Chamber Fight

A friend forwarded this email that was forwarded to him from someone to whom it was forwarded from someone who was cc’d on the original (if you follow):

From: Jim Maran
Sent: Friday, January 11, 2008 1:45 PM
To: Joe Fleming; George Israel
Subject: NRA parking lot bill could be voted on Wednesday … Have you
called your state Senate contacts?
Importance: High

Joe,

The Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce strongly opposes the position of the Georgia Chamber and any legislation that would lessen gun owner’s rights. We have more important issues surrounding water, education, transportation and healthcare-WETH-to pursue. The Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce’s is a supporter of the NRA. Businesses respect gun owner’s rights and individual
responsibility. This is America.

Jim Maran

President and CEO
The Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce

19 comments

  1. AubieTurtle says:

    Interesting… they claim to have more important issues to deal with but then went out of their way to jump in the fray.

  2. Hank Reardan says:

    I do not understand how people can believe gun rights can superseed my property rights.If you do not like it stay off of my property if you work for me then quit if you do not like it.

  3. juliobarrios says:

    I’m a little confused by the letter. Maran sends a letter to two gentlemen who are fiercely opposed to the gun bill with the subject line “NRA parking lot bill could be voted on Wednesday … Have you called your state Senate contacts?” – so I’m assuming Maran is opposed to the NRA bill as well. Then he goes on to speak in support of it.

  4. Still Looking says:

    How is this gun bill good for business? Isn’t a Chamber of Commerce about business and economic issues? How is it good for business when some employee after a rough day at the office comes back from the parking lot and goes “postal” on his boss and co-workers? Is the Gwinnett Chamber promoting a “pro-business” atmoshere? The Chamber seems to believe that promoting the fundraising needs of the NRA is more important than the business intersts of its constituents, or the safety of workers. Even if the organization leadership strongly supports, the second amendment, I don’t see why they should become involved in this legislation. This is a controversial bill and many members may not agree with this position. Did they poll their members? Organizations that represent broad constituencies should be very careful about controversial legislation that will divide the members and take the organization away from its mission statement.

  5. Joe Fleming says:

    If the NRA believes Georgia businesses are infringing on Constitutional rights afforded by the Second Amendment, there’s no need for state legislation. File a federal lawsuit.

  6. StevePerkins says:

    You’ll never see the NRA file a lawsuit which directly challenges something on Second Amendment grounds. At any time over the past half-century or so they could have settled the Second Amendment questions once and for all by taking a suit to the Supreme Court, yet have never done so. They even tried to torpedo the “D.C. v. Heller” case that’s before the Supreme Court now (which was filed by outside parties sick of waiting on the NRA).

    The NRA doesn’t want to see a straight-up Second Amendment issue go to the courts because: (a) they suspect that even a conservative court would interpret the 2nd as bestowing a “collective” right rather than an “individual” right, so they’d lose, and (b) even if they won, it would be SUCH a huge win that it would reduce their future relevance and hurt fundraising.

    With each passing day and story that I read, I wonder more and more why I still have a membership with these guys. They don’t really represent me.

  7. cheapseats says:

    if you are a current member of the NRA, please deduct 20 points from your IQ and surrender your voter ID.

    frigtards doesn’t begin to describe them

  8. Bill Simon says:

    The Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s left-wing oriented stance on this is why I would never fork over any money to become a member of this chamber of commerce.

    The GCOC has become another organization like the AARP…a few members at the very top of the organization take the money from hundreds and thousands of other members and PRESUME to speak for all members in their political views.

    Bunch of left-wing socialist ninny-bobs.

  9. Dave says:

    Steve, even if there was a straight up case to decide whether the 2nd amendment applies to individuals, the folks who already possess them would never ever give them up even if the case was decided against them. The intent, according to early writings of the founders, was to apply the right to individuals. I’d welcome the test case.

  10. Joe Fleming says:

    The position of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and its Board of Directors position is clear:

    All private entities and property owners have the right to decide whether or not others may bring firearms onto their property. An individual has no more right to bring a gun onto another’s property over the objection of the owner than an individual has the right to stand on another’s property claiming the right to exercise their First Amendment right to free speech over the objections of the property owner.

