Or, Yes, Robinga, There Are Property Rights
And so on and so forth.
Several commenters have framed the question of one's right to keep'n'bear arms on private property as a conflict of rights; some have suggested that because property rights are so routinely violated by legislative fiat, one more ("in the aid of a good cause!") won't matter.
I luvs ya all (here's a big ol' snogg t'prove it: mmmmmwah!) but, well, BZZT! Wrong.
I'm in favor of "keep it in your car" laws and other laws that, in the words of the Bradys, "force employers to allow workers to carry concealed weapons into the workplace" because most employers don't have any way to keep folks from carrying -- nor do they go to any other effort besides saying, "Now, now, pretty please don't," which as we all know, works ever so well on the crazies and the ill-intentioned. Workplace rules against carrying work just like laws against carrying: they disarm only those who are minded to play by the rules. Striking them down levels the playing field and strengthens property rights. I explain below.
L. Neil Smith titled one of his essays "Why Did It Have To Be -- Guns," and just to make comprehension easier for everyone, I'm going to make my starting examples about something other than firearms. We're gonna talk about underwear and scary studded biker belts. Okay?
It all stems from property rights: the basic property right has nothing to do with land, with bricks and mortar; the basic right is property in your own person. Yer bod'. The coverings upon it, the coverings over them, and the various and sundry vade mecumbrances you stuff into the pockets and interstices thereof, suspend from it, etc. etc. Stemming directly from this property right is your right to privacy in your person. You will find some allusion to it in the U. S. Bill of Rights, the Fourth Amendment in particular. Can we all agree that while the Fourth restricts its limitations to the government, the right to privacy in one's person and immediate effects is indeed inherent and universal?
If you disagree, consider this: I enter your business, go to work for you or enter your home under circumstances in which I will not be visible to anyone unclad. Do you have the right to dictate to me what sort of underwear I may wear? How do you propose to enforce your will? Is it any of your dam' business if I'm swathed in fine lace, sweating into a cotton knit, or tingling to oiled leather?
Now, if we were to become intimate and you've got some freaky hangup against cammo-patterned boxers and that's what I've got on, you'd be on pretty solid ground suggesting I had better leave. Conditions of our interaction will have changed.
Okay, rewind, strike out "underwear," substitute "concealed sidarm." It isn't any different.
The interface between your property rights and mine is right where your floor meets the soles of my shoes. I didn't lose or gain any rights when I stepped onto your floor and you didn't gain or lose any.
Okay, next. Say I like wicked-lookin' biker belts, the big wide black ones with studs 'n' eyelets and yadda yadda (and in fact, I do). And I'm invited into your house with one on and you don't like it. Oopsie. Well, I can go stash it in my car, or if that's not enough, seeya later! Likewise, an employer has some right to dictate what employees may wear, for safety, for the sake of providing some appearance the employer deems needful or fitting, that's pretty basic. Yes, they can tell me not to wear open-toed shoes, or T-shirts with political slogans or mean biker belts, even the superkewl one made of old drive chain. (Shucks!) May a business exercise a similar power over its customers? Well, fine, chum, but you don't make money by chasing customers away.
And if you sub in "openly-carried sidearm," it works just the same.
My car? Even parked on your lot, the inside of it belongs to me -- especially if I keep it locked. That's just practical good sense. (We'd like to think everyone around us respects the property of others, wouldn't we? Yes, and in Happy Unicorn Rainbowland, maybe they do. Not on this planet. Lock yer doors). My car, my house, my purse: mine. And mine to keep secure. What's in 'em is none of your beeswax.
Okay, there's the general case. Brass-tackage follows.
For corporations, my opinion is the bar's higher and they should be held to the standards of the Bill of Rights. YMMV.
Right of contract? Sure. You already can sign away a lot of your rights, ask any bail bondsman. On the other hand, my relationship with my employer's governed by a contract and it says not Word One about weapons; and yet I still respect their fears and refrain. In a practical sense, I'd likely lose anyway were I to press the issue and get caught, the courts bein' far from immune to animism with respect to handguns. On a higher plane, since they do supposedly have some silly rule I'm happy to let 'em suffer any negative consequences that may come of it. I'm usually well out of the likeliest lines of fire. That contract also includes some boilerplate about "...subject to the laws of the nation and state...."
The previous two paragraphs together start to point to the "drug-sniffing dogs that find guns" question. It seems to me that if Artifical or Real Person "N" goes a-sniffin' fer them horriawful, illegal drugs to be found in the private cars parked in the lot, he or she or it is once again acting as an agent of the State and ought to be bound by the Bill of Rights and whatever similar provisions are to be found in the state constitution and applicable statute an' case law, with an eye to things like "probable cause." Oooo, remember when that wasn't snickered at? In the real and present world, keepin' an ear to the ground would not be remiss.
Tam's hippie with a candleshop, same as my generic examples: let him be guided by what he sees. And let Tam and the other customers be guided by their good sense. Flashin' a gun you don't intend to shoot is as declasse' as flashin' your undies at someone you're not plannin' to sleep with.
This stuff is not that hard. There's no "conflict of rights" here. It's turtles all the way down.
1. "Vade mecum" + "encumbrance." I'm so clever I could just erp.
2. Un-freaking-likely, Pilgrim.
3. This is in reference to a story Turk Turon delights in, about a lecturer on cosmology being confronted by a sweet little old flat-Earther lady who tells him, "You're wrong about the world being a ball. It's flat and it stands on the backs of four elephants and they stand on the back of a giant turtle." "Oh," he asks, "And what does the turtle stand on?" She replies, "I see what you're trying to do, young man, but it won't work. It's turtles alllll the way down."