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America Online Can Fire Gun-Owning Employees
NRA ^ | July 23, 2004 | NRA

Posted on 07/23/2004 6:56:58 PM PDT by TYVets

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To: Nathaniel Fischer; Sloth
OK, I agree there are property right aspects that give a private individual a strong measure of control over their premises but there are also laws that govern the employee / employer relationship and the corporate construct is not the same in all respects as a person. I'll concede that forbidding firearms on the property is a legitimate right of a business enterprise, assuming proper notice was provided.

However, my over-the-top example of requiring a Kerry bumper sticker would still be over the line. An employee is not an indentured servant and there are limits to the control an employer has over every aspect of an employee's life. I guess I'd have to say forbidding ALL political stickers is legitimate restriction an employer could promulgate.

That said, AOL can't force us to do business with them and I'll have to think hard about my Road Runner access as long as AOL isn't split off from Time Warner / Brighthouse.

101 posted on 07/23/2004 8:23:45 PM PDT by NonValueAdded ("We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good" HRC 6/28/2004)
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To: Mulder
A corporation is a US citizen in both the state in which it is incorporated and the state in which it conducts its principle place of business. You can continue to argue with me about this, but you will continue to be wrong.

My law school was the University of Southern California. What was yours?

102 posted on 07/23/2004 8:25:53 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Torie
Unless you offer your property up as a public accommodation, you are quite secure in whatever your prejudices. I don't like hawkers bothering me myself, whether it be for a product, religion, or political candidate. My policy is to not answer the door when the doorbell rings, unless I am expecting somebody. Call first, or I am not home.

Then there was the case recently in Florida where a man defended his property by shooting a teenager in the back as he was running away after pulling a prank (ringing the doorbell and running away after midnight). The teen died.

If someone is trespassing onto your property, does he have the right not to be used for target practice?

103 posted on 07/23/2004 8:26:17 PM PDT by Tall_Texan (Ronald Reagan - Greatest President of the 20th Century.)
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To: jwalsh07; Nathaniel Fischer; Mulder
Mulder wrote;

Many enlightnened states realize this. Oklahoma was the most recent to pass a bill saying employers couldn't have a policy barring employees from keeping guns in their cars.

______________________________________


Ahh, don't you love it when the government decides to pass laws restricting people's ability to control what happens on their own property?
70 Nathaniel Fischer

_____________________________________

Amazing, eh?
81 jw07

______________________________________


When the gov't protects and reinforces the Right of individuals to defend themselves, and their Right to not have their cars searched, absolutely, YES.

The primary purpose of gov't is to protect our individual Rights.

75 Mulder


______________________________________


Amazing, eh, -- how many yahoos on FR lose sight of the primary purpose of government?

Perhaps they are so eager to pass themselves of as bona-fide 'conservatives' that they remain clueless to our basic constitutional principles, to protect an ~individuals~ right to life, liberty, & property.


A 'gun free' employee parking lot? Boy, now there's a principle worth fighting for.

Good work Mulder.
104 posted on 07/23/2004 8:30:43 PM PDT by tpaine (No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another. - T. Jefferson)
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To: Tall_Texan
He most certainly does. That act is called murder, pure and simple, in all 50 states. One needs to have a reasonable belief of aa threat of personal harm, to off a trespasser, and ringer a doorbell is not trespassing in any event. You just tossed me a slow hanging curve ball.
105 posted on 07/23/2004 8:31:43 PM PDT by Torie
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To: Dog Gone
A corporation is a US citizen in both the state in which it is incorporated and the state in which it conducts its principle place of business

That is a total abomination. But it must be nice to have all the Rights of citizenship (in the eyes of the state) without the responsbilities of citizenship.

My law school was the University of Southern California. What was yours?

I've read the Constitution, so that makes me more educated than most lawyers (perhaps not you). And I'm not being flippant. I'm serious. I speak from experience.

