworks license means they are free to ban guns from employee vehicles.
It’s not like Kumanchik wanted to carry the gun while at work, a fitting subject for another column. For now, suffice it to say that both Universal and Disney policies mean their employees are not only disarmed while at work, but while going to and from work as well. And it’s not like top dollar-paying theme park patrons don’t have to compromise their rights by walking through metal detectors as a condition of entry.
The outrage is, the bans are based on hysteria and prejudice, a combination of hoplophobia, hostility to the Second Amendment, and of valuing political correctness over all other considerations. It’s not like corporate risk management honchos and insurance carriers are known for their leadership on challenging misconceptions, and that makes it fair to ask “Why?”
On what do they base their assumptions?
“By a factor of 12-to-1, economists believe that permitted concealed handguns reduce rather than increase murder rates,” John Lott of the Crime Prevention Research Center told Townhall. “Despite their differences, still criminologists also believe this by a factor of just 2-to-1.”
Looking at violent crimes that succeed in so-called “gun-free zones,” and at both survey results as well as at documented defensive gun use incidents provides good indications for why that is. Those whose professions require observing facts will be less inclined to be swayed by “feelings” – at least those who aren’t secure in their academic tenure, and/or feeding off of agenda-motivated grants.
Are such policies justifiable, and what should a private company’s liability be if its gun bans result in employees or customers prevented from the means of self defense being injured or killed, including while traveling to or from work? Is it strictly a private property issue, where a business owner can set up whatever restrictions he likes and you either accept his terms and conditions or you don’t? Yes, we know about Christian bakers and gay wedding cakes, so what the law should be also factors in.
It would seem liability for property hazards should also play a part. If you are injured due to an unsafe condition on the premises, there’ll be no shortage of lawyers ready to take your case on contingency.
For now, gun owners have a variety of options, ranging from obeying or ignoring “No guns” signs and assuming the attendant risks, to giving your business to a more-deserving competitor, to passing out cards explaining to management why they won’t get your business, to requiring them to assume liability for injuries sustained while following their policies as a condition of patronage.
That last one could conceivably apply to conditions of employment as well. Will Universal or Disney accept responsibility to protect employees they require to be disarmed? What financial liability do they accept if an employee obeys their policy and is hurt or killed? None?
And of course, all these response measures ignore the simple fact that if gun owners made a point of withholding their business from companies that don’t honor their rights, and of giving it to those that do, economics-driven marketplace corrections would occur. Sure, it’s impractical to boycott all businesses, but some choices are easy to make.
If you see a “No guns” sign on a restaurant door, go to a place that doesn’t have one. And as far as the larger venues that don’t have alternatives are concerned, do you really need to go and drop hundreds of dollars just to stand in line for an hour to take a five-minute ride (lather, rinse, repeat)? There are enough gun owners that if a significant number of them withheld their business and made it known why, such expense-heavy places would soon feel the burn.
As long as a critical mass of gun owners values trivial entertainment more than it does rights, don’t expect anything to change. And as long as those same gun owners remain detached from the rigors of activism, finding legislators that will pass laws, and courts that will agree with financially-outgunned Mr. Kumanchik through appeals to final resolution, seems a long shot.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.