search
top

PSH About Workplace Violence

I might actually be able to say I agree with The Brady Campaign that the parking lot laws that are being passed in various states are wrong, but this is just so much PSH that it almost makes me want to support them.

A May 2005 study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that workplaces where guns were permitted were 5 to 7 times more likely to be the site of a workplace homicide compared to workplaces where guns were prohibited.

Reading over the study, it suffers from many of the same flaws the infamous Kellerman study it cites suffers from, namely it allows the reader to jump to a conclusion that because workplace homicide correlates with gun policy, that it must be gun policy that causes workplace homicide.  If allowing concealed weapons license holders to carry at work caused homicide in the workplace, then the Brady’s would have us believe that this demographic, which has shown itself to be exceptionally law abiding everywhere else, will suddenly start murdering people when it comes to workplace disagreements.

The study also doesn’t pass the smell test, in that it seems rather absurd to believe that a workplace policy on guns would actually prevent someone intent on mowing down his coworkers.  Do derranged and disgruntled sociopaths wake up in the morning, load up the AK-47, and then think “Oh, but damn, the employee handbook says I can’t.”  I don’t think even the Brady’s are warped enough to believe that.

9 Responses to “PSH About Workplace Violence”

  1. Billll says:

    I seem to remember this study too. Think about the type of workplaces where all those implements of destruction, which according to the paper included knives, pepper and other sprays, guns, etc, might plausibly be found.
    The first place that pops to mind is a police cruiser, and said “workplace” frequently finds itself in some fairly tacky “work environments”.
    Sure enough, the police were included in the study, and whaddya know, there was “workplace violence” involved.

    This from my recollection of the study when it came out. Sorry, no link.

  2. Sigivald says:

    Allow me to gently suggest that you mean “homicide”.

    Homocide has a rather different suggestion to it, despite being reasonable given the Greek root.

  3. Sebastian says:

    Fixed. Didn’t mean to suggest violence against the more tastefully decorating among us.

  4. ironpacker says:

    I think these workplaces all had soap dispensers in the restrooms too. So are employees who wash their hands after using the toilet more likely to committ a crime? (sarcasm off.)

  5. Weer'd Beard says:

    Do derranged and disgruntled sociopaths wake up in the morning, load up the AK-47, and then think “Oh, but damn, the employee handbook says I can’t.”

    Heh I thought of:
    “Oh wait, I could posthumously be fired!

  6. mark says:

    I retired last spring from a civil service job in PA. We were regularly “reminded” that our parked cars could be searched at will and at random by security officers, and that any of the prohibited items-including guns- were cause for instant firing, including loss of pension and benefits and possible criminal charges. Also, those refusing to “voluntarily” allow searches were presumed guilty, with similar penalties.
    Still, many I knew carried guns to work every day, some even carried them inside the various buildings.
    Also, FWIW, each time my License to Carry a Firearm was renewed, my employer was notified by the county sheriff, and I was personally “reminded” of these policies by a HR type. I assume this was the case with all license holders, but it may just have been the chosen few.

    mar

  7. mark says:

    I retired last spring from a civil service job in PA. We were regularly “reminded” that our parked cars could be searched at will and at random by security officers, and that any of the prohibited items-including guns- were cause for instant firing, including loss of pension and benefits and possible criminal charges. Also, those refusing to “voluntarily” allow searches were presumed guilty, with similar penalties.
    Still, many I knew carried guns to work every day, some even carried them inside the various buildings.
    Also, FWIW, each time my License to Carry a Firearm was renewed, my employer was notified by the county sheriff, and I was personally “reminded” of these policies by a HR type. I assume this was the case with all license holders, but it may just have been the chosen few.

    mark

  8. Jim W says:

    I bet the reasons for the correlation are the same sort of reverse causation that Kellermann admitted in his study- that the workplaces that currently allow guns are already at risk from violent criminals so the employees need guns for protection.

    Most workplace gun violence is in the category of armed robberies at convenience stores and similar. People “going postal” is supremely rare despite news reports suggesting otherwise.

    Also, even though guns are currently forbidden by many employers here in FL, every place I have worked here had lots of people that carried anyway. Myself included. At most places, everyone knew about it and approved except the company lawyers and probably the insurance company.

    I remember the last place I worked had a very gun-phobic HR VP who accidentally stumbled upon evidence of the vibrant gun culture in his company. He gave stern warnings to not do it again and then quietly forgot it ever happened.

  9. Peter says:

    Jim already beat me to most of this, but even with the similar businesses they used as control, the study is going to be skewed. A convenience store in a rough neighborhood is more likely to be held up than one on the nicer side of town, and BECAUSE of that, they are more likely to permit employees to carry, or even leave a gun behind the counter, while the other store doesn’t want to “offend” or scare the more upscale customers (which would only happen if the person carrying was careless anyways). Which one is more likely to experience a workplace homicide? That’s right, the one in the dangerous area.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Another Flawed Gun Crime Study « Firearms & Freedom - [...] Hat tip Snowflakes in Hell [...]
top