106 posted on 07/23/2004 8:32:05 PM PDT by Mulder (All might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they should.-- Samuel Adams)
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To: Havoc
You can disagree with me as a matter of public policy or common sense, but you can't disagree with me based on the Constitution. You don't have a 4th Amendment right to assert against me for an unreasonable search or seizure. You probably have all kinds of LAWS against that, but the Bill of Rights only restricts the Federal government and the state governments to the extent that those rights have been extended to the various states.

If I'm your employer, I can restrict the heck out of your right to free speech or to carry a weapon, or whatever. Unfortunately, that right is being eroded, and it sounds like many here support that.

107 posted on 07/23/2004 8:32:56 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Torie
Yes. But by that reasoning, it would seem if pushed far enough, someone, at some point, could argue that a right that is specifically stated in the Bill of Rights, can only be exercised in the privacy of one's own domicile, and no where else (not in public, because it might offend someone, not in the "space" of another entity [home/business] because it offended the sensibilities of others).

Because, it seems, the right of privacy (I would assume the shopping mall asserted that as owners they had the right to determine what was allowable on their premises and no one else) is held as the preemninent of the Bill of Rights. A first, among lesser, equals, so to speak.

Free speech (which would mean, you can say it, but no one is compelled to listen to it)? Only in your home, because you have ultimate rights there.

Freedom of religion? Only in your home, for reasons mentioned above.

Right to bear arms? Only in your house (but some are hoping to change that).

Right to assemlby? Not necessarily in your home, because it might offend your neighbors (reference house church groups which are specifically banned in some locales).

Right to privacy? Not if your thoughts (assuming they do not advocate that which is unconstitutional/treasonous) are politically incorrect.

108 posted on 07/23/2004 8:33:12 PM PDT by twntaipan (demonRATs ARE the friends of our enemies, which makes demoRATs our... (finish the sentence).)
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To: TYVets

Maybe AOL has good reason to be frightened of it's own employees.


109 posted on 07/23/2004 8:34:30 PM PDT by Jorge
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To: Havoc

Well said


110 posted on 07/23/2004 8:35:24 PM PDT by tpaine (No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another. - T. Jefferson)
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To: TYVets

AOL sucks. Always has, always will.


111 posted on 07/23/2004 8:36:38 PM PDT by TigersEye (Intellectuals only exist if you think they do!)
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To: twntaipan

One can argue anything. But until one tries to parse the competing considerations, constitutional, public policy, and plain old common sense, in a thorough anjd even handed way, one isn't contributing much of anything.


112 posted on 07/23/2004 8:37:34 PM PDT by Torie
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To: NonValueAdded
I'll concede that forbidding firearms on the property is a legitimate right of a business enterprise, assuming proper notice was provided.

Suppose the gov't passed laws that made it possible for AOL to buy up every other company in the US for pennies on the dollar. Then AOL could ban guns everywhere! And that would be fine for some folks.

Of course, it will never go to that degree, but all large companies are beneficiaries of corporate welfare to some degree. The gov't makes them "winners", while making small businesses and individuals "losers". It's in the tax code. It's in the civil rights laws. Etc....

So in a sense, gov't can enact their edicts through so-called "private" corporations. The corporations do what gov't wants (bans guns, recognizes same sex marriages, etc....) and the gov't gives them contracts or changes tax law to help them.

But I'm getting off track here. Individuals have unalienable Rights, which include the Right to own property (cars), bear arms, speak freely, etc.... No gov't or no authority has any power to infringe upon them. Individual Rights trump "corporate rights" every time.

113 posted on 07/23/2004 8:38:26 PM PDT by Mulder (All might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they should.-- Samuel Adams)
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To: Mulder
The point is that corporations have both the rights and responsibilities of any other citizen. Do you have the right to prevent a guest from coming into your house with a gun?

I would hope you would say yes, because you could prevent a guest from coming into your house for any reason you choose. Nobody has a right to come into your house without a court order over your objection.

If AOL wants to have this rule and enforce it, that's their decision and they'll have to live with whatever consequences that entails.

