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Going to Work? Leave Your Civil Rights at Home

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    He changed his clothes and shined his boots,
    And combed his dark hair down.
    And his mother cried as he walked out
    “Don’t take your guns to town.
    Son, leave your guns at home.
    Bill, don’t take your guns to town.”

      — Johnny Cash

It was quite a suprise for Steve Bastible to find a pink slip waiting for him one morning when he arrived at work at the Weyerhaeuser paper mill in the Ouachita Mountains of Oklahoma. He’d been a good worker, hadn’t been reprimanded or told he was in any trouble, but suddenly he was walking out the door. He wasn’t alone, there were 11 other employees with him, including an even more surprised Jimmy Wyatt, a supervisor at the mill who had been working there 22 years with an exemplary record.

There’s nothing more valuable to a company than a loyal, long-term employee who they can count on to show up at work and do a good job. Steve Bastible and Jimmy Wyatt were that kind of worker for Weyerhaueser. But as it turned out they had done something more unacceptable than missing a few days of work or having an extra beer and a two-hour lunch. They’d come to work with a gun in their truck. In an unannounced enhancement of their gun-free workplace policy, one Monday morning Weyerhaueser had security officers go through their parking lot with a gun sniffing dog to identify and search employee vehicles for firearms.

As it turned out, 12 workers had guns in their cars or trucks. Bastible’s storry was typical. The day before he’d been out on his ranch and he had to put down a sick cow with his rifle. He then threw the empty gun in the back of the cab of his pickup and forgot about it. Wyatt’s story was similar. He’d been bird hunting the day before and left his shotgun in the back of his truck. The rest of the employees had similar stories to tell. They carried guns in their trucks because of snakes and coyotes and all the other reasons that people in rural communities like to have firearms handy. Everyone does it. I carried a shotgun in my truck for six months because I kept running rattlesnakes in our driveway.

More importantly, it’s legal in many states, including Oklahoma, to carry a firearm in your vehicle. At the same time, it’s also legal for businesses to prohibit firearms in the workplace, but traditionally a person’s vehicle has been considered private property. Police even need a search warrant to search a car or truck. Yet at Weyerhaueser they had no hesitation to go from prohibiting guns in the workplace to searching parked vehicles without the permission of the owners or a search warrant, and then went ahead and fired people based on the guns they found. Even more outrageously, they didn’t give anyone advance warning that they would be doing this or that they had even extended their gun policy to the parking lot. Plus the employees were fired under a zero-tolerance policy with no regard to past work performance and no kind of warning or appeal option.

Not surprisingly, the fired workers are suing Weyerhaueser. In addition the Oklahoma State Legislature has passed a law protecting the right of employees to have guns in their vehicles. More troubling is that this isn’t an isolated case, and other companies involved in similar gun-related firings are joining Weyerhauser in filing suit against the state of Oklahoma to challenge the new law. These companies include ConocoPhillips, The Williams Company, The Nordam Group, and most ironically, Halliburton, whose Kellogg, Brown and Root subsidiary fired six employees for having guns at work. KBR is, of course, notorious for their extensive employment of professional mercenaries for overseas security work.

The argument used by Weyerhaueser and others for taking this action is that gun-related violence is one of the leading causes of workplace deaths. They cite the classic scenario of an irate employee “going postal” and settling grudges with supervisors or coworkers with a gun. But the truth is that these types of incidents, while widely publicized, are extremely rare – far less common than rapes and muggings in company parking lots – and none of the companies involved have ever had this kind of violent incident at any of their facilities.

This policy also faces the pesky little problem that it’s a complete violation of the Constitution. Not only of 2nd Amendment rights and related state laws which make it legal to carry a gun in your vehicle, but also of the 4th Amendment which protects people from having their cars searched, even by their employers. We often hear concern about the government or the police infringing on our Constitutional rights, but isn’t it really as bad or worse when those basic rights are violated by a private company?

Then there’s the simple common sense issue. Weyerhaueser and the other companies involved are all located in Oklahoma and Texas, states with large rural areas and where almost everyone has a gun. They employ oil workers, lumbermen and even mercenaries. These are people who live in the country, who are often hunters, and for whom guns are just a normal part of everyday life. They throw a gun in the back of their truck with no more thought than other people might leave their jogging shoes in the backseat. Expecting them not to have a gun in their car or truck is just unrealistic. State laws recognizes this and that creates an expectation that having a gun in your vehicle is legal. Plus there are plenty of legitimate reasons for having a gun in your vehicle, from self-defense to protection from coyotes and rattlesnakes – and these are a real danger in Texas and Oklahoma – to just having it handy if you want to stop in at the range after work. In fact, I’m currently carrying one in my truck because mountain lions have been driven into our neighborhood by highway construction. It’s just common sense, and expecting workers to take on unnecessary risk and deal with inconvenience for an arbitrary policy isn’t reasonable.

