Pennsylvania Bill Will Make Gun Owners A 'Protected Class' Just Like REAL Oppressed Minorities
If there is anything the American Right is sick and tired of, it is all these SNOWFLAKES going around asking for "special rights" like not being discriminated against and what have you.
Unless, of course, they're the ones feeling "discriminated" against. Then it is GAME ON.
Two dozen Republicans (and one Democrat!) in Pennsylvania introduced House Bill 38 this week, which would amend the state's Human Rights Act to include gun owners, in order to prevent employers from discriminating against them.
Here is a clip from the proposed text of the new PHRA, with the amended text highlighted:
An act prohibiting certain practices of discrimination because of race, color, religious creed, ancestry, exercise of self-defense rights, age or national origin by employers, employment agencies, labor organizations and others as herein defined"
Let us note -- the Pennsylvania Human Rights Act does not include LGBTQ citizens in their list of people it is illegal for employers to discriminate against. Curiously, the reason most conservatives will give you for why LGBT people should not be protected is because they believe that one's sexual orientation or gender identity is a choice -- unlike age, race, disability, etc. Owning a gun, for the record, is also a choice. Do they then think that gun-ownership is not a choice?
The bill's primary sponsor is State Rep. Bob Saccone, who is currently running for Senate because he believes God wants Christians to rule over everyone else. What a peach!
Now, HB 38 was not generated in response to a rash of gun owners being fired for owning guns, or not being hired because they own guns -- that's not really a thing -- but rather in response to a debate in the state about the rights of employers, or any private property owners, to ban guns on their property, including in cars parked on their property. Probably because they are bigoted against workplace shootings.
What HB38 would do, according to Shira Goodman, executive director of gun prevention group CeaseFirePA, would require employers to treat gun owners the same way they treat people with disabilities. Just like an employee who cannot walk must be allowed to use a wheelchair, so a gun-owner must be allowed to keep a gun in their car in the parking lot owned by their employer.
Of course, that's not what discrimination is, at all, for any reason. Your employer not letting you do a thing that could threaten workplace safety is not discrimination. If it were part of my religion to, say, punch someone in the face every day at 12:30pm, an employer would be able to say "Hey, if you want to work here, you cannot do that. At the very least, you will have to leave our property in order to find someone to punch in the face, because my safety and the safety of our other employees is a concern."
Now, conservatives who oppose laws banning employer discrimination against people for reasons of race, religions other than Christianity, sexual orientation, gender, etc. etc. -- they often say "Well they can just work someplace else, can't they? Why would they want to work for employers who don't want them there to begin with, huh? Why are they always trying to hurt JOB CREATORS? We don't need anti-discrimination laws because the FREE MARKET will solve everything on it's own!" And so I put these same questions to Pennsylvania gun owners. Pull yourselves up by your bootstraps! Be a glorious example unto us all, show us to handle discrimination the right way.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse