Bus Case Have Gun Will Travel to Work

22.09.2022 in Case Study
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In the USA, the basic human right to be protected is supported by legislation, according to which gun ownership is allowed as a form of self-defense. Although such permission is legal, not everyone will use a gun to defend themselves. Moreover, some part of the American nation sees a threat in the right for gun ownership as well as a possibility to be near them, especially in the workplace, where people spend most of their time. Being safe is the main issue that gun ownership opponents and proponents try to deal with when supporting their points of view. Finding ethical decisions in business regarding guns in a workplace implies a consensus between employers, employees, and legislators.

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Since legislation does not limit the US citizens in their right to be protected through the usage of a gun, another aspect, such as the moral right to be the owner of a gun, appears. One might argue that there is nothing to discuss if the US Constitution does not prohibit this option. Although having a baby is also not prohibited by the Constitution, parental rights can be lost in the case of inappropriate treatment of a child. Similarly, the moral issue of gun ownership lies at the core of the right to have it. On the one hand, the major reason to have a gun, as expressed by 67% of gun owners, is the desire to be protected, according to a research among adults, performed in 2017 in the USA (Parker, Horowitz, Igielnik, Oliphant, & Brown, 2017). On the other hand, terms of protections are not understood the same by each person. When it comes to an individual definition of a dangerous situation for gun usage, moral aspect matters. This means that each gun owner will behave themselves differently in a danger situation. Therefore, the understanding of self-defense should be balanced with the understanding of others’ safety. Before owning a gun, an individual should answer a question whether they will handle this responsibility and all possible consequences of being a gun owner.

At the same time, the issue of moral and legal right to park a car with a loaded gun in a privately-owned parking lot, regardless of what the lot’s owner wants, requires some discussion. Firstly, the term of moral right is not understood by everyone equally. The understanding and, consequently, decision about taking a gun to a parking lot is presupposed by values and traditions in terms of region’s culture and individual’s conditions. Gun ownership is one of the things, the attitude towards which is determined by social norms and behavioral codes (Kalesan, Villarreal, Keyes, & Galea, 2015). As for my moral choice to park a car with a loaded gun in it, I think that my legal right should be supported with a moral obligation to respect the legal right of another citizen. Consequently, if there are any signs that prohibit parking with a loaded gun on the territory that someone owns, I would not violate such a demand. Although, if no signs are placed in the parking area, I will not make special efforts to find anything about this since the responsibility to have a loaded gun and to take measures to avoid one on one’s territory is equal.

Parking an employee’s car with a gun in the company parking lot is also determined by moral and legal right. If such an option is prohibited by legislation, the matter is settled. However, if the question is opened, a moral aspect should be counted. When looking for people who have a gun in their car and park in a parking lot, which is an employer’s territory, it is felt inherently for them. For example, 67% of gun owners say that a gun has been present in their households during their growing up, same as 76% had their first experience of using a gun before they were 18 years old (Parker et al., 2017). The motivation to support a gun-free parking also may be caused by traumatic experience from the past. If someone or their relatives had experienced some events, the escalation and fear during which could have been avoided had a gun been available to them, they will support legal parking in the company’s lot with a gun. Michael Stefansen, the man who worked near Sandy Hook Elementary School, is a good example (White, 2013). During the shooting in this school, the territory of Stefansen’s workplace also was in danger. The logic of people, who are pro-gun, is as follows. Permitting parking with a gun in company parking lots means the probability of less damage because one will be ready to prevent critical shooting situations and defend their lives. Otherwise, one might find themselves in a trap because safety reasons do not allow having a gun inside a car in a parking lot.

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At the same time, the right to park a car with a gun inside is as equal as the right not to be in the vicinity of such a car. The issue can be solved similarly to the problem of smoking. It is legal but it may cause damage to people who have not chosen to be in a place where they inhale cigarette smoke. Therefore, when people are in public places, it is a particular place owner’s decision to permit or forbid smoking in their area. However, there is another solution to this problem. Some owners simply divide their restaurants into smoking and non-smoking areas since the right to smoke should not limit non-smokers and vice versa. The same can be applied to a situation with parking with a gun in the company’s parking lot. Thinking in terms of Kantian ethical theory will help guide this kind of ethical business decision. According to it, human dignity is the highest value; therefore, it is impossible to treat employees as means (Crane & Matten, 2016). While following Kantian approach, an employer’s decision is not based on their private interests or preferences regarding gun ownership. The respect of basic human rights of employees to feel safe by having a gun in their car or by avoiding cars, in which guns may be present, influences the company to provide equal conditions. They can be provided by the availability of both, gun-free parking lots and those that permit having a gun inside a car.

When focusing on employees’ disagreement, the property rights and safety of employers are forgotten. As a private citizen, an employer has their persuasions about gun ownerships parking on their private territory. When it comes to private property, moral right, which should not be violated, is present as well. According to Human Resources specialists, the biggest concern of business groups is a fact that their opinion is often neglected by laws and their implementation (White, 2013). Therefore, state legislatures’ involvement in the issue of gun-free parking is controversial. On the one hand, as mentioned before, culture codes and behavioral norms, which people should be familiar with, may be known by legislatures and they could be helpful when working on a consensus among employees and their company. On the other hand, this only could aggravate the conflict of interest. Therefore, I find the legislatures’ involvement possible if the company and its employees both agree to such a format.

When imagining a situation, in which a company allows its employees to bring guns into the workplace itself, the question of the consequences of such a decision appears. Ones consider such a permission reasonable, while others might call it a violation of their rights. Since having a gun is legal, this means that being around people who own a gun is possible in any public place such as a coffee house, cinema, or mall. If being around such people could not be changed or avoided, being aware whether having a gun directly in the workplace is allowed sounds as a benefit. Further decision to choose this company as a workplace is up to an individual. Therefore, if the company has decided that having a gun to avoid the danger of terror attacks is reasonable, such a decision should be announced to each new employee. The choice of perceiving such circumstances as the violation of rights or a comfortable situation is a personal decision.

To conclude, the vision of the realization of one’s desire to be protected is based on the ground of social circles, behavioral patterns, attitudes based on culture and traditions, and private experience. When following a legal opportunity to have a gun or not, the moral value of everyone to feel safe is the most important one. Hence, when it comes to having a gun in the workplace or in a company’s parking lot, issues should be solved in a way that will leave everyone satisfied.

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