Not surprisingly, the National Rifle Association is stepping in on the side of the fired employees, with legal support and by organizing a boycott of the companies involved, particularly ConocoPhillips which is the only company which has retail outlets to picket and boycott. However, the boycott could go further. Stockholders in any of these companies could show their displeasure by selling their stock and investing in companies which are more sympathetic to workers rights. Even if you don’t care much about gun rights, the fact that a company is so irresponsible that it would fire good employees in this manner and reduce the quality of its workforce should be of concern to any stockholder.

If you’re concerned about your basic rights as a citizen this is an important issue to keep an eye on.
For more information take a look at these articles: CBS NEWS, New York Times, Wall Street Journal

Dave

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About Dave Nalle

  • http://toddyarling.com todd

    Uh, the Constitution was never meant to be applied to private businesses. It’s a document that purports to limit and control the Federal Government, neither the states nor business.

    The company has every moral right to do what it wishes on its property, and to fire its workers for whatever stupid reason it wants.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Good post.

    It’s terrible to see basic Constitutional rights infringed upon arbitrarily by a corporation.

    Stockholders should dump these companies out of their portfolios ASAP…

  • http://www.naterassociates.com Felix P. Nater

    The safety and security of all employees, service providers, customers and agents are at risk by the gun toting advocate who disregards the civil rights of others.

  • http://westernlibertarian.org Larry

    This argument is way off track. The Bill of Rights was written to limit the federal government — period. (See Cruikshank v. US.) Portions of the Bill of RIghts were later extended under the 14th Amendment to limit state governments. (See the “Slaughterhouse Cases.”)

    NONE of the Bill of Rights limits private parties. A company can fire you for dragging out a bullhorn and making speeches in the parking lot, too (unless, of course, you are a union organizer :-( ).

    You write: “State laws recognizes this and that creates an expectation that having a gun in your vehicle is legal. Plus there are plenty of legitimate reasons for having a gun in your vehicle…”

    Driving a Ford is legal and legitimate, too. But if you work at the GM plant, park a Ford in your slot for two years, and then show up with a NEW Ford in your slot, you may get a pink slip too. Like it or not, private parties have discretion to set conditions as to how you use their property. A “no smoking” policy is probably the clearest example.

    Look, if being a prick were a crime, these guys would have a clear lawsuit. If the article describes Weyerhauser’s “raid” correctly, they were heavy-handed, arrogant bastards. These guys should have been out the next day picketing the company. In fact, their whole damn union should have struck, except that unions are by and large the puppets of the gun-hating liberal Democrats, so good luck with that.

    They may in fact have a real lawsuit for invasion of privacy, because what the company did was very similar to what a peeping Tom does, and your car — even though it is parked on their property — is still YOUR property. But they don’t have a lawsuit under any part of the Bill of Rights — unless they want to make the argument that the “corporation” is really an “arm of the state,” and I wouldn’t give you good odds with that argument in a real, live court.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    I have mixed feelings about this. I believe in a person’s right to bear arms and one’s car is personal property of course. However the parking lot also belongs to the business and the business did have a no firearm policy. And given the fact that people go postal at work and kill coworkers, I can see the companies viewpoint. I see both sides, I guess I have to ultimately side with the company.

    If you feel that you need to carry a gun for protection when you go to work, then you should work someplace else.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>Uh, the Constitution was never meant to be applied to private businesses.< <

    Wrong. The Bill of Rights portion of the Constitution enumerates rights which are universal and protected by infringement by anyone. This is absolutely clear.

    >> It’s a document that purports to limit and control the Federal Government, neither the states nor business.< <

    Then why are there specific items in the Bill of Rights and subsequent amendments which restrict the actions of individuals against others and the actions of states against citizens? For example, the 15th, 19th, 24th and 26th Amendments specifically restrict states from interfering in the voting rights of citizens. Or for that matter, let me quote the 4th Amendment:

    "Amendment IV

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

    Not one word in there about the right to be secure from search and seizure only applying to governments. Likewise the 2nd Amendment says not one word about the right to keep and bear arms being protected only from the government.

    Basic rights can't be qualified that way. You either have them or you don't, and anyone who tries to take them away is violating your rights.

    >>The company has every moral right to do what it wishes on its property, and to fire its workers for whatever stupid reason it wants.<<

    So it has the right to search your car, which the Supreme Court has held to be private property requiring a warrant? Can they come and search your house? Should they be able to read the private email on your home computer?

