Even-though an Uber driver in Chicago (of all places) just stopped a murder with his legally carried firearm, Uber came out and said as a policy you cannot have guns in their vehicles. A local burger chain (Whataburger) in Texas came out and said they would not allow open carry in their restaurants. Starbucks, in a letter to their customers, asked if they would leave their guns at home and not bring them into the coffee house. What do all three of these have in common and how are they different?
First, let’s talk about Uber and their policy. Lots of companies have lots of policies. Have you ever read those agreements when you get new software? Have you seen your company’s policies and procedures manual? Ask to see it if you have not and you’ll be surprised what’s against policy. If you don’t know your company’s policies really well, I’ll bet you are violating a couple of them every day and you don’t even know about and no one cares. Here’s the big thing; Policies are not laws. For a policy violation, the company can discipline you up to and including dismissal. For a law violation, the government can make you pay fines and send you to jail. There is a big difference.
My old company had a no guns policy written by a lawyer to protect the company’s interest. They cared about me, but they care about the company as a whole more. Your company is the same way. I carried a gun every day at work for four years and never had a problem.
The trick with violating a policy is to not advertise that you are doing it. Every time I talked to my boss or co-workers my official statement was I don’t violate company policy. Some of them knew I carried a gun, most of them didn’t. Not advertising that you are breaking the policy is the entire secret. Since I carried a concealed gun, no one in the company ever knew I carried it. No one was ever going to know unless I needed that gun to save my life.
If I had used my gun to save my life, what is the worst thing they could have done to me? Fire me. That’s correct, two points. After I used my gun to save my own life, is it a big deal if they give me an official reprimand, disciple letter or even fire me? Nope, the most important thing is that I would be alive to get that punishment. If I did get punishment, I would just take it and move on, whatever it was. Even if the company made me sign a letter that said I wouldn’t carry a gun again, I’d sign it, say okay and continue to do what I’ve always done.
I learned the hard way over the years that fighting a stupid policy with someone that made the policy won’t get you anywhere. A little under-the-table civil disobedience could be the best way to make everyone happy. The person you are arguing with may think it’s stupid too, but was told by his boss, if you want to keep your job, you’ll do this. The bigger the company, the more of this there is.
So if I were going to work for Uber to make some extra money, would I carry my gun? Yes. If I use Uber’s services, am I going to carry my gun? Yes. Am I going to tell them about it? No.
The local Whataburger chain restaurant is a little different. Here in Texas, they can put up a sign that carries the weight of law. Now is when I will actually acquiesce to their request.
There are 15 or more burger joints around me. It’s too much work to take my gun off and put it back on. I simply will go someplace else. Sorry, they might be losing a customer. I like the place but not enough to take my gun off.
Will I violate the law and go into a Whataburger? Not for a burger, I’ll just take my business elsewhere. I’m big into individual rights. The storeowner owns the place, it’s almost like his home. If he or she wants no guns in their restaurant, I’ll respect their property rights. I’ll simply send a message to them and go someplace else. A single store or chain is not worth violating the law, the chance of getting caught, or the headache it will cost you, go someplace else.
Starbucks issued a letter when the gun culture pressed them into a 2nd Amendment fight. I was good with them making no statement. In the end the CEO issued a letter via social media asking customers to leave their guns at home. It seemed to placate everyone and they could go back to making coffee and money.
The letter holds no weight with me. I still go to Starbucks because I like their Frappuccinos and that I am welcome to use their internet and sit for hours if I like. I’ve had many meetings and written lots of articles from their chairs.
Every time, before, during, and after the big argument, I carried my gun. It was either on my hip or in my computer bag. No one saw it because it was concealed and no one cared because no one knew I had it.
So, in the end, I ignored the letter completely and just keep doing what I do at Starbucks.
You are free to make your own decision; I encourage you to make it yourself. Take information from multiple sources and make it your own. Then know what you are violating and the consequences of action or in-action.
I leave you with one thought on the legal side: The Luby’s Mass Shooing in Texas. Suzanna Hupp left her gun in her truck (because it was illegal for her to have it in the dinner with her) and was having dinner with her parents when a crazy man drove his truck through the front of the restaurant, got out and started shooting people. He killed 23 people including both of Suzanna’s parents. She’s testified again and again that her obeying a stupid law caused her parents death. That decision will haunt her for the rest of her life.
What are the consequences for obeying the law, the sign, or someone’s request?
Make your own decision.