But their policy is neither illegal or unconstitutional unless local state law has overridden their property rights.

114 posted on 07/23/2004 8:43:00 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Dog Gone; Mulder
Here is the Florida Statute on Corporations:
607.0302 General powers.--Unless its articles of incorporation provide otherwise, every corporation has perpetual duration and succession in its corporate name and has the same powers as an individual to do all things necessary or convenient to carry out its business and affairs, including without limitation power: (1) to ... yada yada yada [emphasis added]

The bold clause tells me a corporation and an individual are not completely equal, at least in Florida. And I didn't go to law school but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn once.

115 posted on 07/23/2004 8:43:01 PM PDT by NonValueAdded ("We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good" HRC 6/28/2004)
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To: SouthernFreebird

I can cause more lethal damage with my "unarmed" automobile, than I have ever caused with my unseen thigh holstered gun.

I prefer my gun, for accuracy, but if all I have left for self defense is the overwhelming force of my automobile, well, don't come asking for insurance damages if you are inadvertantly injured while I defend myself with the only means you think I should have immediately available.
Do you feel safer now?

I am a much better shooter with a gun than I am with my car...


116 posted on 07/23/2004 8:45:33 PM PDT by sarasmom
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To: Dog Gone

My law school was the University of Southern California.

If I'm your employer, I can restrict the heck out of your right to free speech or to carry a weapon, or whatever.

Unfortunately, that right is being eroded, and it sounds like many here support that.
107 Dog Gone

______________________________________


USC law school taught you that employers have right to "restrict the heck out of your right to free speech or to carry a weapon, or whatever"?

You should sue the bastards.


117 posted on 07/23/2004 8:47:33 PM PDT by tpaine (No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another. - T. Jefferson)
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To: NonValueAdded

Actually, I tried to read the link through AOL. but for some reason, it's not working. You don't suppose AOL ... no, they wouldn't do that, would they?


118 posted on 07/23/2004 8:50:26 PM PDT by Cincinnatus.45-70 (Accuracy counts, but caliber is important, too.)
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To: Dog Gone
You probably have all kinds of LAWS against that, but the Bill of Rights only restricts the Federal government and the state governments to the extent that those rights have been extended to the various states

What about when the corporation *is* the government de facto? I'd be interested in your thoughts here.

If the gov't owned the corporation 100%, could they then have license to infringe upon all individual Rights?

What if the percentage is only 50%? Or 1%?

Or what if they don't own it, but pass laws making it impossible for anyone else to compete with the company?

If I'm your employer, I can restrict the heck out of your right to free speech or to carry a weapon, or whatever.

Can a man consensually surrender his Right to self-defense or Right to free speech? I think not. Consider what Sam Adams had to say:

"If men, through fear, fraud, or mistake, should in terms renounce or give up any natural right, the eternal law of reason and the grand end of society would absolutely vacate such renunciation. The right to freedom being the gift of Almighty God, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave.”"

Certainly no third party can deprive a man of his Rights, if even he himself cannot surrender them.

Keep in mind, we're not talking about employees who want to open a shooting range on company property, or clean their guns while they should be working.

We are talking about the Rights of individuals to bear arms for defense of themselves, their property, and their nation. No power on earth has the moral authority to deprive them of that Right and duty.

119 posted on 07/23/2004 8:50:28 PM PDT by Mulder (All might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they should.-- Samuel Adams)
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To: NonValueAdded

How so? I have the power as an individual to do everything necessary and convenient, except that I haven't won the Lotto yet.


120 posted on 07/23/2004 8:50:30 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: TYVets

I guess I've never understood the appeal of AOL. I actually, back in 1994 or 1995 started with compuserve for a year or so, then I went to a local dial-up before moving onto high-speed cable.

Those of you who have used AOL, tell me why, please?


121 posted on 07/23/2004 8:52:42 PM PDT by hispanarepublicana (Free Brigitte Bardot.)
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To: Cincinnatus.45-70

Yes they would.


