23. November, 2005 - dangit

Today, I’m not sure how to start my daily ramble, so I guess I’ll just dive in. Yesterday, I was sure everything was going smoothly, and I’d be starting a new job next Monday. I was excited and a bit nervous, and spent the morning taking care of a bunch of things that I need to do while I still have an extremely flexible schedule (and watching the sidewalk guys finish putting in my railing). Then I started filling out the reams of paperwork needed for the new job, and came across the following sentence in the employment agreement:

No weapons are to be brought onto the property.

Suddenly things are not so clear any more. As soon as I read that line, I thought of the way AOL fired three workers in Utah for having guns in their cars, a dozen Weyerhauser employees were fired at the start of hunting season for having guns in their cars in rural Oklahoma, or the way that Oklahoma’s law that was designed to clear things up is being fought by employers. Things in Minnesota are not clear at all, but as I read it, they can probably ban weapons in the parking lot.

That’s where the problem arises. About a month ago, during the interview process, I specifically asked whether I would be allowed to keep a locked, cased gun in my truck in the parking lot. One of the things that appealed to me about where I’ll be working is that it’s close to one of the ranges I frequent, and I wanted to be clear on whether I’d be able to swing by the range after work without having to make the 20-mile round-trip back home. It almost makes the idea of a daily commute appealing. Nobody mentioned the prohibition (but to be fair, I wasn’t told that one didn’t exist, either — I think the answer I got was along the lines of you should be okay, but I’ll double-check), and we kept moving forward.

But now, when I see that sentence, I worry. It isn’t even specific to guns. According to the TSA, the Leatherman Pocket Tool that so many geeks carry is a weapon. I’m sure that the chef’s knife that’s part of the tailgating supplies I keep in my truck year ’round is a weapon. And that worries me almost as much as what will happen if I decide I’m going shooting after work some day. I don’t want to be a butt-head, but I also don’t want to get fired because I want to head to the range after work or because I brought my usual cooking tools along before heading to a Saints game.

I guess the thing that bothers me the most about this is that I asked about this in advance. I probably should have followed-up when I didn’t get a clear answer right away, but I didn’t. And now I worry because I’ve been vocal about gun-rights and that might set me up as a target. I understand that this is a complicated issue and had hoped the employment policy would allow me to continue to avoid making a hard decision, but it appears that’s not in the cards.


Oh yeah, and there’s something about a bunch of turkey tomorrow. I think I’ll make mine Wild Turkey.

Updated in the early afternoon: It’s not really about guns.

Copyright 2009, Dave Polaschek. Last updated on Mon, 15 Feb 2010 13:59:56.