    The point is that people should be judged by what they do, not what they have in their car, what thoughts may be in their head or any aspects of their personal life.

    Just as most people would hold that you cannot fire someone for being gay or being a woman, you can’t fire them for being a gun owner and keeping that gun in the privacy of their car.

    Dave

  • Bill

    Nobody has a right to limit my rights, sorry. Property rights do not trump my right to self defense, no matter how much you jump up and down and scream like a three year old. The company was clearly wrong for several different reasons. If they are so concerned about a work place shooting, why are they creating a victim disarmament zone?

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>Nobody has a right to limit my rights, sorry. Property rights do not trump my right to self defense, no matter how much you jump up and down and scream like a three year old. The company was clearly wrong for several different reasons. If they are so concerned about a work place shooting, why are they creating a victim disarmament zone?<<

    Because they are unthinking liberals or are being influenced by an insurance company which is dominated by the ‘guns are evil’ philosophy, even though it’s not born out by statistics.

    The property rights issue also cuts both ways, because automobiles are supposed to be private property even when their wheels sit in someone’s parking lot, and searching them without permission is as much a violation of basic rights as prohibiting gun possession is.

    Dave

  • http://lp.org Caleb

    Yep the parking lot belongs to the company but the vehicle belongs to me and is an extension of my private domain. If a company wishes to search without my consent and procedes with the search anyway then they are breaking an entering, ask any lawyer. I will never give consent and I don’t even have a firearm in my privatly car. On the other hand, the company does have a right to fire whoever they wish but they do not have the right to conduct unlawfull searches of personal property.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Exactly, Caleb. And I really feel for the employees in these cases, because I know that I was driving around for about 6 months with a shotgun in the junk in the back of my SUV without even realizing it was there. I’d put it in to go shoot a rattler out by a neighbor’s house and never though to take it back out. I’d hate to be characterized as some sort of crazy and lose my job because of that.

    If there’s any justice they’ll get nice fat settlements after suing their former employers.

    Dave

  • http://toddyarling.com todd

    No one forces you to work at a company with policies like this.

    If you don’t like it, then get another job.

    This is just leftwing anti-business anti-property rights claptrap repackaged for people who think guns are great.

  • gonzo marx

    correct me if i am wrong here, but they didn’t actually search the vehicles, they used dogs to sniff out the cordite

    i don’t like the idea of companies searching me either…but then again, i am also against piss tests on general principle…

    however, under our current laws, companies have the right to fire you however they like and whenever they like, and for whatever they like…

    some folks in the GOP should remember this next time they go off on a “big business is good, and depressing the labor market” is good rant…a nice union would have stopped that shit cold

    your mileage may vary

    Excelsior!

  • http://westernlibertarian.org Larry

    >> Not one word in there about the right to be secure from search and seizure only applying to governments. Likewise the 2nd Amendment says not one word about the right to keep and bear arms being protected only from the government. Basic rights can’t be qualified that way. You either have them or you don’t, and anyone who tries to take them away is violating your rights.

    Sounds good to me. Let’s meet for breakfast tomorrow morning. I’ll be the guy outside your house with a bullhorn at 3 AM reading passages from “Unintended Consequences.”

    Or, you could just read Cruikshank v. US like I suggested earlier, and you might even learn something.

    No classical liberal OR legal scholar takes your claims seriously.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>No one forces you to work at a company with policies like this.<<

    These employees all worked at the company before the policy was initiated and the policy when it was implemented specifically only applied to bringing guns into the office. It did not specify that guns could not be kept in peoples cars.

    There are many who would argue – Michael Badnarik among them – that it’s illegal under the Constitution to prohibit carrying firearms anywhere, including at work, and that the company policy was a civil rights violation. I’m not quite on that page, but I do think the policy was ill-considered.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>however, under our current laws, companies have the right to fire you however they like and whenever they like, and for whatever they like…< <

    Yes, but there are workplace regulations from the feds, and those include notifying people if there is going to be a policy which they might be in violation of so that they have at least a chance to NOT have their guns in their vehicles.

    >>some folks in the GOP should remember this next time they go off on a “big business is good, and depressing the labor market” is good rant…a nice union would have stopped that shit cold<<

    No, the union would have backed up the company and probably kicked the workers out of the union as well.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    still, it is the Company policy…you don’t like it..you don’t have to work for the company…right?

    i find the irony here terribly delicious..pro big business folks getting their panties in a twist over a corporations doings now that it affects one of THEIR core principles…

    hey, ya say the economy is so good, and that it’s just market forces at work, these folks can get other jobs easy, right?

    thanks to the way our government has set up the lax rules for businesses, without a union to negotiate or threaten a strike, these folks are just shit out of luck..i hope the best for them in finding some other job…

    but i think they are going to fail miserably in any kind of legal fight against the company…

    your mileage may vary…

    Excelsior!

