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News & Editorials

AOL Resorts to Vindictive Personal Attacks in Defense of their Anti-rights Position

from Luke Hansen

January 26, 2001

Hi there, Luke Hansen again. In our battle against AOL, we recently won our first major hurdle... Judge Roger S. Dutson denied AOL's motion to dismiss, citing among other things that there were too many questions about our employment to dismiss this case.

AOL Executioner -- Click to Enlarge
AOL by Kevin Tuma
click to enlarge

AOL's first defense was to say that we were contracted employees, and had signed a contract abiding by those policies. However, they could not provide that contract for the judge, another reason he cited for dismissal of their motion.

AOL's claims of parking lot dominion, contractual agreements, at will employment, etc. failed to sway the decision in their favor, so they have fallen back to plan "b".

AOL is now making personal attacks on us, their three former employees; here are 2 links to stories that are published in today's papers in Utah:,1249,245016357,00.html

They assert "At least one (of the three) violated AOL's policies by expressing a tendency towards violence."

If this is the case, then why were we all employed there for such a long period of time? I was there for 4 years, Jason for 3 and Paul for 2. If we were displaying tendencies of violence, why did they not fire us for that reason? Their own HR Policy states that they can act upon tendencies of violence, before they actually manifest themselves.

Firing us for being violent employees would have been legal -- if they could have proven such a false claim. Firing us for being sub standard employees would have been legal -- if they could have proven such a false claim. Even firing us because "it just didn’t work out" would have been a legal option for them. But, firing us for owning guns, and exercising our legal rights was not legal; it was a mistake.

At the outset of this lawsuit, I brought this exact point up to our lawyer, asking "What if they try and say we were bad employees?" We discussed that at length, and all truth told, Mitch (Vilos) might not have even taken the case if we had been poor employees.

All of us consistently had "Meets" or "Exceeds" on our performance ratings. We always got our bonuses and were all considered valued employees, both by our peers and most of management. I say most, because as is the case with any job, there may be personal conflicts with a few select individuals.

I would personally be more worried about an employer who continued a working relationship with a "Violent" employee, or an employee who showed true violent tendencies, than an employer who allowed their employees to have guns in the parking lot, or even in the building for that matter.

Would you want your co-worker to just "Flip out" one day at work, and start assaulting others, yourself included? I would not. If they say we were employees who showed violent tendencies, then they failed in their obligations to their employees for not firing us on the spot when such alleged "violent tendencies" were displayed. They do indeed have an obligation to keep their employees safe, and allowing "violent" employees to continue working does not keep anyone safe. So I ask this question: Is AOL admitting that they have employees with known "violent tendencies" working for them? And if so, why are they placing their entire staff at risk by being so negligent in their duty to assure a safe workplace?

On the other side of the coin, allowing law-abiding citizens to have their recreational firearms unloaded in their vehicles does not impose a threat to anyone.

Would you rather work for a company who truly values your well being first and foremost? Or a company who cares more about appearing "politically correct" while trying to impose their stranglehold on all who help them achieve their obvious success?

Thank you for allowing me to share my diatribe with you. If you are willing and able to make a donation to our ongoing pro Freedom battle with the largest internet service provider on the planet, you can make your donation at the following address: AOL Lawsuit U-GOLD 8773 S. 450 East Sandy, Utah 84070.

Our judge has agreed to accept a single Amicus Brief from each side in this legal battle. We are looking forward to having a strong one presented on our behalf -- on behalf of freedom -- and will report back once a good legal team steps forward in our defense.

Lastly, I would like to thank Angel Shamaya and all the good folks at for all of their continued support in covering our case, their free email service, and the ISP service that I now call home. Having an ISP that supports the second amendment -- rather than trying to destroy it -- will be instrumental in getting the truth out about the right to keep and bear arms. Taking money out of AOL and putting in into's internet access seems like a logical move to me, and I hope more people will do so.

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You are bound to meet misfortune if you are unarmed because, among other reasons, people despise you....There is simply no comparison between a man who is armed and one who is not. It is unreasonable to expect that an armed man should obey one who is unarmed, or that an unarmed man should remain safe and secure when his servants are armed. In the latter case, there will be suspicion on the one hand and contempt on the other, making cooperation impossible. — Niccolo Machiavelli in "The Prince."

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