Sunday, August 10, 2014

Demanding 'No Guns' in Businesses

There are a bunch of jpg's floating around where illegal activities are being encouraged against armed citizens and businesses who allow firearms. Putting it mildly, this seriously grinds my gears.  On the plus side, I figure if you're stupid enough to try and assault someone who is armed in 'political protest' that's just natural selection in action. What annoys me is the attempted bullying and threatening of businesses that is being done and -- in one jpg -- encouraging if you see a gun leaving without paying (which is a crime).  I'm disturbed because the one who loses here is the business owner.

Here's what I said to a bunch of people going 'yeah, yeah do it!'

First off, I highly recommend y'all don't have lunch here if you feel that making a scene -- much less breaking the law -- in the presence of an armed person is a good idea.

Rights come in bundles. Often these rub up against each other. That is where we must compromise and come up with a working solution.Falling under property rights (a big issue in our way of life) is the owner/legal holder can prohibit firearms on a property. If you don't want them in your home or place of business, then you have every right to say no.

Someone who insists, can be refused service (another right of the business owner) and if that person doesn't leave when asked is now trespassing. (A property right issue.) If said individual makes a scene that is disturbing the peace (criminal) and possibly menacing/committing assault (again, criminal).  But it's those other behaviors that are what is going to get him arrested, not bringing a firearm onto your property.

Conversely, people have the right to be armed -- within the boundaries set by property owners and limits of the statutes of the state. Concealed carry is a licensed practice, tactical consideration and -- most of all -- a courtesy to one's fellow citizens.  However, neither tactics or courtesy are mandated by law.

One of those pesky one bundle meets another situations is government can prohibit the possession of weapons in buildings they control, but are often mandated about providing and ensuring the safety of those they demand be disarmed. (For example in Colorado, yes you go through a metal detector in certain government buildings, but armed guards are also present. If they don't pay for it and provide, they can't prohibit.) Also, communication of this is a key element because bringing a weapon into such an area is actually breaking the law.

A property owner or business owner is not under this mandate. However in many states, if firearms are prohibited on private property, that information must be posted at the entrances. Again communication is the key. If a company policy is no guns, it must be posted. Otherwise you are likely to have employees and customers freaking out and calling the cops on customers who are legally carrying. Worse making up company policy on the spot without the consent of the owner.

'Mostly' you have the freedom to chose where to spend your money and which businesses to conduct transactions with.  (Some argue taxes and utilities are forced). Where you spend -- most -- of your money is not a right, it's a freedom. You are under no compunction to shop at _____ (fill in the blank). Here's a nice discussion on the difference

This brings up trying to blackmail a company/business owner into doing what you want them to do because you're threatening them with removal of your business.  Yes, you have that freedom, but you don't have that right. (And by that I'm talking about legal definition of rights,
not the fucked up interpretation of positive and negative rights that is used to justify so much selfish, aggressive and hostile behavior )*

As an individual you have the freedom to talk to a business owner about policy. You also have the freedom to threaten him with the removal of your business if he or she chooses to allow firearms into the establishment. BUT he or she has the right to agree or tell you to stick it into your ear. Your business is just as valid as anyone else's. Now the question is, what makes you think your business is so special that you demanding the business owner alienate a significant number of his customer base is worth it?

More than that, you demanding this puts the business owner between a rock and a hard place. Because of your making a fuss, business is going to suffer no matter what he or she chooses to do. (Unless of course you push hard enough to provoke a Chick-Fil-A response ... which can and does happen.) Often businesses who put up 'no gun' signs suffer a significant decline in business -- are you willing to make up the lost revenues?

But what grinds my gears --as a business owner -- is you are basically demanding that a business refuse service to your fellow citizens 'cause y'all don't like them kinda people. You'd be screaming in outrage if someone else demanded a company not do business with people because of race, religion, or sexual preference. And you'd be defending those people's rights -- you know 1st, 10th, 13th 14th, 19th, but somehow you want to deny people both service and their 2nd Amendment rights?

Bigotry much?


*Sneaky trick, a lot of people are using this 'philosophical' interpretation when they use the words "rights" not the legal interpretation. Often -- appalling enough -- they don't even know it. So when someone goes on about their 'rights' always make sure which definition they're using. Otherwise you're talking apples and ... wait, I'm going to have to lean over and squint to figure out what that is.

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