  • Maurice

    Here in Idaho it would be suspicious if your gun rack was empty. It is assumed that everybody has several guns in their truck at all times.

    No wonder so many people are moving to Idaho!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>Sounds good to me. Let’s meet for breakfast tomorrow morning. I’ll be the guy outside your house with a bullhorn at 3 AM reading passages from “Unintended Consequences.”< <

    Ok, well I'll be the guy with the rifle who's not calling off the dogs.

    >>Or, you could just read Cruikshank v. US like I suggested earlier, and you might even learn something.< <

    I've read it. I've also read cases from the modern era. Cruikshank is a 130 year old case which has regularly been overruled by the SC in the 20th centiury. In fact, the court ruled against Cruikshank in US vs. Harris as early as 1883. In addition, it has absolutely nothing to do with property rights or the right to bear arms. It's completely irrelevant to this discussion.

    >>No classical liberal OR legal scholar takes your claims seriously.<<

    Want to bet? Perhaps you should read the Supreme Court ruling in US vs. Lopez, and US vs. Harris. For that matter read any book on the basic principles of human rights under natural law. Start with Rousseau, Burke and Godwin. Carry on from there.

    BTW, I went to your website. Hard to imagine there are Libertarians who think the LPUS is too politicized and moderate considering they’ve been rendered totally useless by their ideological inflexibility.

    dave

  • http://blogcritics.org/archives/2005/08/04/152612.php Chris

    The only thing that the company did wrong was in not providing advance notice of the change in the (admittedly stupid) policy, so that compliance could be met.

    Property rights are at the center of the entire issue, for both sides. The mistake is in assuming that property rights and the right to self-defense are different and competing rights.

    Self-defense is an implied right, derived directly from the right to own & use property. The most basic example of property rights is self-ownership. Ownership implies the right to use our property however we wish; neglect it, sell it, damage it, destroy it, or defend it. It also includes the right to set whatever conditions we wish on the use of it by others. (For example, prostitutes want money for the use of their bodies.)

    If a company sets a “no guns allowed” rule for the use of its property, then anyone who uses its property is obligated to obey the rule.

    True, a car is private property; but so is a lunch box. If you can’t carry a gun onto their property by keeping it in your lunchbox, neither can you do it by keeping it in your car. You have two choices; park the car off the property, or quit and go find a job with a company that is more willing to allow you to exercise your rights included in self-ownership when on their property.

    “Can they come to search your house? …your home computer?”

    No; your house and computer are not their property.

    On one’s property, Constitutional guarantees of warrants are irrelevant. (Government property is not “private”, so the Constitution does apply there.)

    If a neighborhood kid comes into my house to visit my son, I do not need a warrant to search his pockets for cigarettes if I refuse to allow tobacco in my house. The kid is free to leave if he doesn’t want to empty his pockets for me.

    At this point, protestors shout that if someone is “open to the public”, then property rights shouldn’t apply. However, “open to the public” means that all are welcome to enter, although there may be rules to be followed; not that a company has to accept anyone who shows up, on any terms they want.

    For example, if I want to eat at a restaurant that requires customers to wear a jacket to be allowed in, then I am obligated to wear a jacket, even if they are “open to the public.” I can’t demand that my desires to dress how I want are superior to their right to impose a dress code for use of their property, nor can I claim that they are “violating my rights to dress how I want,” as long as I am free to go somewhere else.

    Our rights stop where the rights of others begin. Arguing that our property rights (of self-ownership, thus defense) are more important than the property rights of companies who set policies that we don’t like is what gives anti-gunners like Sarah Brady the footing to claim that our rights are less important than hers.

  • Nancy

    If the company already had a policy which it had promoted advising & warning personnel that guns were res non grata on company property, then it was certainly within its rights to fire anyone found bringing weapons onto Weyerhauser grounds, as all personnel had been warned about this. Question: they used gun-sniffing dogs. Did they actually ‘break & enter’ the vehicles to confirm the presence of the weapons, or were these weapons ‘in the open’ lying openly on the rear floor, seat, window well, or truck beds? If the latter, then I can understand the company deciding this was the final straw, & am surprised these gun owners also weren’t slapped with charges of careless handling of weapons or whatever into the bargain. If they were locked in trunks, etc., & the company had to break & enter, that’s a whole n’other ball of wax. It will be interesting to hear how this works out, & why (i.e. what grounds/legal reasoning).

