Rx For Violence In the Workplace - Let Them Pack Heat
by Michael Fox
Responding to the latest mass workplace murder at a Kansas ConAgra meat packing plant (six dead including the shooter), this Daily Texan opinion piece has an unusual prescription, Handguns at work would protect employees. Not to worry that the Daily Texan has strayed from its normal liberal views, the opinion piece is authored by Austin Kinghorn a religious studies senior and a former chairman of the Young Conservatives of Texas. But at least they gave him the space.
Kinghorn certainly has a valid point that we should be looking for some alternative solutions. A group approaching it from an opposite point of view, Handgun Free America issued a press release reporting 26 serious workplace shooting in the first half of 2004 as compared to 5 in the comparable period in 2003. It tells you something that the same group now has a website that allows you to keep track of workplace shootings, cleverly named Terror Nine to Five, which also contains a link to their May 2004 report [pdf] on workplace related shootings over the past 10 years.
Clearly, something is not working. I am just not too sure that many employers will feel that comfortable with Kinghorn's idea of relying on 'armed employees' to protect others when someone goes off the deep end.