LttE - Rights: property & self-defense
Submitted to the San Antonio Express-News on 17 April 2007:
Clay Robison’s article about the conflict between the private property rights of business owners and the self-defense rights of their employees hit the nail right on the head. Kudos to him for presenting the history & state of the issue without injecting any bias either way!
It is indeed a very thorny issue that should make every respecter of rights nervous about choosing a side in the debate. The way existing TX law is written regarding self-defense and the extension of the castle doctrine to personal vehicles (in practical terms at least, with peaceable journey and no retreat in place) would seem to indicate that an individual’s car and its contents are part of his castle, and if a business allows employees to park their cars on company property the company should be aware that they have no say in what is in those vehicles.
On the other hand, if we value the private property rights of the business and hold to the ideal that the business should be able to use its property as it wishes, who is anyone else to say that the company can’t allow on-site parking for one set of employees but deny it to others? That kind of “condition of employment” shouldn’t be government’s business any more than other arbitrary hire/fire decisions that the business makes on a daily basis.
Thorny indeed, and worthy of very thoughtful consideration by the freedom-loving among us, of all stripes.