  • straightarrow

    The company does not have the right to deny civil rights to its employees. They may not forbid them to vote, they may not require sexual favors for continued employment, they may not demand you quarter other company employees in your abode. They are enjoined from violating civil rights just as government is, just as citizens are. You are not allowed, nor do you have the moral right to rob someone or rape someone simply because they are on your property, especially not if they are there by invitation as is the case with an employer. So, why would it be acceptable to deny other protected and guaranteed civil rights? The answer? It is not.

    You have two issues of private property here. You have the absolutely private property of the employee (vehicle) and you have the semi-public access private property of the company. The employee’s car is private and is inviolate except as provided for in law as described in the fourth amendment. As long as the employee keeps his privacy private, the company must keep its hands off.

    I would venture to say that every person that has commented here has a home surrounded by the private property of others. To hold that the company is within its rights to do what it has done is to hold that the property owners surrounding your home have the moral and legal right to search your homes and make you leave the neighborhood if they don’t approve your privately held possessions, whether or not you actually displayed those possessions on their property.

    That the private property of one (employee) is surrounded by the private property of the other (employer) in no way lessens the employee’s rightful expectation of the full exercise of his rights, including the bearing and/or transporting of arms as allowed by law. Should he however, remove that arm from his property to the property of the employer, even just moving it from the trunk to the back seat, or vice versa, he has then violated the private property of the employer and may rightfully be disciplined according to company policy, within the law.

    To permit the company to do what it has done is to place corporate policy in a position superior to the constitutions of the federal and state governments and the law. To say they have that right and that one may go somewhere else if they don’t like it is ridiculous. See examples above regarding robbery,assault, and rape. They are not protected activities if carried out on private property, nor should any other denial of rights be.

  • Katrina

    I haven’t read the book, nor have I read the case. I do believe it is always better to have all the facts before you comment, but I can say this: Our Constitution authorizes a LIMITED government, operating on authority granted from us, the citizens. The Constitution was created to protect us, the citizens, either together or individually. Each of our elected representatives takes an oath to the Constitution, not to public sentiment. In addition to other reasons, the purpose of this was to ensure that regardless of whether we have liberals or conservatives in office, the core structure of our government would remain intact and the rights of the citizens would always be protected, individual rights as well as collective rights.

    Collectives and individuals have some rights to control what takes place on their own property. However, if I enter said property, I also have individual rights and one of them is granted by the 4th Amendment to the Constitution. How would a conflict be resolved? Informed consent. If you communicate to me, prior to my entering your house, that you do not allow firearms in your house, and I am of sound mind to understand that communication, then by entering your house I consent to: 1.) not carry a firearm into your house and 2.) allow you to search me for firearms. The word reasonable also comes into play here. If I say “I don’t allow firearms in my house” that could be very different from “I don’t allow firearms on my property.” The question is, what would a reasonable person gather from either statement.

    Based on the original article, there appears to be some question of whether there was informed consent and if there was informed consent, would a reasonable person have interpreted it in such a manner as to determine that firearms were not allowed on the entire property as opposed to a portion or portions of the property.

  • Nancy

    That’s why I will be interested in hearing the details, what the decision is, & how it was arrived at. From what I’ve read so far, there are too many questions and not enough facts about what happened, how, etc.

  • http://blogcritics.org/archives/2005/08/04/152612.php Chris

    There is no such thing as “semi-private” or “semi-public” property. Again, “open to the public” means only that all are welcome to enter; not that they have to accept anyone who shows up, on any terms they want.

    Just because a car is private property does not mean that it can be used to violate the property rights of others. If you agree to park your car in their lot, you agree, if only implicitly, to follow their rules on the use of their lot. If that means they demand the right to search your car when they want as a condition of allowing you to use it, then by voluntarily parking on the lot, you are agreeing to waive your 4th amendment right.

    But if you’re an employee, then that’s an invitation? Doesn’t matter; as long as you voluntarily use their lot, their rules still have to be followed.

    Seeing an advertisement to “Eat at Joe’s” doesn’t relieve me of the obligation to wear a jacket if Joe’s requires it of customers, even though the advertisement is an “invitation.” Nor does a job offer allow me to ignore company rules that I agree to by signing an employment agreement to accept the job.

    No, the company cannot forbid you from voting, with the possible exception of when you are on their property, or on duty. Nor can they demand sex to keep your job, or demand that you quarter other employees in your house; not unless you agreed to those things in your employment contract.

    It’s also true that you are not allowed, nor have the right to rob someone or rape someone simply because they are on your property. But then, if you demand that to be allowed to enter your property, everyone must submit to those things, then you can rob or rape anyone who agrees and comes onto your property. If you set such rules though, I think you’re more likely to have an awfully lonely existence.

