Via Jeff comes some new bills in Texas. The Castle Doctrine bill, which I support, is on its way to Rick Perry. The other bill has to do with forcing employers to allow concealed handguns onto their property which I do not support. Employers should have the power, as property owners, to regulate what is and what isn’t allowed on their property. I haven’t been pleased that the NRA has been pushing this stuff, because I don’t really appreciate them undermining property rights. Gun rights are important, but property rights are too, and I won’t support boosting one at the expense of the other.
To understand why employers do this, you have to get yourself inside the mind of the HR worms. Human Resources departments only really have a few functions, and one of their most important functions is to prevent the company from being sued, and most employers care a lot more about not being sued than they care about their employees lives. Some nut case comes in and starts shooting up the place? Well, that’s too bad, but they’ll be quick to drag that policy out to show they aren’t legally responsible for the incident, because, after all, they took reasonable steps to try to stop it. We know that’s total bunk, because it’s no one is going to bother to get a license to shoot his coworkers, but in the corporate world, much like in politics, it’s all about CYA, and the HR department, you can bet, isn’t going to care if you die because of workplace violence as long as they don’t get blamed for it.
So what can we do? I don’t think pissing all over the employer’s property rights, or more government regulation is the answer. Why don’t we address this through tort reform, so that companies aren’t liable for violent criminal acts committed by employees, or for negligence not related to one’s job duties? It seems to make sense to me that the employee himself should be held to account for these types of incidents rather than the employer. If a fellow employee hits my car in the parking lot, I wouldn’t sue the company would I? Why would the company be liable for a workplace shooting incident or if some dipshit employee has an ND in the bathroom? You could even tie this immunity to not having a policy that forbids license holders from carrying on the premises.
Think it would work? I don’t see why not. Sure, some companies won’t get it, but I much prefer using the carrot and stick approach, rather than flushing private property rights down the toilet.
UPDATE: Somehow I closed comments on this.Â Didn’t mean to.Â It’s open again.