But I actually have found at least one person who thinks that having the right to keep and bear arms infringes on our freedom. Really!

Steve Chapman, a member of the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board, in an editorial today says that Florida’s law that protects an individual’s right to keep a gun in their car is an attack on property rights. The Florida law allows the holder of a legal concealed weapons permit, to keep a gun locked up in their car while their car is parked in the place of employment’s parking lot. Chapman says that is an attack on property rights because the owner of the business has no say over what the owner of the car can have inside.

Chapman claims that this new law or clarification of law, is a “perverse conception of the Second Amendment”. While I disagree that it is a perverse conception, I will agree that the issue does in fact deal with two distinct rights – Second Amendment and property rights.

If you examine Chapman’s interpretation, he is willing to grant property rights but only to the degree in which he is willing to grant based on his own ideals. His entire stance is that the business owner cannot regulate what an employee locks up and leaves in his or her car while parked on his property. In essence what he is then saying is that your car is not your property and what is in it you have no right to own or protect while on his property.

If that were true, then why are there laws that protect a person who is driving down the highway from being randomly pulled over and having their car searched? If this is considered and illegal search and seizure, isn’t it because the car and what’s in it is considered to be private property? There must be probably cause.

Chapman is willing to say that a “perverse conception of the Second Amendment” tramples the property rights of the business owner but isn’t it just as perverse to assume that my car and what’s in it isn’t mine now that I’m parked in a parking lot somewhere?

I believe that the business owner has every right to disallow an employee to bring their gun inside the building where they work, the same as I have a right to tell Fred when he comes into my home to leave his gun in the car.

Chapman, like so many others, wants to attack the NRA because of the NRA’s stance that this is a Second Amendment issue. For him to prove that this is a property rights issue, he first should explain why the owner of the car and what’s inside is no longer personal property when it is driven into a parking lot belonging to a place of business.

In presenting that argument, he does a lousy job. Read this!

Conceal-carry licensees complain that if they can’t keep their guns in their cars, they will have no protection on their way to and from work. That’s true. But what about employees who walk, bike or take the bus? Since the law doesn’t give them the right to take their guns into the workplace, they have to leave them at home. Should the state force companies to let workers carry pistols into the factory, office or day-care center?

Nobody is this stupid! We supposedly live in a free country. With freedom comes choice. If I feel that I need protection driving to work, the last thing I’m going to do is walk, bike or take the bus. The whole idea is choice. Chapman and the rest want to take away my choice to drive to work and be safe while doing it. He wants to strip me of my rights in order to support some fanciful notion that a concealed carry permit holder is going to kill someone.

This isn’t about rights and it isn’t about he Second Amendment. It’s about having control over the people. Chapman goes even further in making absurd statements in his argument.

For some people, being temporarily deprived of a firearm creates great anxiety. But for those with a strong aversion to guns, working at a company that allows weapons in cars has the same effect. In a free society, both sets of employees can solve the problem with a simple expedient: exercising their liberty to find a company whose policies suit their preferences.

Unbelievable! I’ll wager that Chapman agrees with the ban on smoking in restaurants and other places of employment. He probably also thinks he and the government should tell restaurants what kind of food they can cook. Yet, he has the audacity to set a double standard by suggesting that we should be able to exercise our liberties by finding another place to work that allows guns. When that tactic was tried with the smoking issue, it was null and void because an employee has a “right” choose where he works not based on who allows smoking and who doesn’t.

So what’s it going to be? Are we going to go ahead and say that the owner of a business has more property rights than the owner of a car? Where in our constitution does it begin spelling out priorities in rights? Is there some kind of list that places certain types of people and businesses higher up so they get more rights than the lowly employee?

Chapman even admits that the type of crimes he is afraid of rarely happen but somehow he believes the business owner should have the right to tell me what I can keep in my car.

Given that crimes by permit holders are exceedingly rare, the employers who want to ban guns may be running from shadows. But decisions about their safety, and that of their customers and employees, should be theirs to make.

Because I choose to work for a company, the “right” to protect me should now be left up to he business owner? Sure we all want a safe work environment, i.e. clean air, safe equipment, etc., but what else will the employer have the “right” to protect me from? Driving in fast moving traffic? Breathing in dirty air? Eating the wrong foods? Being too fat? Being a smoker?

I think Chapman might be forgetting something. Isn’t is supposed to be my right to self-protection? I’m an American. Why should I have to have him or anyone else be responsible for my safety and protection? I don’t want his protection and I don’t want that of my employer and as an American, my constitution guarantees me that right…… not my employer.

This is a rights issue and one that deals with property rights. An employer does not have more rights than I do. How arrogant to think that a business owner has the “right” to protect his employees beyond any reasonable responsibility to do so.

Tom Remington

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