    The analogy of ones’ house being surrounded by the private property of others is invalid, except in the case of rental housing (or apartments, mobile home parks, etc,) in which the rental contract stipulates the conditions.

    The reason one cannot ban “coloreds,” is racial discrimination law. RTKBA is different only because no laws exist that ban discrimination towards a willingness to defend oneself.

    But the existence of laws that violate property rights does not mean that those laws are necessarily right or just.

    My point is that arguing that the property rights of some are more important than those of others, is wrong. By justifying laws that deny a shop owner his property rights because he’s a bigot, we open the door to others justifying laws that deny the ability to carry a gun for defense, because “gun owners are barbaric.”

  • http://blogcritics.org/archives/2005/08/04/152612.php Chris

    There is no such thing as “semi-private” or “semi-public” property. Again, “open to the public” means only that all are welcome to enter; not that they have to accept anyone who shows up, on any terms they want.

    Just because a car is private property does not mean that it can be used to violate the property rights of others. If you agree to park your car in their lot, you agree, if only implicitly, to follow their rules on the use of their lot. If that means they demand the right to search your car when they want as a condition of allowing you to use it, then by voluntarily parking on the lot, you are agreeing to waive your 4th amendment right.

    But if you’re an employee, then that’s an invitation? Doesn’t matter; as long as you voluntarily use their lot, their rules still have to be followed.

    Seeing an advertisement to “Eat at Joe’s” doesn’t relieve me of the obligation to wear a jacket if Joe’s requires it of customers, even though the advertisement is an “invitation.” Nor does a job offer allow me to ignore company rules that I agree to by signing an employment agreement to accept the job.

    No, the company cannot forbid you from voting, with the possible exception of when you are on their property, or on duty. Nor can they demand sex to keep your job, or demand that you quarter other employees in your house; not unless you agreed to those things in your employment contract.

    It’s also true that you are not allowed, nor have the right to rob someone or rape someone simply because they are on your property. But then, if you demand that to be allowed to enter your property, everyone must submit to those things, then you can rob or rape anyone who agrees and comes onto your property. If you set such rules though, I think you’re more likely to have an awfully lonely existence.

    The analogy of ones’ house being surrounded by the private property of others is invalid, except in the case of rental housing (or apartments, mobile home parks, etc,) in which the rental contract stipulates the conditions.

    The reason one cannot ban “coloreds,” is racial discrimination law. RTKBA is different only because no laws exist that ban discrimination towards a willingness to defend oneself.

    But the existence of laws that violate property rights does not mean that those laws are necessarily right or just.

    My point is that arguing that the property rights of some are more important than those of others, is wrong. By justifying laws that deny a shop owner his property rights because he’s a bigot, we open the door to others justifying laws that deny the ability to carry a gun for defense, because “gun owners are barbaric.”

  • http://blogcritics.org/archives/2005/08/04/152612.php Chris

    There is no such thing as “semi-private” or “semi-public” property. Again, “open to the public” means only that all are welcome to enter; not that they have to accept anyone who shows up, on any terms they want.

    Just because a car is private property does not mean that it can be used to violate the property rights of others. If you agree to park your car in their lot, you agree, if only implicitly, to follow their rules on the use of their lot. If that means they demand the right to search your car when they want as a condition of allowing you to use it, then by voluntarily parking on the lot, you are agreeing to waive your 4th amendment right.

    But if you’re an employee, then that’s an invitation? Doesn’t matter; as long as you voluntarily use their lot, their rules still have to be followed.

    Seeing an advertisement to “Eat at Joe’s” doesn’t relieve me of the obligation to wear a jacket if Joe’s requires it of customers, even though the advertisement is an “invitation.” Nor does a job offer allow me to ignore company rules that I agree to by signing an employment agreement to accept the job.

    No, the company cannot forbid you from voting, with the possible exception of when you are on their property, or on duty. Nor can they demand sex to keep your job, or demand that you quarter other employees in your house; not unless you agreed to those things in your employment contract.

    It’s also true that you are not allowed, nor have the right to rob someone or rape someone simply because they are on your property. But then, if you demand that to be allowed to enter your property, everyone must submit to those things, then you can rob or rape anyone who agrees and comes onto your property. If you set such rules though, I think you’re more likely to have an awfully lonely existence.

    The analogy of ones’ house being surrounded by the private property of others is invalid, except in the case of rental housing (or apartments, mobile home parks, etc,) in which the rental contract stipulates the conditions.

    The reason one cannot ban “coloreds,” is racial discrimination law. RTKBA is different only because no laws exist that ban discrimination towards a willingness to defend oneself.