122 posted on 07/23/2004 8:52:58 PM PDT by NonValueAdded ("We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good" HRC 6/28/2004)
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To: Dog Gone
The Bill of Rights protects you against the government, not other private citizens, including businesses.

If the owners are flaunting their weapons or whatever or in some way causing attention to the weapons or to themselves being armed, I would tend to agree with you. As it is, if they are out of sight in a trunk or concealed space, I think the employee has some privacy expectation. After all, a company can not set up peep cameras in rest rooms, even though they clearly own or control that area.

I think that a company should make such policies as this known up front and make it a contractual matter: an employee, when hired, signs something that says on the condition of his or her employment agrees not to carry weapons of any kind in his vehicle when the vehicle is to be parked on site. At that point, everything is up front and the employee can (and should) tell the employer to screw off and go work somewhere else.

123 posted on 07/23/2004 8:53:22 PM PDT by 1L
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To: Dog Gone
Do you have the right to prevent a guest from coming into your house with a gun?

Apples and oranges.

There is a huge difference in an individual citizen preventing someone from entering their property; and a corporation that fires employees for private property contained in their private vehicle.

124 posted on 07/23/2004 8:54:10 PM PDT by Mulder (All might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they should.-- Samuel Adams)
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To: TYVets
the right of a business to regulate its own property is more important!

Guess that means that if it doesn't want blacks, jews or females on its own property it can fire them, too?

125 posted on 07/23/2004 8:54:32 PM PDT by gg188
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To: Mulder
Corporations don't have "rights". Only individuals do.

This is just wrong. Corporations have private property rights if the corporation is a property owner. Further, if a corporation is prevented by a government from running, for example, a newspaper item or themselves printing a newspaper because of content, the corporation has first amendment rights they can protect as an entity. Corporations also have fourth amendment rights, though it becomes more hazy on fifth and sixth amendment rights. But to say they "don't have rights" is incorrect.

126 posted on 07/23/2004 8:58:48 PM PDT by 1L
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To: Mulder
You absolutely can consent to waiving your constitutional rights, even to the government. It happens every day.

You do raise an interesting hypothetical. If the government owned 1% of AOL, could it then impose a firearm ban on company property?

I'd argue that it couldn't, although I suspect the judiciary would try to determine whether the government ownership was actually responsible for the ban. Excellent question.

But in regards to your hypothetical where one company (or even more than one) had a monopoly in the country that prohibited gun possession, I think that is constitutionally permissible. As long as it's private property, the property owner gets to make the rules for admission.

127 posted on 07/23/2004 8:58:53 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: hispanarepublicana
Those of you who have used AOL, tell me why, please?

AOL sucks. They get their business from sending junk mail to people's houses (unsoliticited), and hope that a few suckers will install their "software". And like most corporations, I would not be surprised if they weren't also getting some money in underhanded ways.

But now you've got me thinking.

Those bastards sending me unsoliticed junk mail is a bigger infringement on my Rights than *any* infrigment on AOL by the employees that had guns in their cars.

128 posted on 07/23/2004 8:59:51 PM PDT by Mulder (All might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they should.-- Samuel Adams)
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To: tpaine

Suing them for being right seems pretty dumb.


129 posted on 07/23/2004 9:00:07 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Dog Gone
Well, I don't know where the line would be drawn but I suppose if a case could be made that the corporation was doing something that could be proved to be outside the necessity of conducting its business and affairs, it could be deemed to be outside their powers. (Phew! Vanna, can I buy a comma?) All I meant to show by posting the statute is a corporation and an individual are not equal in all respects.

Here is another gem that shoudl give us pause and solace at the same time [emphasis added]:

447.01 Regulating labor unions; state policy.--

(1) Because of the activities of labor unions affecting the economic conditions of the country and the state, entering as they do into practically every business and industrial enterprise, it is the sense of the Legislature that such organizations affect the public interest and are charged with a public use. The working person, unionist or nonunionist, must be protected. The right to work is the right to live.

