(MN) Editorial: Guns at work/A recipe for danger, not defense


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Drizzt
September 19, 2005, 02:45 AM
Editorial: Guns at work/A recipe for danger, not defense
September 19, 2005 ED0919


Neil Mahmoud had every reason to live. Newly married and on the verge of a career as a computer programmer, the 23-year-old student saw little peril in his job at an Apple Valley convenience store. The job entailed ejecting the occasional troublemaker, of course, and just this July Mahmoud tossed out two young men who tried to rob the place with a pellet gun. But the neighborhood was regarded as supremely safe, and locals were shocked late last month when Mahmoud was found on the shop floor bleeding to death from a gunshot wound. How could such horror invade a tranquil town?

It invaded not because a criminal came to call, but because the store's owner had recently purchased a gun. The weapon was meant to deter robbers and protect employees, but -- as too often is the case -- ended up underwriting a tragedy. The person who shot Mahmoud, police have determined, wasn't an intruder. All evidence suggests that Mahmoud shot himself -- accidentally.

The accident may seem a fluke, a rare and unfortunate happenstance hardly worth a second thought. In truth, Mahmoud's needless death vividly illustrates the folly of counting on guns for safety. Thousands of accidental gun deaths occur in this country every year. The key to reducing the number is clear.

More than a decade ago, a study from the New England Journal of Medicine found that private gun ownership heightens a household's risk of homicide threefold and raises the likelihood of suicide five times above that of a gun-free household.

In short, having a gun close at hand is generally more dangerous than not having one. Plain logic suggests that this is true not just on the home front but in the workplace as well -- and research bears out the speculation. Workplace violence has become an American commonplace, and those who study it insist that blessing the presence of guns on the job can only bring more bloodshed.

As researcher Dean Schaner has argued in a book about employer liability, "It is far more foreseeable that an employee will be injured in a workplace full of guns and an environment reminiscent of the Old West, than one in which weapons are prohibited."

All tragedies give rise to a flood of "if onlies." Surely all who cared for Neil Mahmoud are consumed with thoughts about how his life might have been saved. Yet such thoughts should preoccupy not just those mourning this charming young man, but all Minnesotans. This tragedy teaches a lesson to which employers -- and all of us -- should hold fast: To keep the workplace safe, banish weapons.

http://www.startribune.com/stories/1519/5619483.html

...and what else would you expect from the Minneapolis Red Star?

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psyopspec
September 19, 2005, 02:51 AM
...and what else would you expect from the Minneapolis Red Star?

A less rigid brand of paper for their printed "news" would be nice for those occasions when my apartment runs dry of TP.

LiquidTension
September 19, 2005, 08:55 AM
I thought the number of accidental firearm related deaths was below 800, not in the "thousands." Bah, wouldn't want facts to ruin a perfectly good opinion now, would we? :rolleyes:

El Tejon
September 19, 2005, 08:57 AM
Oh, my goodness, I just realized that cops have all kinds of guns at their work! :what:

Someone call the Star and demand the disarming of all police officers. This will make them safer for their own good, and for the good of the children and fluffy bunnies.

Andrew Rothman
September 19, 2005, 11:09 AM
Yup, in 2002, 762 people were killed in firearm accidents.

767 died on bikes
3,261 died in fires
4,146 drowned
45,380 were killed in car accidents

GTSteve03
September 19, 2005, 11:19 AM
In short, having a car close at hand is generally more dangerous than not having one. Plain logic suggests that this is true not just on the home front but in the workplace as well -- and research bears out the speculation. Car accidents have become an American commonplace, and those who study it insist that blessing the presence of cars on the job can only bring more bloodshed.

In short, BAN ALL CARS! :banghead: :cuss:

Janitor
September 19, 2005, 11:24 AM
NOTE:
To keep the workplace safe, banish weapons.
The article says weapons.

That mean anything that can be used as a bludgeon?

How about fertalizer?

Cars allowed?

Uh-oh. Sharp edges. Better make sure all glass is tempered and all credit cards are shredded then melted down.

Moondoggie
September 19, 2005, 11:26 AM
This editorial is so full of slanted statements (similar to the editorial page of USA Today) and inaccuracies that it's a waste of time to analyze each one.

According to the author's logic, gun stores must be the most dangerous place on the planet. Not to mention the sporting goods section of WalMart. Let's not forget the military.