    But the existence of laws that violate property rights does not mean that those laws are necessarily right or just.

    My point is that arguing that the property rights of some are more important than those of others, is wrong. By justifying laws that deny a shop owner his property rights because he’s a bigot, we open the door to others justifying laws that deny the ability to carry a gun for defense, because “gun owners are barbaric.”

  • http://blogcritics.org/archives/2005/08/04/152612.php Chris

    Whoops, sorry about that. I must’ve
    got a temporary nervous tic or something….

  • The Duke

    Employment-At-Will (EAW), is the term ya’ll trying to come up with.

    EAW is the Common-law doctrine stating that employers have the right to hire, fire, demont, or promote whomever they choose, unles there is a law or contract to the contrary.

    Since Oklahoma is just now talking about a law to the contrary…. my guess is that those fired are SOL.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    A sympathetic jury and they’re back in the game, Duke. Plus, even if they can argue that it’s technically legal, it’s not morally right by any stretch of the imagination.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    waitaminnit..Mr Nalle talking about “morals” in reference to his beloved big Business?

    /feints

    can someone check to see if hell has a hockey team?

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Moralitty and ethics are the cornerstone of building a successful business, Gonzo. And whoever said I love ‘big’ business, anyway? I love entrepreneurism and creative enterprise. I’m no fan of large, impersonal and bureaucratized businesses which have forgotten why they even exist beyond making money.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    sometimes, Mr Nalle, when you type you completely bloggle my tiny little Mind…

    we have had this go around, or are you forgetting the Wal-Mart thread?

    one of our earliest conversations had me pose a Question taken from the movie “it’s a Wonderful Life”…

    i asked you if you would do business with Baily’s Savings and Loan…or Potter’s Bank…

    you said you would put your money in Potter’s , but borrow from Bailey’s

    this showed that when it came to money, you followed the Ends justifies the Means axiom, rather than the Means are the End in themselves…

    why do i say this? because you stated that you would rather place your money with an unethical business man in the hopes of a larger return rather than using it in the S&L where it would be used further and build the community directly…yet you would borrow from theredue to the lower interest rate charged

    this shows good business sense…but poor Ethical or Moral practice bu placing minor financial gain over the wellbeing of the community as a whole

    just a simple example

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>sometimes, Mr Nalle, when you type you completely bloggle my tiny little Mind…

    we have had this go around, or are you forgetting the Wal-Mart thread?< <

    What you are missing here is the difference between principle and practice. In principle I believe in the sanctity of all business. As Coolidge said, "The man who builds a business builds a temple." Any person or group of persons who builds and maintains a successful business has done a good thing for society.

    In practice some businesses do more good than others. When a business becomes too large there is a tendancy for it to become bureaucratized and mechanical and to start to resemble a government more than a true business. It begins to function for the good of itself as an impersonal entity rather than for the good of its owners or workers. IMO that's an undesirable point for any business to reach, and it may well describe WalMart.

    However, the principle remains paramount. Unless the excesses of a business are extreme and it turns into a true monster - like Enron - it still does more good than harm just by making money and employing people.

    >>why do i say this? because you stated that you would rather place your money with an unethical business man in the hopes of a larger return rather than using it in the S&L where it would be used further and build the community directly…yet you would borrow from theredue to the lower interest rate charged

    this shows good business sense…but poor Ethical or Moral practice bu placing minor financial gain over the wellbeing of the community as a whole<<

    But Potter’s bank is very clearly shown in the movie NOT to be unethical. It’s merely run in a very professional way. Potter doesn’t cheat anyone, he just runs his business efficiently. That’s where I’d rather have my money invested, because when I invest I put my money at risk, and if I’m assuming the risk, I want to minimize it by putting it in reliable hands. I would borrow from Bailey’s because they assume the risk, and when I’m putting risk on someone else I’d rather it be with someone who I feel will be sympathetic and understanding. But at core, both borrowing money from Bailey and investing money with Potter are supporting their institutions. The fact that I invest with Potter makes him money but does not cost Bailey money. When I borrow from Bailey, he should still make his fair profit on interest when I pay him back. So by using both I support each business in the area where they show they are most competent.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    check the flick againj Mr Nalle…

    whatt did Potter do with the $9000 dollars he found in the newspaper that Uncle Billy mistakenly left with him?

    he knew where it came form and what it meant…did he return it?

    was it ethical for him to keep it?

