Sunday, March 24, 2013

Should Businesses That Deny Concealed Carry Bear Greater Responsibility?

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Does she? Or doesn't she?

Part of the debate about gun control, revolves around the question of whether or not businesses or national parks or schools should allow those with Concealed Carry permits (CCW) to bring their guns with them, and what the liabilities might be.

Reader and Internet buddy Dave, alerted me to a piece by Frank J. over at IMAO, discussing a proposal that, if a business, such as a restaurant or theater, requires you to disarm before entering, should they be required to provide armed security? Or, as Frank suggests, should they be held liable for damages if a disarmed patron is killed or injured? They make a conscious decision to disarm their patrons, should they not be held financially responsible for the consequences of that decision?

I must admit, at first blush, there was a certain attraction to the idea. But the more I thought about it, I was coming up with scenarios that didn't fit the bill. For shorthand, let's call armed security Plan A, and increased liability Plan B.

Let's start with Plan A. You take your family into a Luby's, where a mass murder took place in 1991, when at least one CCW holder left a firearm in her car. You come in, order, sit down minding your own business. A goblin comes in and starts shooting. The armed guard reacts and starts shooting. Don't get ahead of me here.

What's his training? Police? Ex-military? Rent-a-cop? What's his experience? Beat cop? Combat? Call of Duty on the X-box?? Assuming he is proficient with a handgun, what are the effects of adrenaline as he is suddenly faced with shooting another human being. What if, in the excitement and confusion...he misses. If he hits you or a loved one, you may be worse off than taking your chances with the original bad guy. One of the reasons you are less likely to see an armed guard in a bank, is exactly that: what is the bank's liability if your guard injures or kills someone. The difference between a bank heist and a spree killing is that the bank robber wants to live to get away. The bank has insurance against theft. Risk benefit goes to unarmed guards. If Luby's hires an armed guard and can't prevent 1,2,3 or more deaths, or is responsible for injuries, how do you calculate the amount of liability. (I know. You get a lawyer.)

So, Plan A is risky. What about Plan B? Again, in many spree killings, the first indication that you are in one, is that someone has been shot. So, does this become like the Bill Clinton "first grope is free" policy? Since even a CCW holder is not necessarily going to be able to respond before the first shot is fired, is the restaurant liable for the first death if they ban CCWs? And if, because of the situational awareness you maintain as a good CCW holder, you noticed this guy when he first walked in, and might have stopped him before he fired his first shot, if you only had your weapon? Do you hire a lawyer, because you believe the "first dead patron" rule shouldn't apply in your case?

And to the extent that every McDonald's, Luby's and P.F.Chang's hires an armed guard or increases their liability insurance, to cover a statistically insignificant risk, you notice the cost of your food going up faster than the rate of inflation...

My suggestion? We don't need any new laws, with their accompanying judicial interpretations, regarding the liabilities or responsibilities of businesses that bar CCWs. Just say no. If someone came to your house and told you to lock up your gun where you couldn't access it easily, you'd tell them to pound sand. Why should your choice of restaurant or entertainment change that? Just like the Aurora CO shooter bypassed a theater that was closer in favor of one with a 'no gun' policy, gun owners need to do the same, and go a little farther out of their way to patronize businesses friendly towards gun owners and refuse to patronize those that deny you your right. McDonald's won't let you through the door with your gun? Use the drive through, or find another restaurant that doesn't make you choose between a burger and your Constitutional rights.

Can't find a gun friendly theater? Say hello to Mr. Blu Ray. Or make sure your concealed weapon is truly concealed. Ideally, no one should know you have it, or where it is on your person. Keep it that way. Until you need it. Then, better to be judged by twelve than carried by six.

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What is that about not wearing white after Labor Day?


  1. The greatest invitation to trouble is to advertise a "Gun Free Zone".

    1. I remember the city of Hayward advertising itself as a "Nuke free zone", as if that would have stopped an ICBM.

  2. Linked


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