Rockford, Illinois – -(AmmoLand.com)- When discussing corporate gun control, Second Amendment supporters need to keep in mind that it doesn’t just include actions like those Salesforce carried out a couple of years ago. It can also include a number of other policies, like, for instance, self-defense.
Decades ago, 7-11 became notorious among Second Amendment supporters for firing a clerk who had used a firearm in self-defense, in violation of the company’s policy to comply with robbers. In 2002, the company prevailed in a lawsuit after firing a clerk who resisted a robber.
One such case hit the news involving an employee at a Rockford, Illinois, Subway restaurant. This time, Araceli Sotelo has not been fired for defending herself – technically. She’s been suspended until the video of her defending herself during an armed robbery is off the internet. As Second Amendment supporters proved in taking down the nomination of David Chipman, once something is on the internet, it’s there forever. So, for all intents and purposes, Sotelo has been fired for protecting herself, albeit the indefinite suspension leaves her in a state of limbo.
Whether it is a corporate policy imposed on the franchisee or if it’s a decision by the franchisee (who is a small-business owner), Sotelo is being punished for protecting herself. It’s an injustice, as she is the victim of a violent crime and now has financial insecurity added to it.
But while we have an obvious injustice – not to mention a very dangerous blanket ban on self-defense – rectifying it is not so simple in these cases. Part of the problem is obvious to anyone who has read some of Massad Ayoob’s writings over the decades on armed self-defense. The fact is, acting in self-defense does carry risks – and for many business owners, or those high up the corporate ladder, those risks spell legal liability and/or a public relations fiasco.
For instance, last month a 7-11 clerk in Texas was indicted on a murder charge after an incident involving two alleged shoplifters. This past October, a convenience store clerk in New York was charged with manslaughter in another incident involving a shoplifter. Those cases will be formidable obstacles to getting this policy changed in many business settings.
Another fundamental difference is that these are private entities and as such, not subject to the constitutional limitations that the government would be held within. Legislative and political efforts may make it harder for a company to punish an employee who acts in self-defense, but as Sotelo’s case shows, they will still find ways.
To get these companies to change their policies to something that more closely resembles common sense, to say nothing of respecting those who exercise their Second Amendment rights, will take a lot of persuasion and compromise. One step that should be considered is to allow companies to require that employees who wish to have the implements for self-defense readily available complete personal protection courses, like those offered by the NRA.
Remember that these businesses are private property, and just as we fight to have our rights respected and acknowledged, we need to do the same for these businesses. At the same time, pressure should be applied to reverse obviously unjust actions against employees who act to defend themselves. Second Amendment supporters should contact Subway and politely urge them to reverse the suspension of Ariceli Sotelo.
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.