(2) It is here now declared to be the policy of the state, in the exercise of its sovereign constitutional police power, to regulate the activities and affairs of labor unions, their officers, agents, organizers and other representatives, in the manner, and to the extent hereafter set forth.


130 posted on 07/23/2004 9:00:39 PM PDT by NonValueAdded ("We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good" HRC 6/28/2004)
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To: TYVets

The headline doesn't fit with the story. It would be more nearly correct to say: AOL can ban employees from bringing guns to AOP property.


131 posted on 07/23/2004 9:03:16 PM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: Mulder
There is a huge difference in an individual citizen preventing someone from entering their property; and a corporation that fires employees for private property contained in their private vehicle.

Read my lips. Corporations are citizens.

If a citizen has the right to prevent a woman from coming into her house with a gun in her purse, then a corporation has the right to prevent you from parking in their parking lot with a gun in your trunk.

132 posted on 07/23/2004 9:06:46 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: ijcr
how about...no homosexuals on my property or no black people? Are my property rights secure?

Those rights are not currently protected as they should be, but you DO have them as a property owner.

133 posted on 07/23/2004 9:07:46 PM PDT by Sloth (We have to support RINOs like Specter; their states are too liberal to elect someone like Santorum.)
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To: *bang_list

Bang


134 posted on 07/23/2004 9:08:18 PM PDT by Atlas Sneezed (Your Friendly Freeper Patent Attorney)
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To: Dog Gone

My law school was the University of Southern California.

If I'm your employer, I can restrict the heck out of your right to free speech or to carry a weapon, or whatever.

Unfortunately, that right is being eroded, and it sounds like many here support that.
107 Dog Gone

______________________________________

USC law school taught you that employers have right to "restrict the heck out of your right to free speech or to carry a weapon, or whatever"?

You should sue the bastards.
117 tpaine

_____________________________________


Suing them for being right seems pretty dumb.
129 d Gone

______________________________________


Only a USC law school grad would think its dumb.


135 posted on 07/23/2004 9:10:27 PM PDT by tpaine (No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another. - T. Jefferson)
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To: 1L
Our government was instituted to protect and defend individual Rights.

If the "rules" (made by any entity) are so cumbersome that you cannot vigorously exercise your Rights, then those Rights have been illegally infringed upon.

Suppose your company bans guns. Now you can't "keep and bear arms" for 50 hours a week.

Now suppose your state bans open carry. Then you can't "bear" arms at any time, save for those few hours a month you are at a range.

Then trains and planes ban guns. Now you can exercise your Right even less.

So basically, through no action of the federal government, your Rights have been severely violated. What recourse are a Free people to have? Are we simply supposed to move to another state, every time they infringe upon our Rights. Or quit our jobs? Or walk to our destination instead of taking a train?

Do you really think *this* is what our Founders had in mind when they shed blood in defense of Liberty? Do you think when Jefferson, etc.... wrote about Freedom, they had in mind a bunch of bureaucratic needledicks that could make "policy" to effectively eviscerate these Rights?

Quite the contrary, they created a gov't whos primary purpose was to defend our individual Rights. Be it from foreign or domestic enemies.

136 posted on 07/23/2004 9:11:28 PM PDT by Mulder (All might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they should.-- Samuel Adams)
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To: NonValueAdded
Corporations and individuals are not equal in all respects primarily because state laws have been drafted to apply to each in different ways. It's very difficult to try a company for murder, and most individuals aren't ever going to be successfully charged with securities fraud.

But both individuals and corporations do share the benefits and liabilities of private property ownership.

137 posted on 07/23/2004 9:11:59 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Dog Gone
Read my lips. Corporations are citizens.

In our Orwellian world, that is probably the case in our "edicts".

That doesn't make it right, nor moral.

138 posted on 07/23/2004 9:14:02 PM PDT by Mulder (All might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they should.-- Samuel Adams)
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To: tpaine

Wow, what a witty argument. That should impress any third-grader.