    the Persecution rests…

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Good point, Gonzo. His personal ethics were lacking. But at the same time, he ran his bank well as far as I can tell. Hmmm rather like a recent president with the initials BC.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    i disagree…since it was his bank(it is implied he had sole control over the bank, and the majority of the assets in the tow…all except the Building and Loan) his personal ethics (or lack thereof) established the “corporate culture” of all he controlled in his absolute dictatorship

    the perfect example is what happened ot the town after George Bailey was removed from reality…

    note the difference between the town with and without George

    now tell me that how Potter ran things was ethical, or good for the community

    it reinforces the excellent points you made earlier about business when it becomes callous and only cares for itself , rather than being a responsible “citizen”…

    and this is my criticism with a good portion of business today…too many “Potter’s” and not enough “Bailey’s”

    your mileage may vary

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>the perfect example is what happened ot the town after George Bailey was removed from reality…

    note the difference between the town with and without George
    < <

    Ah, but is the movie's depiction of what would have resulted actually accurate, or is it a bit of Capra's socialistic wishful thinking?

    >>now tell me that how Potter ran things was ethical, or good for the community< <

    Depends on how you define the community. Most of the problems really came from the fact that there was only one bank. Any other bank, not just Baileys would have created competition and therefore a better environment.

    >>and this is my criticism with a good portion of business today…too many “Potter’s” and not enough “Bailey’s”<<

    But Bailey’s S&L is ALSO a negative example of a business, because it was run in a way which was irresponsible to those who depended on it. Those who invested their money with Bailey were at unreasonable risk because of his poor management and irresponsibility.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    again, i disagree…Bailey’s was run perfectly, it pulled a modest profit, and built affordable homes for many in the town..

    you are mistaking one mistake made by senile old uncle Billy with the day to day management and policy

    i ask you to recall the scene in the banki when the Depression began…George used his own money to help everyone out and keep the B&L open, whiloe Potter bought up the town like a fire sale

    again, most couold call Potter’s choices good business decisions…yet wehave the example of his ethics in keeping the cash misplac3ed by Billy…

    George, on the other hand, performed self sacrifice to keep his business’ doors open

    this is a primary difference between you and i , Mr Nalle…i will always choose a “George Bailey” over a “Mr Potter”…

    not form socialism, but from an ethical standpoint

    and that’s why i had to laugh earlier..each response from you just makes my point…i am heartened that you see the p[roblems when it comes to “big business”, truly i am….but at the same time, it is frustrating in the theoretical circumstance we are talkingj about here…

    your mileage may vary

    Excelsior!

  • Maurice

    gonzo – read Atlas Shrugged

  • KSG

    Good points on both sides but remember, in the end, the police can not protect you in a WPV situation, they only get there after the fact in most cases.

    If someone wants to bring a gun to work the company should allow this only when the person has been checked out and has a conceal handgun lic. plus the firearm must be locked in a gun safe mounted firmly in the persons car.

    If a company does not want this then ask why? There are other reasons for thier policies such as not being able to get insurance.

    Someone mentioned in a reply that went something to the tune of “if you don’t like the companies policies” then get a new job…indeed this is an option. Another option (depending on the person) is learning other methods to protect yourself such as “knife-counter-knife” or “Kubaton”…

  • gonzo marx

    Maurice…i have, about 25 years ago…

    as i have stated earlier here on BC..the Fountainhead is a much better parable, the reasons being plentiful, but mostly stemming from the deterioration of Rand’s capabilities due to her extreme dexedrine addiction…

    for the most part, when it comes to Objectivist philosophy and observations, i much prefer the work of Nathanial Branden (whom many say was the model for John Galt), and the earliest work in the Objectivist movement…once he was exiled from the Organization he helped to found, many things went downhill quickly…

    and do not get me started with my objections to Pietkoff(sp?)…the current “head” of the movement

    now, Maurice, what exactly is your point here?

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    IMO, making anyone read Ayn Rand is some sort of civil rights violation.

    Dave

  • http://hungrytroll.com troll

    lol – that’s funny Dave

    you are welcome here

    troll

  • Nancy

    But y’know, on thinking about it, we leave a lot of putative civil rights ‘at home’ when going to work. I can’t put just any bumper sticker I want to on my car, which violates my free speech. Or rather, I COULD put it on, but I wouldn’t be working here long. I can bring my gun to work – but it has to remain unloaded, & once on the premises, it has to be locked, w/ammo, in the gunsafe, to be released only when I leave. Certain styles of clothes or shoes aren’t fitting for this type of workplace; bare styles may be fine at the beach, but not here, even on weekends. For anyone to expect to live or work anywhere without some kind of strictures is unrealistic, even if it may be tenuously legal. It would seem the main sin of the corporation was not giving notice in advance of stricter rules & enforcement thereof. After that, any kicking against company policy regarding guns, clothing, behavior, etc. is irrelevant, since as pointed out above several times, if you don’t like it, don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.

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