Associated Press story...


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Harold Mayo
January 25, 2003, 11:56 AM
This from the Associated Press. Bold comments by me.


Colo. County Debates Guns in Workplace

By P. SOLOMON BANDA
.c The Associated Press

WELLINGTON, Colo. (AP) - Wearing flip-flops to work at Larimer County's food stamp office is prohibited. Bringing a gun to work is allowed.

Commissioners in this northern Colorado county are working to clarify their stance on guns in the workplace with a written policy after two employees were spotted with handguns. There were no injuries in either case.

Oh, my GOD! Two employees were spotted with handguns and the author of this piece feels the need to point out that the two firearms caused no injuries. What a crock! I guess that wherever there's a gun, there are normally injuries?

Under the proposal, all 1,300 county employees, from janitors to the county manager, would be permitted to carry concealed weapons if they have permits and inform their supervisors in advance. It would not apply to courts, which are governed by state laws prohibiting guns in courthouses.

If the proposal were approved, Larimer would become the first county in the nation with a written concealed weapons policy, according to the Washington, D.C.-based National Association of Counties.

A representative of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said a county that allows workers to bring guns to work is unheard of because most prohibit guns in public buildings.

Many residents are upset with the plan, including one commissioner.

``I don't want to be in a building with a bunch of cowboys,'' retired Fort Collins high school teacher Fred Schmidt said this week. ``Let's take this to its logical conclusion. What if they get into a gun fight? They could cause more damage than good because they're not trained like police officers.''

A bunch of cowboys who have followed the law...hmmm. It's logical conclusion? Well...how many holders of concealed carry permits have EVER gotten into a gunfight with one another? Because they're not trained like police officers? No, they're not. Since some who might choose to carry a handgun when it is NOT part of their job are shooting enthusiasts, they might have sought out better training or had more practice than your average cop and are, therefore, BETTER with their handguns. I will even go so far as to say that, at least among the concealed-carry permit holders that I associate with, I would MUCH rather have them around me if a shooting occurred than the majority of the police that I know.

Carpenter Ben Stein, 42, of Fort Collins said, ``Walking into a public building and knowing that the person you're dealing with is armed, is frightening to me. It doesn't create a pleasant environment.''

The police are armed. What's the difference?

Commission Chairman Tom Bender called the proposed policy reasonable. Commissioner Glenn Gibson said he thinks guns should be allowed only in certain circumstances, such a person who was being stalked. The third commissioner, Kathay Rennels, did not return a phone call seeking comment. Their next meeting is Tuesday.

Located about 50 miles north of Denver, Larimer encompasses Fort Collins, home to Colorado State University and Rocky Mountain National Park. It is a growing urban region that is home to several high-tech firms and an Anheuser-Busch brewery.

AHA! The employees of the Anheuser-Busch brewery should be allowed to carry firearms at the workplace! Beer & guns! Wouldn't the ATF have a heyday...2/3 of its agents could be involved in unConstitutional trampling of rights in ONE location!

Gun-rights issues caught the public's attention in 1999 when newly elected Sheriff Jim Alderden loosened restrictions on issuing concealed weapons permits.

When Alderden took office, there were four concealed-weapons permits in the county. As of Wednesday, there were 2,273 permits. Those who apply for such a permit must undergo firearms training and a background check.

The proposed written policy began taking shape last year after a handgun slipped out of a human services employee's holster and clanked down a stairwell. Later, a co-worker opened her purse, exposing another handgun.

The human services department then proposed a policy banning guns for workers other than law enforcement personnel. County Manager Frank Lancaster drafted a countywide ban meant to close the loophole.

``We had never thought about it,'' Lancaster said. ``Even though I feel like I kicked over a can of worms, we were going to have to deal with it at some point.''

Alderden led the fight to change that policy to allow concealed weapons, arguing that state law allows the public to carry weapons so the county should, too.

``To me, that made a second class citizen of employees,'' Alderden said. ``What the county was looking at doing was keeping employees from being able to defend themselves.''

Rob Wilcox of the Brady Campaign, said guns in the workplace would more than likely would be used in a suicide or accidental shooting than to stop an intruder.

I wish the Brady people would carry guns in the workplace, then...perhaps they could cull themselves out of the ranks of humanity.

Human Resources Director Ralph Jacobs said county needs a written policy. For example, he noted the Child Support and Family Assistance Program, which administers Medicaid and food stamp, has a dress code that prohibits flip-flops and sweat pants for men, and sets skirt-length requirements.

``Would somebody walking into, let's say a driver's license office, with a gun strapped to their side be disruptive?'' Jacobs asked. ``You could make that argument but we need to deal with this issue directly.''

It's what people get used to, Jacobs. A guy with a uniform and a gun doesn't bother people too much. Besides, if it's concealed, then what difference does it make?

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El Tejon
January 25, 2003, 12:49 PM
Ah, I see, more regulation in response to a non-problem.:rolleyes: Tell your employees to stop buying their holsters at Wal-Mart and move on.

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