139 posted on 07/23/2004 9:16:29 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Tall_Texan
The parking lot is the employer's property but isn't the locked trunk the car owner's property? How does my right to have whatever I have in the locked trunk of my car changed simply due to where I have chosen to drive?

This should be no big deal. I live in California, and if I or other workers are going to shoot after work, we just park our cars on the street adjacent to the company parking lot. No one has ever even brought this issue up.

140 posted on 07/23/2004 9:16:50 PM PDT by ExtremeUnction
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To: tpaine
A 'gun free' employee parking lot? Boy, now there's a principle worth fighting for.

Obviously, it's not a principle that you or I would fight for, but you as a libertarian should agree that an employer has the right to set whatever restrictions it wants on its property. No one is forcing AOL employees to work for the company. If the policy is really that bad, perhaps they should vote with their feet and find a new job. And if cutsomers are that upset by the policy, they could always switch ISPs. If that happens enough, AOL will begin to feel the financial impact and switch their policy. Shouldn't that be the way it works? Personally, I don't think much of AOL already, and the company's liberalism only reinforces my decision not to use them.

141 posted on 07/23/2004 9:17:26 PM PDT by Nathaniel Fischer (RIP RWR)
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To: Dog Gone
The Bill of Rights protects you against the government, not other private citizens, including businesses."

"That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men," Apparently, one of the reasons Governments are instituted is to protect your rights against others and to protect their rights against you.

142 posted on 07/23/2004 9:25:05 PM PDT by KrisKrinkle
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To: Dog Gone

Dog Gone wrote:

"It's very difficult to try a company for murder"

______________________________________


Has any company EVER been tried for murder?

If 'it' was convicted, who served time?

Are you ~really~ sure you went to USC Law School? -- Perhaps you attended their School of Dramatic Arts by mistake?



143 posted on 07/23/2004 9:25:13 PM PDT by tpaine (No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another. - T. Jeffersonmurde)
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To: NonValueAdded
However, my over-the-top example of requiring a Kerry bumper sticker would still be over the line.

How 'bout the other way around? So I don't have the right to fire an employee if they had an "Impeach Bush" sticker on their car? Try to tell me I couldn't.

An employee is not an indentured servant and there are limits to the control an employer has over every aspect of an employee's life.

Of course not. You are free to procure other employment if you don't like the rules.

144 posted on 07/23/2004 9:26:25 PM PDT by stands2reason (Kerry/Edwards: TERRORISTS FLEE FROM BETTER HAIR!!!)
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To: TYVets; Ramius; ecurbh

I am stunned that AOL would bother to act on such a minor infraction. I have to wonder how it was ever discovered in the first place, and if the real issue wasn't an alarming lack of discretion on the part of the employees.


145 posted on 07/23/2004 9:28:20 PM PDT by HairOfTheDog (~*-,._.,-*~Loves her hubbit~*-,._.,-*~)
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To: Tall_Texan

I take it you have issue with Texas Right to Work laws?


146 posted on 07/23/2004 9:29:19 PM PDT by stands2reason (Kerry/Edwards: TERRORISTS FLEE FROM BETTER HAIR!!!)
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To: tpaine

The point went over your head, but I'm not surprised.


147 posted on 07/23/2004 9:31:16 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: TYVets

I don't do business with these half wits.


148 posted on 07/23/2004 9:32:47 PM PDT by television is just wrong
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To: TYVets

http://www.keepandbeararms.com/newsarchives/XcNewsPlus.asp?cmd=view&articleid=827



AOL Fires Gun Owners

by Sarah Thompson, M.D.
Director, Utah Gun Owners Alliance
http://www.UTGOA.org



America Online, http://www.aol.com, has been known to gun owners for some time for their support of anti-gun organizations and policies. They’ve donated large sums of money to liberal, anti-gun Democrat organizations to support people like Dianne Feinstein, Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy.

