For those of you reading this and who are finite thinkers, you are sitting there going how can reality be in a battle against reality? I would suggest that the workplace today is faced with exactly that scenario. Let me explain.
A vast percentage of the populous has become addicted to Reality TV. We enjoy the picture that these shows create, we enjoy the sense of adventure that we can almost picture ourselves becoming involved in.
With the passage of legislation in several states we now have created this surreal world where we vision ourselves in one of these reality TV shows. It is now illegal in 23 states to forbid an employee to bring a loaded weapon to work as long as it is legally registered and locked in their personal vehicle. In Florida it is now illegal for a physician to even ask their patients if they own guns. Certain organizations are saying that it is their right under the U.S. Constitution and we do not dispute they have the right to own reasonable fire arms. I am not trying to start a political argument but rather to point out that our view of the world is horribly distorted. With the passage of these laws we have in fact created a de facto protected class of employees.
Most government contracts and state laws require our workplaces to be violence free. This is whether it is due to drugs physical violence. We are fully cognizant of the fact that due to the tough economic times many of our employees are under stress. We pick up the newspaper or turn on the evening news are hear of situations where someone has walked into a workplace and opened fire for some reason or another.
With this in mind why do we permit the battle of reality vs, reality to exist in our work environments. I have a semi-adopted daughter who every fall goes out hunting wild game which she in turns uses to feed her family. I have in the past done the same thing. But she would no more consider bringing her hunting rifle to work then I would. Reality 1 suggests that we live in such a horrible world that we need to protect ourselves with high caliber weapons such as 16 bullet clips. That we need to protect ourselves in the event that the other person decides to open fire.
Reality 2 suggests that we are making the promise and the commitment to the workforce that they can come to work with the expectation of a violence free work space. The in the same breath we create a protected class where we can not inquiry if a potential worker carries a weapon. We can not stop the creation of a potential cause for an unsafe workplace. With weapons 500 yards out the front door where is the impediment to violence in the workplace?
So here is my thought for the business enterprises in the marketplace. It is time that we as the business community respond by saying enough is enough. We are not trying to stop you from purchasing weapons, just keep them at home. There is no viable reason why our workplaces need to become reality 1. We provide an environment where we become a competitive part of the economic landscape due to our products, services and innovation. We do not provide an environment which is grounded in the expectation that something bad might happen in the workplace so we must put everyone in jeopardy by allowing weapons in the work environment – inside or directly outside the buildings. It is time for Reality 2 to come to the forefront and to pressure the creation of a work space that is based on common sense and the consideration of the type of work environment we want to be involved in.