«Case 8.4: Have Gun, Will Travel…to Work» - Free Essay Paper
The subject of gun rights is among the most controversial ones in American politics. With time, the issue has occurred in the workplace. In fact, some employers, business owners and employees support the National Rifle Association, while others argue on the proposition that employees should be allowed to carry guns to their place of work. Specifically, the critical argument is as follows. Since it is a constitutional right to bear arms, guns should be allowed in the workplace at least up to the car park. The opposing claim is that the employers and business owners have their right to property, which means that they can forbid people to carry guns to the workplace. An analysis of the issue reveals that while the employees have the right to carry guns, the property rights of the employers and safety concerns suggest that they cannot have the weapons inside the cars in parking lots. Moreover, state legislators have no liberty to intervene in the issue.
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The first question enquires whether one has a moral or a legal right to own a gun and keep in it the parked car regardless of what the owner of the park wants. It is apparent that one party grounds in the Second Amendment to the US Constitution to bear arms (DeGrazia, 2016). According to DeGrazia (2016), a gun owner has a negative derivative moral right to enforce other rights. Therefore, the moral aspect of the right of carrying guns seeks to enforce the moral rights to self-defense and physical security (DeGrazia, 2014). Consequently, because people have a moral right to physical security, they also have a liberty to carry guns (DeGrazia, 2016). However, the right to property is also a fundamental right as the right to bear arms. Thus, it is not morally correct for a gun owner to expect his/her right to carry a gun to be respected, while he/she cannot respect the right of the premises’ owner to restrain visitors from bringing guns to his/her property (Shaw, 2014). Therefore, there seems to be neither moral nor legal right to park a car with a loaded gun in a parking lot if the owner objects to such actions.
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The second question asks whether the employees have any legal or moral right to park their cars with guns inside in the company parking lot. The question also calls for the discussion of the property rights and the safety needs of the employers. Employees have both legal and moral rights to protect themselves (DeGrazia, 2016). However, the right is subservient to the property right of the business owner or employer. Thus, employees have no legal or moral right to carry the weapons into the premises of the employer, including the parking lot. The workers’ actions would violate the property right of the employer (Steines, 2014). Moreover, the employer should have the legal right to restrict the list of things that the employer can or cannot bring into all work premises (Steines, 2007). The parking lot is private property, and the employers can list the items not allowed on their private property. In regards to safety concerns, the workplace can be a place of scuffles and disagreements, some of which end up in an assault in the extreme cases (Steines, 2007). Guns can turn the confrontations fatal.
State legislators sought to enact laws that would allow employees to have guns in their cars in the parking lot at the working place, because employees have a right to bear arms. However, most constitutional principles can only be expressed in the cases of where individual private property is not involved (Steines, 2007). On this basis, it is not legally and morally correct for the legislators to become involved in the aforementioned issue. The employers have the right to allow guns on premises if they want to since they are protected by individual and private property rights. Moreover, they should be able to regulate what they allow to enter their property without government coercion (Steines, 2007). Consequently, it is erroneous for the legislators to get involved in the gun control issue in the privately-owned parking lots.
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The last question calls for discussion of the circumstances that explain a reason for the company to allow the employs to carry guns not just into the parking lot, but also their working areas. In cases where the workplace itself is a dangerous zone, the employer should allow the employees to carry weapons on the job. The instance of a dangerous job is logging in woods with dangerous animals. However, in the normal work environment, the employees’ desire to have a gun would be justified as the coworkers’ rights to a safe working environment are under violation (Steines, 2007). The employer should be willing to suits for compensation for any injury under the general duty of care, compensation for injuries or death sustained at the workplace, and vicarious liability (Steines, 2007). Thus, from the economy standpoint and out of respect for the employees, most employers will not allow the employees to carry guns to the workplace.
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As is apparent from the analysis, the issue of weapons at the workplace is a multifaceted one. Ultimately, employers reserve the right to disallow weapons in their parking lot. Moreover, legislators should not become involved in the same issue. The case review proves that the Second Amendment offers indisputable legal right to carry firearms. There is a moral derivative right to bear arms, too. However, the liberty does not extend to the right to have weapons in the car in a parking lot if the owner of the car park prohibits the firearms. The rule extends to the workplace. Moreover, the state legislatures should not deal with the issue of private property and rights to carry guns. The exceptional circumstances are when the employer explicitly allows employees to carry guns past the parking lot. Otherwise, the presence of firearms in the workplace is violation of the right of the other employees to have a safe working environment.
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