    Simply put: the Georgia Chamber of Commerce respects the right of individual property owners and business to make the decision about whether or not to allow firearms on their property. Some welcome them; others have reasons to prohibit guns at work. Such has been the standard for 200+ years.

    Now, it might be interesting to see what many gun owners and NRA members have to say on the issue.

    The NRA itself, for example, authored and passed gun rights legislation in Colorado a few years back that included the statement:

    “Nothing in this bill shall be construed to limit, restrict, or prohibit in any manner the existing rights of a private property owner, private tenant, private employer, or private business entity.”

    It seems what the NRA believed was good for Coloradoans apparently isn’t good enough for Georgians.

    The state chamber agrees with the statement of the vice president of the Georgia Sport Shooting Association (GSSA), the NRA’s official state affiliate, and a member of the NRA, when he said: “I really object to the government getting involved to say what’s allowed on my property. This law would stop me from saying what I could do on my own property.”

    Other NRA members feel as strongly that the General Assembly should not take action to infringe on the rights of private entities.

    http://lonelymachines.org/2008/01/06/why-im-leaving-the-nra/
    Why I’m Leaving the NRA
    January 6, 2008

    There are currently two bills pending in the Georgia legislature regarding gun ownership in this state. One stands to expand our rights, and the other is a misguided, untenable piece of legislation that stands no chance of passing and has angered people on both political poles.

    Guess which one the NRA is backing. It’s not the good one.

    [HB 915] should be something the NRA jumps behind. Instead, they’re choosing to focus their energy on House Bill 89, commonly known as the ‘parking lot’ bill.
    HB89 would make it illegal for private property owners to ban guns from their premises.

    That means that businesses cannot have policies preventing employees from keeping guns in their car while at work, which seems like a great idea until you realize that the whole concept tramples over private property rights. I detest institutional bans, and I will not do business with any company I know to have one, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a right to form such policies.

    The owner of said property can ban smoking, enforce goofy dress codes or demand that employees sing the Bulgarian National Anthem before lunch. It may not be good for business, but they have a right … to determine how people conduct themselves on their property.

    I am, of course, under absolutely no obligation to work for such a company, nor do I have to conduct business with them. That’s how a free market works.

    [The NRA is] pushing a terrible bill with little chance of success while ignoring an important one with real potential.

    My membership with the National Rifle Association expires in June, and I will not be renewing it when such money can be donated to groups far more committed to the mission the NRA has abandoned.

    * * *

    Saturday, January 5, 2008
    NRA is Shooting Itself in the Foot

    http://rebelyid.blogspot.com/2008/01/nra-is-shooting-itself-in-foot.html

    Rebel Yid

    “I am as strong a Second Amendment gun rights advocate as there is. I own several firearms including semi automatic rifles and pistols.

    The Georgia Senate bill SB 43 proposes to allow employees to keep a weapon in a locked glove compartment on their employer’s property. An employer would have no right to ban the gun on their property in the employee’s car.

    Now, I do not necessarily agree that banning the gun on the company property is a good idea; but the private property rights of the employer give them clear authority to regulate the use of that property, including the banning of any weapons as they see fit. The employee has the right to abide, park outside of the company property, or seek employment elsewhere.

    The NRA is pouring big bucks into seeing the bill pass. I see this not as support for Second Amendment rights but as an assault on private property rights. The Georgia Chamber is fighting the NRA on this issue and I am supporting the Chamber.

    * * *

    http://www.georgiapacking.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8459

    “A private property owner doesn’t have to allow anyone who wants to do so to stomp around on their property in protest ala the first amendment. Why does the NRA think the second deserves the right to violate private property rights? It’s a bad bill and if I were a representative or senator I would vote against it.”

    “… it’s the employers prerogative to say you can or can’t do whatever on their private property. It really is as simple as ‘if you don’t like so badly, then don’t work there’.”