Geeesh!!!

The good news is that it won't change anybody's mind. The libs will blindly swallow the pablum..."That's right, uh huh". The pro 2A folks will dismiss the author as FOS.

Spot77
September 19, 2005, 11:30 AM
Matt Payne,

Could you give me the source for the number of deaths? I'm not calling you out or anything, I just want to be able to use it later.

Thanks!

Andrew Rothman
September 19, 2005, 11:45 AM
I wrote a letter to the editor. I'm sure they'll publish it. :rolleyes:

Andrew Rothman
September 19, 2005, 11:50 AM
Could you give me the source for the number of deaths?

CDC's WISQARS -- http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/mortrate10_sy.html

WISQARS (Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System) is an interactive database system that provides customized reports of injury-related data.

Waitone
September 19, 2005, 12:00 PM
Yea, I like the part in the article where they disclosed all the training the victim had. How he had access to the gun and knew how to use it in a safe and / or lethal manner.

What? I missed something?

Andrew Rothman
September 20, 2005, 12:55 AM
I wrote a letter to the editor. I'm sure they'll publish it.

Dang. They published it. Well, half of it, anyway.

Here's what I wrote. They killed the first part, in italics:

Your editorial about guns in the workplace used incorrect numbers and faulty logic to reach a senseless conclusion.

The editorial said that there are “[t]housands of accidental gun deaths” every year. In fact, there were 762 in 2002, the last year for which the CDC has published data. In that year, five times as many people drowned, and 60 times as many died in car accidents.

You wrote that Mahmoud’s death “illustrates the folly of counting on guns for safety,” but every year, 1.5 million people defend themselves with a gun, according to a 1994 U.S. Department of Justice study.

The true folly in Mahmoud’s tragic death lay in providing him with a firearm without sufficient training. Like chainsaws, forklifts or delivery trucks, firearms are tools, and when improperly used can cause injury or death.

My fellow firearm trainers and I all teach the same simple rules: Assume every firearm is loaded. Never point the firearm at anything you do not intend to destroy. Keep your finger off of the trigger until ready to shoot.

If Mahmoud had been taught these simple rules, he’d be alive today. Shame on his employer for failing to do so.


Here's what they ran:

Killed by lack of training

The true folly in Nail Mahmoud's tragic death ("Police: Clerk accidentally shot himself," Sept. 15) was providing him with a firearm without sufficient training. Like chainsaws, forklifts or delivery trucks, firearms are tools, and when improperly used they can cause injury or death.

My fellow firearm trainers and I all teach the same simple rules: Assume every firearm is loaded. Never point the firearm at anything you do not intend to destroy. Keep your finger off of the trigger until ready to shoot.

If Mahmoud had been taught these simple rules, he'd be alive today. Shame on his employer for failing to do so.

Andrew Rothman, Chanhassen

chaim
September 20, 2005, 01:56 AM
Dang. They published it. Well, half of it, anyway.

Here's what I wrote. They killed the first part, in italics:


Looks like they cut out the part that most people most need to see, what a shock :scrutiny:

Andrew Rothman
September 20, 2005, 02:01 AM
I'm shocked they printed it at all.

I wish they had included my slam on their editorial, but at least the gun safety message got out.

Waitone
September 20, 2005, 08:26 AM
Nooosirrrreeeee! We can't let them pesky lill' facts get in the way of solid advocacy urinalism.

Everybody is happy. Paper can claim it covered both side. Antis are not bothered with facts. Pro side can strut its stuff about safety. Trouble is everyone is still ignorant of the debate. Ain't a free press wonderful?

Bruce H
September 20, 2005, 08:52 AM
With the half truthes and outright lies that newspapers print I can see the editorialists point. If everybody at the paper was armed there could be a fast turnover of editoralists.

entropy
September 20, 2005, 06:57 PM
Strangely enough, I don't feel threatened at work with all the guns around, I feel at ease knowing they are there.

Surprising the Red Star printed any of your letter, Matt, considering it contained truth, something the Pravda of the Prairie knows nothing about. ;)

Standing Wolf
September 20, 2005, 11:22 PM
More than a decade ago, a study from the New England Journal of Medicine found that private gun ownership heightens a household's risk of homicide threefold and raises the likelihood of suicide five times above that of a gun-free household.

If you retell a lie enough times, it becomes a fact, right?

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