The Instigator
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Con (against)
10 Points

The Second Amendment should not end where the workplace begins

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/5/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 564 times Debate No: 58584
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (3)




Context to consider before the debate:
People often ridicule the NRA and Open Carry groups as extreme but I think this is shortsighted and misses a real opportunity: creating and coalition between left and right to expand civil liberties into the workplace. Originally, the Constitution protected one against federal government action but later extended to states. Every few states have Guns-at-Work laws, and even those have every heavy restrictions, usually limited your weapon locked inside a glove compartment in your car. I am very interested in everyone"s thoughts surrounding the Second Amendment and whether it should end when at the workplace. My position is the Constitution should apply universally, including institutions or non-state actors exempt by law.
Rounds, Rules, Requirements

First Rounds: acceptance
Second Round: Major Arguments
Third: Other arguments, rebuttals, and relevant remarks

Con position:
I want to debate anyone with a strong belief in Second Amendment protections.

So, to be clear: I do not want to debate anyone with anti-gun attitudes or beliefs. I want to debate a pro-gun advocate.
By accepting this debate, you agree to the rules and requirements stated above. Violations of these rules will be considered invalid and irrelevant and result in an automatic loss.

Refer to additional remarks posted in the Comments section for clarity on the debate.


This might be an interesting debate.

As I am very much Pro Gun Rights and "Pro Gun" I feel I might be able to provide an intellectual debate here.
(Though I did play Devil's Advocate in a "Repeal the 2nd Amendment" debate not long ago.. It was exactly that, Devils Advocate.
Debate Round No. 1


My argument is less radical than it may appear. First, constitutional protections would not hinder business given the very broad scope of an employer"s power, they would still be able to fire you but not for owning or carrying a weapon. The immediate response is likely the following: this is an infringement on private property and owners. But is this really the case? Is the private sector crumbling before the unlimited power of employees? No. Not at all. In fact, the opposite is true, employers have all the power. You may or may not realize it but if you work in the private sector, you give up most rights and concepts of personal autonomy. Unless have union representation or work under a government contract, which continues to decline year by year, your employer does not have to tell you why they fired you. Consider the most intrusive piece of legislation to the private sector in terms of government expanding its reach into private business Civil Rights legislation. Because of that, your employer cannot discriminate based on age, sex, or race. Now did this restriction cripple business? Do businesses, private employers, and corporations have other methods for firing an employee? Yes, in fact, if your employer cannot find other reason to fire you, they should probably not be in any position of authority. The law today allows employer to fire you for your appearance, meaning fat, thin, ugly, or attractive.[1] [2] Your employer can fire you for smoking at home, using drugs, or engaging in risking behavior including skiing in your free time. [3] Pro takes the position Second Amendment should not end where the workplace begins. I believe this first round illustrates that this is a sensible idea. Even with these extensions, employers will still be able to fire but not taking a firearm into the workplace. Here are two cases to consider: A bank manager at Well Fargo was fired for bringing a concealed weapon to work, even though she has a permit and the bank does not have a weapons policy. [4] Another case involves a pharmacists at Wal-Greens fired a weapon when an armed man attempted to rob the store. [5] Is Con going to argue that preventing employers from firing these individuals because they carried a gun to work or discharge their weapon for a legitimate purpose places to much burden on private interests? I hope not. I am arguing for what I believe are small and reasonable protections.

Should guns, speech, and privacy continue at work? That is the central question. We often talk about rights, every year some incident inevitably breaks out where we talk about

[1] The legitimate under law practice of firing people based on appearance
[2] Article on women can be fired for being too attractive
[3] A national public radio interview about cases where employees were fired for smoking and skiing
[4] Case of a bank manager fired for bring a gun to work
[5] Pharmacist fired to trying to stop a bank robbery


Let's focus on the debate at hand.
And I feel this is a debate about employer rights and not just the second amendment itself but the Bill of Rights in its entirety.

Now we have basic social rights that are granted to us that are written into law already. You cannot be fired or refused hiring basing on gender, race, or age.

But employers have certain right granted them who they can hire and fire within reason. Also depends on if they working in a Right to Work State.
We have the 1st amendment. I have the right to say what I want when I want, and my employer has the right to put a speech policy in place telling us if we swear, we could lose our job. But that 1st amendment is there. Some swears actually offend people and based on that, our rights end where individual's rights begin.

Given that information.
I think if an employer doesn't want an employee to carry on their premises (especially a bank) it should be in a policy. An employer should not have to spell out that they don't want a gun in their establishment especially in a place that is vulnerable to high risk Larceny as a bank.