    “Where is it written you have the right to work?

    1. It is written in the employee/employer contract, you agree to work for them provided they pay you, and they pay you provided you do your job and follow their rules. That contract that you voluntarily enter into is how their policy can trump your rights. If you do not like the contract, do not enter into it. My private property rights trump your 2nd amendment rights when you step onto my property. The same with the 1st amendment right to speech. You can say whatever you want on the public sidewalk, but not on my own property. It is the company’s property, it is their rules.

    2. Nowhere, and that is the point. The NRA is trying to make a law that diminishes private property rights in the name of 2nd amendment rights.”

    * * *

    http://www.georgiapacking.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8344&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

    “HB89 is a direct attack on private property rights. I am an enthusiastic advocate for our right to bear arms. However, I am also an enthusiastic advocate for individual (and by extension, corporate) property rights. I carry a firearm to protect myself where ever I am legally able to do so. If a business does not wish for me to bring my weapon onto their premises, I honor their wishes by taking my hard-earned money elsewhere. If employees do not like a particular company’s policies, they are free to seek employment elsewhere. This is the nature of a free, capitalistic society. Individuals (and by extension, corporations) should be free to engage in business with each other under whatever terms the parties find acceptable.

    The NRA would do much better to lend its full support to the recently filed HB 915, the Second Amendment Protection Act of 2008. This bill, written by Rep. Tim Bearden (R-68), expressly protects private property rights. It also provides for desperately needed and comprehensive reforms to almost every aspect of Georgia’s confusing, restrictive and anachronistic gun laws. I hope the NRA will do the right thing this time around. They certainly showed their ability to do the wrong thing by derailing good legislation in the last session.”

    “I fully agree with the right of property owners to make regulations as what can and can’t come on their property.”

    “I’m disgusted. My stomach is turning at the thought of renewing my NRA membership.”

    * * *

    “The NRA’s SB 43 (now labeled HB 89) has been a loser since its inception and is not what Georgia needs. The Virginia-based NRA needs to drop the pretense of acting on behalf of Georgia citizens, because in this instance they are not. The NRA needs to get behind HB 915 instead. SB 43/HB 89 takes rights away from Georgia land owners and is not what we need or want.”

    “Is the NRA working for itself, or is it working for Georgians? If it’s working for Georgians, it will drop its ill-advised tampering with and support of H.B. 89”

    “You’re saying people can carry a firearm onto my property, and there’s not a dang thing I can do about it? Why should I accept that? If you work somewhere where you don’t feel safe, get another job. Don’t trample on my rights to get your way.”

    * * *

    http://www.georgiapacking.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8344

    “GCO [GeorgiaCarry.org] members favored a repeal of public gatherings by more than 85% to the parking lots bill of just over 14%.”

  11. Joe Fleming says:

    Bill, just a few years ago, the NRA itself agreed with the “left-wing, socialist” idea that property owners and businesses have rights.

    The NRA itself authored and passed gun rights legislation in Colorado that included the statement:

    “Nothing in this bill shall be construed to limit, restrict, or prohibit in any manner the existing rights of a private property owner, private tenant, private employer, or private business entity.”

    It seems what the NRA believed was good for Coloradoans apparently isn’t good enough for Georgians.

  12. Joe Fleming says:

    Bill, that would be a very significant change of course for the NRA. But sure, we all make mistakes.

    So instead of looking at the NRA’s past strong recognition of the rights of “private property owners, private tenants, private employers, or private business entities,” let’s look at what NRA members in Georgia have to say about the NRA parking lot bill.

    http://lonelymachines.org/2008/01/06/why-im-leaving-the-nra/
    Why I’m Leaving the NRA
    “I am, of course, under absolutely no obligation to work for such a company, nor do I have to conduct business with them. That’s how a free market works … [The NRA is] pushing a terrible bill …”

    http://rebelyid.blogspot.com/2008/01/nra-is-shooting-itself-in-foot.html
    NRA is Shooting Itself in the Foot
    “Now, I do not necessarily agree that banning the gun on the company property is a good idea; but the private property rights of the employer give them clear authority to regulate the use of that property, including the banning of any weapons as they see fit. The employee has the right to abide, park outside of the company property, or seek employment elsewhere … I am supporting the Chamber.”

    http://www.georgiapacking.org/
    “A private property owner doesn’t have to allow anyone who wants to do so to stomp around on their property in protest ala the First Amendment. Why does the NRA think the second deserves the right to violate private property rights? It’s a bad bill and if I were a representative or senator I would vote against it.”

