The beheading of a woman last week in Moore, Oklahoma by a Muslim could have been much, much worse were it not for chief operating officer Mark Vaughan. When Alton Nolen beheaded one woman and began stabbing another, the chief operating officer of the business, Mark Vaughan, retrieved his weapon and shot Nolen to end the attack. Vaughan is also an Oklahoma County reserve sheriff’s deputy. Law enforcement officials have said there is no doubt that Vaughan’s quick action saved the lives of several other employees.
This is a prime example of a violent attack at a business that was ended by someone with a firearm. What if the policy of this business had been that firearms are not allowed on the premises? How many more employees would have been killed before police officers arrived and entered the business to confront Nolen?
Here in Oklahoma we have thousands of people with concealed carry permits. In this day and age it just seems prudent to be armed and ready to defend yourself if necessary. Like the employees at Vaughan Foods, you never know when your life will be threatened with no time to call police and wait for their arrival. Each year, more than 100,000 citizens (not including police & military) use firearms to defend themselves.
And yet there are many places where carrying a concealed firearm is not allowed. Government offices, schools and federal lands are a few and while I disagree with the restriction I can understand the reason for it. But one that I cannot understand is the private businesses who exercise their right under the concealed carry law to disallow permit holders from entering their establishment with a concealed weapon. We’ve all seen the signs on the doors that say Concealed Weapons Not Allowed. What those signs say to me is that they don’t want my business. But, if a business owner wants to advertise to criminals that no one in their establishment will be able to defend themselves or others, that is their choice.
The business owner’s choice… Under the law, business owners have the right to determine what happens on their property and in their establishment. They have the right to deny entry to people who are lawfully exercising their Second Amendment right to carry a firearm. It is completely their option whether or not to do business with people who carry weapons.
So why is it not the business owner’s choice when determining whether or not to do business with someone who demands that the business owner violate their own First Amendment right to freedom of religion? We’ve all read the stories for the past few years of businesses that were sued or charged with some kind of discrimination for refusing to bake cakes for gay weddings, take pictures of gay weddings, provide gowns for gay weddings, make t-shirts for gay pride parades, print announcements of gay weddings or allow gay couples to stay at a bed & breakfast.
So tell me, how is it that business owners have the right to tell someone their Second Amendment rights end at the door to the business, but those same business owners rights under the First Amendment are nonexistent when gay people come through the door? It seems highly inconsistent.