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Guns in the Workplace, With Response

From: Chris Brose <>
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2001 9:50 PM
Subject: guns in the workplace


Dear Mr. Glidewell,

I just read your column on guns, and to be honest, it's really hard not to come to the conclusion that you're without a clue when it comes to the Constitution, and to issues involving guns. I serve in the Marine Corps, and seven times I have taken the oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. I take that oath seriously, and I've taken the trouble to actually read the Constitution several times, including the dry bits. I'd like to take this opportunity to correct your understanding on a few things.

Just because you choose to refrain from telling your employer exactly what you think of him (her) does NOT mean that you haven't the constitutional right to do so. You have both the constitutional right to speak your mind AND no law prohibiting you from doing so. I, on the other hand, am restricted by the Uniform Code of Military Justice from saying anything I want to whomever I want, and have only a limited constitutional right to free speech.

Likewise, any other limitation that you agree to while working for a particular employer is strictly voluntary. You can choose to leave any time you've had enough -- again, in contradistinction to me.

Your twisting of the Constitution to mean something it doesn't say is offensive to me. It shows a lack of respect and regard for the Constitution itself, and a lack of understanding about what the thing actually says. Spreading ignorance about the Constitution is hardly something a journalist should aspire to.

The Constitution, your loopy interpretation notwithstanding, is not intended for the protection of your having a good time. It most definitely does mention the protection of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I know you probably can't see past your anti-gun bias, but life and liberty (and the pursuit of happiness) is what motivates those who legally carry concealed handguns. It's good to come home from the workplace at night, still breathing. However, if some loony comes charging into a workplace, you apparently would rather have them killed than be able to defend themselves and others.

Seven people died in just such an incident in Massachusetts. A murderer came charging into a workplace and shot them. Would it surprise you to know that the third victim was in possession of a concealed carry permit? Unfortunately for him, the permit was issued by New Hampshire, and Massachusetts law didn't permit him to have a gun on him. (Say! That sounds a lot like the law you are endorsing!) If he'd have been in possession of his gun, perhaps he could have shot the murderer. (Or are you against people "taking the law into their own hands" and defending themselves?) Maybe five of those seven victims would be alive right now. And maybe not, but at least they'd have had a fighting chance to live. (Remember? LIFE, liberty...?)

A couple last things. People in law enforcement and a few other fields routinely carry guns with them at work. That means guns in the workplace. If what you feared had any basis in reality, we'd hear regular reports of carnage at the police station, or some such (because obviously, having guns in the workplace invites disaster). And if you try to say that police are trained, implying that they are more responsible that regular civilians, then you obviously have no idea how responsible people are who have concealed carry permits. And you probably don't know because you don't want to know.

And finally -- I don't know what your attitude is about the prospect of guns in airline cockpits, but that certainly would constitute guns in the workplace. If you support the idea, please step back for a minute and recognize your hypocrisy. And if you don't support them, let me ask you this: if you could turn back the clock to September 10th and give every pilot in the country a gun and the training to use it, would you do it?
If so, you recognize that guns in the workplace can be a very good thing. If not, 6000+ lives are apparently a part of the price you are willing to pay to advance your anti-gun agenda.

Chris Brose, Sgt., USMC

P.S. If you have any desire to respond, I would like to hear from you.

His response:

Yep Chris, and I also served in the Marine Corps, five years including six months in First Force Recon in Vietnam, protecting, I believed, the rights of people to have different political opinions. You might also read Article Five of the constitution.

Semper Fi
Jan Glidewell

My response:

Different political opinions are certainly protected. However, you espoused some views that seem to ignore reality, and I challenged them. To plead the 5th when pinned down on your views, after publishing your views, is less than impressive at best, and is probably intellectually dishonest. You might also read Article Two of the Constitution.

Chris Brose

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Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. James Madison, The Federalist Papers, No. 46

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