Dress code is another thing that is placed in a lot of policies. We as an American have the right to dress how we want but if we want a job, we should abide by the policies in place in order to keep our job.

So this isn't so much a work place right but a question on what our employer's rights are.
An employer can tell you what to wear and What to say/not to say. (1st Amendment)
Search your work computer and even monitor you while you work. And even search your personal locker if you have one. (4th Amendment)
Hot Dog on a Stick makes you wear that absolutely horrible uniform (8th Amendment... Cruel and Unusual)
So naturally, The 2nd Amendment's Right to Bear arms could be placed in that same Policy.
Don't like the policy. work somewhere else.

Now of course once you are off the premises
They should not have the ability to invoke those same restrictions in your every day life that our Bill of Rights grant us.
Unless you sign something that says you would abide by some honor code in which case you can accept or reject that job and find somewhere else to work.

So no, I don't think it is right that someone get fired for carrying a weapon even though they were legally able to carry it, but that isn't a question of discrimination as the company would have equally fired ANYONE carrying a weapon on the premises. And since there is no civil rights being violated, the company exercised it's right to "fire".

So it's basically a question of what are the rights of the employers.
Do I think it's right that someone can be fired for being too good looking? Nope. But I'm sure though if the person cared enough they could fight it in court. just because a company fired someone doesn't mean it will stick if that person decided to fight against.

All in all
I don't think an employer should be forced to allow a weapon of any sorts (permit or not) as it's "His/her House, His/Her Rules".
Debate Round No. 2


Let"s take the example of the two businesses that fired their employees for bringing concealed weapons to work: Wells Fargo and Walgreens. These are both corporations. Now a corporation cannot exist through private contracts alone. In fact, a corporation can only exist through government interference in the market. It is through a government charter that a corporation gains rights like personhood. The states grant right to a corporation through a charter. The charter allows them the following: "(1) the right to own property, make contracts, and sue and be sued, as a unitary entity (or legal "personhood); (2) the right to centralized management of this property; and (3) the right to establish and enforce rules within its jurisdiction beyond those of the laws." [1] The first right allows the corporation to enter into contracts as an individual, independent and wholly separate from the managers. The second and third rights allow it to have governing authority over property and people. Neither Wells Fargo nor Walgreens can exist in a free market because a state has to sanction its authority. Who are the owners of a corporation? Managers? No, they are not held liable when the company engages in what is called "legal risk taking," the corporation is. Do shareholder own corporations? No. Owning a share is different from owning an asset. If I own something, I can (a) use it, (b) exclude others from it (c) lend it to others on my own terms (d) borrow it. At the same time, the corporation as a legal entity continues to gain rights that share surpass the workers. Say someone robbed Welles Fargo, who pays? The FDIC. Pro"s argument is property rights should not mean employees should end once you enter the workplace. Private entities like corporations are not truly private, nor are they public. However, the law allows protections and benefits (see 1-3 above), something only available by the government. Second Amendment rights and civil liberties in general should not be negated because of property rights, especially in instances like Wells Fargo and Walgreens, where ownership and control socialized: those who control it do not own it and thus do not bear the direct economic or legal consequences of their control. Corporate property is only private in the sense that it is not public. Here no one owns the house but someone does make the rules.

[1] David Ciepley, Beyond Public and Private American Political Science Review Volume 107, No. 1


If you wanted to debate the Wells Fargo or Walgreens situations you should have made a debate outlining the rules of said debate.

Your debate outlines "Should we allow Second Amendment Rights in the Workplace".

And so the Stance I am taking is no.
Time and time again you will hear "Don't be a hero", "Let the police do their job". So essentially because a Bank COULD be robbed or a store WAS robbed. That we we must support vigilantism. and that our employers must "by law" support vigilantism.

This is not a case of protecting one's home. this is a case of protecting another persons home and you want to have the right to do that, and that is really up to the "home owner" (or business owner in this case) to make that decision if that is OK or not.

Again, What happen with Wells Fargo and Walgreens is unfortunate, but this isn't a debate about what we think the outcome of this incident should be or whether or not I think it is "wrong or right". it is whether or not we should have to allow or force businesses to extend the 2nd Amendment Rights in their establishment and that has already been established as a Right given to the employers to make that decision.

Businesses have to abide by civil rights laws and allowing and hiring everyone based on merit and not based on Gender, Race, Religion or Age. all of those things are civil liberties protected within law. Guns are not protected under civil rights.

the Bill of Rights however, as much as I am for them, the employer can put stipulations on those normal rights we have legally as they already have with the 1st and 4th amendments, it is not a stretch of the imagination to add the 2nd amendment to those policies as the employer absolutely has that right not to allow weapons in their establishment.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by thenewkidd 2 years ago
Thought he case you bring up about Wells Fargo is interesting. I haven't given it much thought.
But the Wells Fargo example is completely different than an Employee having a gun in his car.. both very different and not even comparable in nature.