    “HB89 is a direct attack on private property rights. I am an enthusiastic advocate for our right to bear arms. However, I am also an enthusiastic advocate for individual (and by extension, corporate) property rights. I carry a firearm to protect myself where ever I am legally able to do so. If a business does not wish for me to bring my weapon onto their premises, I honor their wishes by taking my hard-earned money elsewhere. If employees do not like a particular company’s policies, they are free to seek employment elsewhere. This is the nature of a free, capitalistic society.”

    “I fully agree with the right of property owners to make regulations as what can and can’t come on their property.”

    The NRA’s SB 43 (now labeled HB 89) has been a loser since its inception and is not what Georgia needs. The Virginia-based NRA needs to drop the pretense of acting on behalf of Georgia citizens, because in this instance they are not. The NRA needs to get behind HB 915 instead. SB 43/HB 89 takes rights away from Georgia land owners and is not what we need or want.”

    “You’re saying people can carry a firearm onto my property, and there’s not a dang thing I can do about it? Why should I accept that? If you work somewhere where you don’t feel safe, get another job. Don’t trample on my rights to get your way.”

    “GCO [GeorgiaCarry.org] members favored a repeal of public gatherings by more than 85% to the parking lots bill of just over 14%.”

  13. Tim says:

    Do you know that if HB 89 passes as is that a licensed GFL holder could spend 20 years in prison for walking past a bus stop, parking at the airport and locking gun in car. Or still could not take a gun to a Georgia Park or WMA, could not take a firearm to church (Colorado ring a bell there?), could not drive in a parking lot of a restaurant that sells alcohol (much less go into it), and numerous other “public gathering” areas without going to jail. Maybe the NRA and politicians should look at the 2nd Amendment Protection Act of 2008, also known as HB 915!!

  14. jeepsterwannabe says:

    Hank Reardon,
    the property rights are not being trampled on by the gun rights. look at it more sensibly, if you hire me to work for you then you are allowing me on your property, I, as a citizen of the U.S. , come with my individual rights. by hiring me you have somehow stated that you trust my ability to be a safe, productive, and positive addition to your business. If you think you can’t trust me with a gun, then what would make trustworthy without a gun, my untrustable character would still be the same. criminals are the people holding the guns, not the gun itself.

  15. Bill Simon says:

    Joe,

    Heck, why let employers stop at banning guns from employees who lawfully carry them in their car when they drive onto the employer’s property?

    Why not just declare that the employer can ignore the takings clause of the Constitution and just confiscate the whole vehicle as his/her own if someone violated their ridiculous policies that prohibit someone from defending themselves?

    The fact is, Joe, I don’t give a crap what and other bloggers think about this law. YOU and your short-minded ninnies at the Chamber don’t have a freaking clue as to the problem you have created for the law-abiding citizen who wants to carry a gun in their car as they travel TO and FROM their workplace. Are you and George going to pay for the security of the person when they are traveling OUTSIDE the employer’s gates before and after work?

    Or, are you two too obtuse to pull your heads from the sand and realize that you are interfering with the employee’s right to carry a defensive weapon during the 67% of the time they are NOT at work?

  16. ted in bed says:

    The second amendment isn’t about government ordering a private party to allow guns on thier property. The second amendment is supposed to prevent gun controls laws like we have in Georgia. The NRA has failed gun owners when it refused to help pass HB 915. They need to go back to Virginia via their private jet.

    The Senate has a choice vote for gun rights or big government. Georgia has the worst carry laws of any state. Its time to change.

    PASS HB915 NOW

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