For most people, guns aren’t part of the job. Sure, they are for the police and those who sell them or repair them, but for most folks? Guns aren’t part of their day-to-day work. They may carry a firearm at work, but that’s for personal protection, not due to job requirements.
However, some jobs supposedly control things tightly. Some would say as tightly as anti-gunners would like to control guns.
Earlier, a friend of mine, who wishes to remain anonymous, recounted a tale of one job’s response to constraints not unlike a gun control activist’s most fervent dreams.
So we are a department that only does stocking, order picking, packing, and shipping. I’m on the packing line.
A few weeks ago our supervisor, a married lesbian [Yes, it matters. Bear with me], henceforth known as Supervisor, decided we, as a line, possessed too few utility knives and tried to order some.
This resulted in her boss handing her a box of “safety” box cutters to officially hand out, and a box of actual utility knives that “don’t exist, and if I see them outside of that room, I’ll have to take them away.”
We’ve been oh so very good about doing so.
Every single member of our small department (less than 20 of us) is “molon labe” about our utility knives. Everyone knows the packing line possesses them because we use them the most, but everyone uses one at least once a day.
We know where everyone stands on the issue.
The packing line consists of a refugee from a war-torn country (Coworker 1), a single mother of biracial kids (Coworker 2), a Hispanic woman who’s married to another woman (Coworker 3), a gamer dude (Coworker 4), and me.
The other people in the department are similarly of…demographics usually assumed to vote for a certain political party. Which is why I use those descriptors.
Coworker 1 and Coworker 2 have already left for the day.
In walks this higher-up we don’t usually see.
If he saw us more often he might have recognized our silent preoccupation with our work as a sign that we were listening for all that we were worth.
…He hands the Supervisor six utility knives, and lays out the new rules.
All knives have a number. All knives must be signed out and signed back in by the end of the day. Supervisor will personally email him the logs every day.
By this point Coworker 3 is looking at me and making “kill me now” motions.
Coworker 4 is so wrapped up in his earbuds and podcasts, he has no clue what’s going on around him.
Supervisor looks at us, and asks us if we use knives all that often.
“Of course not. We’ve got no need for them.”
Supervisor looks at the higher-up, says, “See, I’d be surprised if we sign out even one a day. Now, I have an idea for where to put the knives, we just need a pegboard right here, right where the security camera can see it.”
She’s successfully gotten the higher-up to turn his back.
Coworker 3 and I hide all of the knives, everyone’s, especially the one belonging to Coworker 2, which is hanging in plain sight with her name on it.
I even elbow Coworker 4 and tell him to make his knife less f***ng visible. He asks me why. I tell him just to do it, we’ll explain later.
Another coworker walks up while we’re doing this, asks us what we’re doing, we shut him up and tell him we’ll explain later.
By the time Supervisor is done loudly talking about her ideas for knife security, all knives are hidden and we’re all conspicuously doing our jobs as expected.
Higher-up leaves, totally ignorant of the fact that we are harboring unregister and uncontrolled knives.
Supervisor makes sure we’ve successfully hidden our knives, which will never been seen outside of the room. No outsiders are to know.
The rest of the department still at work is informed of the new rules, to the general consensus of “molon labe, but only if we’re stupid enough to let you know we have them.”
Two levels of management are complicit in our continued possession of these utility knives.
The moral of the story?
With no notice and only using subtext and gestures, my small department managed to protect and hide unregistered *utility knives* from our company, and keep our armory to ourselves. That’s among core demographics of a certain political party.
Yet there are people who think requiring all firearms to be registered and stored off-site with intensive tracking is ever going to work on millions of gun owners who will have plenty of warning. Also assuming that, unlike our management, all levels of government will actually go along with confiscation, instead of paying lipservice while looking the other way.
The truth of the matter is, people who want or feel they need something will continue to obtain the item they need. Rules designed to keep it out of their hands won’t do a whole hell of a lot.
This is especially true when that ship has already set sail.
In this instance, people already had their knives. They refused to let management know they had them. Do you think that millions of gun owners in this country would automatically comply with such a requirement?
Yes, it happens at the state level, but there’s something different about a state doing it. With states requiring registration, there’s still a vague hope that it’ll pass. Further, the state itself can only get so tyrannical before the federal government steps in to tell it to knock that crap off.
In other words, state registration feels a bit safer, so they comply. But federally? That changes things.
Additionally, those who do comply are only those inclined to follow laws as a general rule. Those who are generally disinclined to follow them–you know, people like criminals–won’t. They won’t register their guns. They won’t tolerate keeping them off-site and unloaded. They’ll do what they want anyway. The difference is, a lot of other people will join them in that.
Just something for anti-gunners to consider as they continue their push. They should think about how they would react to a situation similar to the one above and then ask themselves, “Why would gun owners be any different?”