More recently, they’ve canceled accounts for firearms related web sites on the grounds that such material is no different from “pornography”. Never mind that guns are entirely legal items owned by tens of millions of Americans. Never mind that AOL doesn’t seem to think that disgustingly offensive rock music is a problem.

Now, in another step towards the final elimination of gun owners from “civilized society”, AOL has fired three exemplary workers for having firearms in their cars in order to go shooting at a range on their own time!

The three employees are Luke Hansen, Jason Melling and Paul Carlson. All three worked as “partner technical consultants” at AOL’s Ogden, Utah facility, doing higher level technical support. The Ogden facility employs about 850 people, according to AOL’s web site, and “handles a range of technical, billing, third-party and sales calls”. According to Mr. Hansen, they had worked at AOL for two to four years, and all had good employee records and good reviews from their supervisors. Unfortunately (at least from AOL’s point of view), the three young men also enjoy shooting.

On September 14, 2000, Luke, Jason and Paul met after work in the AOL parking lot to go shooting at the gun range near Eden, Utah. In order to carpool to the range, Jason and Paul transferred their firearms from their own cars to Luke’s truck, a matter of carrying them a few yards. Jason transferred a .30-06 hunting rifle and a 9mm Smith & Wesson handgun. Both firearms were unloaded and in cases. Paul transferred a .45 long Colt “cowboy style” pistol and a 7.63 X .39 KBI. The Colt was in a holster, and both firearms were unloaded. The handguns had trigger locks in place. Luke’s firearms were in his truck and he never touched Jason or Paul’s firearms. At no time did they brandish or handle the firearms in a threatening or unsafe manner. Luke and Paul hold valid Utah concealed weapons permits, and Jason is in the process of obtaining one, so all three are familiar with safe handling and Utah laws.

Although all three of them worked during the subsequent three days, nothing about the firearms was mentioned. However, on Monday, Sept. 18, all three were fired for “violating AOL’s employee policy” which states that firearms are forbidden on company property, including the parking lot. According to Luke, although no one complained, an overzealous security guard saw the firearms on a video surveillance tape and reported the alleged violations.

AOL does have its firearms policy posted inside the front and back doors of the building, stating that firearms are not permitted in the building or in the parking lot, and all three employees were aware of this policy. However, they were also aware that AOL’s policy violates Utah state law. AOL states that it is a “secure facility”, although under Utah law secure facilities can be designated only by the legislature, and include places such as courts, airports, mental health facilities, and prisons. By definition, a place open to the public cannot be a “secure facility”, and AOL’s parking lot is open to the public. (Actually, it’s a group of marked stalls in a public parking lot.) In addition, a secure facility is required to provide locked safe storage for anyone lawfully carrying a firearm, and accept responsibility for stored firearms, something that AOL clearly was not equipped to do.

On a previous occasion about two months ago, the three men had also transferred firearms after work, and had been reported to management. At that time, Luke Hansen met with AOL’s General Manager, Sarah McElwee. At that time, he explained to Ms. McElwee that while AOL might be able to restrict firearms in the building, it could not restrict firearms in a public parking lot, and that AOL did not meet the criteria for a “secure facility”. Mr. Hansen says he thought the matter was resolved at the time, although no written changes were made to AOL’s policy. Ironically, Ms. McElwee’s husband is known for the very fine firearms he makes!


149 posted on 07/23/2004 9:34:56 PM PDT by Drammach (Freedom; not just a job, it's an adventure..)
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To: TYVets
Additional note on the above article..

By definition, a place open to the public cannot be a “secure facility”, and AOL’s parking lot is open to the public. (Actually, it’s a group of marked stalls in a public parking lot.) In addition, a secure facility is required to provide locked safe storage for anyone lawfully carrying a firearm, and accept responsibility for stored firearms, something that AOL clearly was not equipped to do.

150 posted on 07/23/2004 9:38:40 PM PDT by Drammach (Freedom; not just a job, it's an adventure..)
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