The debate to bear arms is a factor that draws one of the biggest divides in the United States of America. One group of people advocates for bearing arms as provided for in the second amendment while another group proposes strict gun control laws. It is imperative to realize that guns are lethal weapons that can be used to end life instantly and as such can be a danger to the larger society if they are not used properly. Despite this fact, it is within an individual’s liberty to own a gun for self-protection as provided for in the second amendment because, it is expected that all citizens should behave in accordance with the law. This paper examines the reasons behind individual’s rights or restrictions to bear arms to the workplace.
The debate about moral ownership of the gun is complicated because it will easily extend to the definition of what is morally right or wrong. The debate can however be viewed from the original purpose of the gun when it was invented. A gun was invented as a weapon for self-defense when an individual is in danger from any types of adversaries (Spitzer, 2015, p. 7). A look at the composition of society provides a perfect mosaic of people with different characters and intentions towards others. On one hand, there are harmless people who are ready to live within the society in peace while on the other, there are persons with psychotic drives that are ready to harm others.
To this extent, ownership of a gun acquires a moral right for the sake of self-preservation (Spitzer, 2015, p. 9). Although the government through the law provides security to its citizens, each individual has an obligation to themselves to protect and preserve their rights to life. The rights of an individual are fundamentally limited to the extent that they should not infringe on the wider rights of other persons. For this reason, an individual has no right to carry a gun into a privately owned parking lot if the owners do not allow such a privilege (Spitzer, 2015, p. 12). Any individual who might feel that they are not adequately protected in such an area to the extent that they need their own guns, have the freedom of not going visiting the restricted area.
Right to Guns in the Car Park
Employers in society are responsible for the security of their employees in the workplace. Depending on the level of dangers that employees face while within the premises of their employers, the employer can make a decision to allow employees to carry guns to the parking lot. Under normal circumstances when there is no inherent danger, employees should not be allowed to carry guns to the workplace car park. Whereas the second amendment gives individuals the right to carry guns for self-protection, it is restricted by the law governing the property rights of individuals (Spitzer, 2015, p. 13). The limitation expressively bars guns in private properties where owners have not allowed them. Each workplace develops its own policies that are informed by specific factors. An individual employer may allow employees to stow guns in their cars so long as they do not bring them out within the premises. Such a provision is strictly the prerogative of the employer and not the right of the individual. Borrowing from the utilitarian theory, an individual’s pleasure should not infringe on the rights of other individuals who may be uncomfortable with having guns around them (Spitzer, 2015, p. 15). Companies have every reason to fear uncontrolled gun incursions into their compounds because such weapons can easily be used against unsuspecting and unarmed employees.
The argument by NRA that banning weapons at the workplace invalidates the second amendment is a partially informed idea. Whereas the second amendment exists, it cannot be read and applied in isolation. The rights of other individuals who are not comfortable with guns around them need to be respected (Spitzer, 2015, p. 17). More so, the rights of property owners come first because they have the prerogative to admit individuals to their properties. Gun advocates own and carry guns as a hobby that is informed by fears known to them. Therefore, they should not force their hobby on other persons who cannot trust guns that are not in their own hands. Cases of individuals going berserk with guns and shooting other people have been blamed on this gun freedom drive (Spitzer, 2015, p. 17). The NRA has politicized the issue as a way of getting support from the masses through selective information. The group has solely focused on gun rights and ignored the dangers that uncontrolled guns can have on society. Further to these moves, legislation to give gun freedom to individuals as advocated by the NRA will be unconstitutional because it would infringe on property rights of individuals and entities.
Employer Right to Allow Guns
The employer or owner of a workplace should have a right to allow guns to the premises. Although such a move is complicated, it does not violate any known rights of an individual. All employees working in any organization have an obligation to abide by the policies set up by the employer. In case an individual is not comfortable with specific policies, they have a right to tender their resignation and move to workplaces where they are comfortable (Spitzer, 2015, p. 17). As stated in the previous paragraph, the employer is responsible for the security of their employees. As such, allowing guns into the workplace will be a move that can be properly controlled. The main feat for guns is their lethal effect to human life. It is necessary to control them in the workplace. Employees carrying guns to the workplace would be expected to observe the Kantian theory by observing goodwill when they are allowed to have guns in the office. Goodwill would enable them to eliminate the fear that they might misuse the guns.
Libertarian and Utilitarian Views
A libertarian would advocate for the non-restrictive bearing of arms to the workplace. Libertarians believe in individual freedom of people to do as they wish. However, libertarian ideas are highly restricted by the law which aims at providing semblance and order to society. A utilitarian would view the issue through the eye of the whole society. The society is made up of people with different interests that should be respected. To this extent, a utilitarian would advocate for consensus between the two groups so that any consequence should not hurt any party. Gun right proponents have the same rights as those opposed to their ideas. Thus limiting them in favor of opponents will be unfair under a utilitarian eye.
Gun ownership as provided for under the second amendment cannot be viewed as a blanket rule. The wider security of society has necessitated authorities to place measured controls on gun ownership. The interpretation of the second amendment should not be read to mean that individual property rights are secondary to it, but should be viewed objectively for proper interpretation.
Spitzer, R. J. (2015). Politics of gun control. New York, NY: Routledge.