It sorta has to do with "Which came first.. the chicken or the egg."

Did he get the job first and was told he cannot carry or Was he forth coming about having a permit and was let go because of this "new information"..

It will be an interesting debate though I will debate based on what I think is right.. I think there is more to it than simple "We have the 2nd amendment so therefore I have rights".. there is much more to it than that I think.
Posted by dexterbeagle 2 years ago
Thank you Lerch. I was already centering my main argument on that specific question. This is a devil"s advocate debate for me"I do not own gun but I do take a position that might be described as an extreme civil liberties position. I wanted to see whether people who identify as democrats, republicans, or independents could agree or at least find some common ground on civil liberties. I encourage other interesting ideas surrounding this issue or related issues.
Posted by Lerch 2 years ago
As someone that doesn't support any government, including the US Constitution or its amendments, I'll not attempt to participate.

While I'm entirely pro-gun, I couldn't debate you in favor of the second amendment.

With that said, here are some thoughts from my perspective:

Owners of businesses claim ownership over their property, and that claim is widely recognized as a right. If one recognizes this property right, one would not enact any sort of mandatory policy that restricts an owner's ability to decide whether firearms are or are not allowed on the premises.

If one does not recognize the social construct of "property rights" or "ownership," then one may wish to mandate legislation and enforce it with the threat of violence.

My preference lies within the former case -- the respect of the social construct of "property rights."

Best of luck with the debate, dexterbeagle.

~Nihlist Nate
Posted by dexterbeagle 2 years ago
I am interested in a debate that is different from others on DDO"ones that centers on the government and whether it has a legitimate interest in restricting guns, et cetera. More to the point, I want to debate those with strong beliefs in favor of the Second Amendment because it seems like a fruitful avenue of debate. Overall, I am just interested in the distinctions, restrictions, and reasoning behind state and non-state actors and civil liberties.
Posted by dexterbeagle 2 years ago
Based on the advice of Domr25 removed the words liberal and conservative from the debate. Thank you for the contribution. My intention was to create a debate different from others already on DDO. The other comment written by OracleofReason equates this debate with Superman. This is a false comparison. There are test cases that will be heard soon before lower courts over whether an employee can be fired for keeping a gun in their car and another case where the manager of Well Fargo was fired for a concealed weapon at work. Therefore, a debate over whether Superman is good or evil is a ridiculous. Superman does not exist and no court or piece of legislation exists over Superman-related issues.
Posted by Domr 2 years ago
He shouldn't have put conservatives or liberals in the content. It should simply state "someone who is'pro-gun'".

Because he is Liberal and Pro-Gun. Which already disqualifies him from accepting his own debate as a liberal.

So please change the criteria in the 'content' to not cause any confusion
Posted by OracleOfReason 2 years ago
This is not a debate. What the instigator wants is a hypothetical discussion similar to

"Can Superman be evil?"

And starts the "debate" by saying "if you don't believe Superman is real do not debate here. " That hardly contributes to the body of human knowledge.

I am neither a Liberal or a conservative. Do I qualify for the "debate"?

" I am very interested in everyone"s thoughts surrounding the Second Amendment and whether it should end when at the workplace." Uh no, you are not. You are interested in hearing from people who buy into American propaganda about guns and their "contribution" to the country. This hardly qualifies as "everyone."
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by YaHey 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con proved that this is a matter of workplace rights, and that this is the same as language restriction and dress code. Pro used walls of text and didn't separate their argument into paragraphs or sections.
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con showed that employment forfeits rights, inherently. Rights are sucha stupid system.
Vote Placed by Lerch 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Though Pro brought great explanation of a position I've never formerly seen expressed, my preference lies with Con. Pro's main argument centered upon the opinion that an employee's "rights" are infringed upon when entering a voluntary contract to provide time in exchange for wealth. While "rights" are simply an abstract social construct rather than a law of nature, I find this claim to be false. "You may or may not realize it but if you work in the private sector, you give up most rights and concepts of personal autonomy." "Your employer can fire you for smoking at home, using drugs, or engaging in risking behavior including skiing in your free time. [3]" While the above argument implies that this is a violation of employees' "rights," I believe the opposite to be true. Employers shouldn't be threatened with violence for declining to employ someone, regardless of their reasons for doing so. Who would support violent punishment of a nonviolent individual? Far too many, i