Question of the Day: How do You Defend Yourself Against Workplace Violence?


An Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agent was wounded in California and a second one was killed. In their office. By one of their own. “Officials say that deputy special agent in charge Kevin Kozak was speaking with a subordinate officer, Ezekial Garcia, Thursday about Garcia’s job performance and that when the conversation escalated, Garcia opened fire,” cbsnews.com reported. “Kozak was wounded and is in stable condition at a nearby hospital, where officials say he is alert and speaking. A third ICE officer intervened, fatally shooting Garcia before anyone else could be harmed.” This unfortunate story raises a whole host of questions . . .

Yesterday, we looked at the need to avoid potentially violent situations on the street. In that situation, the potential victim [usually] has the time and space to avoid, de-escalate and /or escape. In the workplace, you have no such luxury. The person who may want to do you harm is right there with you, day after day. There is no escape.

You could quit your job. Who wants to quit their job? Who wants to be forced to quit their job by someone because of threats and intimidation? You have to deal with it. How?

To do anything officially, you need solid evidence against your potential aggressor and a workplace that responds to complaints without making you out to be the troublemaker. You could easily derail your career path and maybe even lose your job. And escalate the situation, moving it closer to violence.

And then there’s self-defense. Most workplaces are gun-free zones. Do you carry anyway? Do you use a non-firearm weapon system? Do you stay in condition orange all day? How do you deal with the threat of workplace violence?

comments

  1. avatar Joe Zip says:

    I just carry concealed at work. Have been for years

    1. avatar GUNSnDONUTS says:

      +1. This.

  2. avatar Rokurota says:

    I carry at work, and I know others who do. Even though we have a “no weapons” policy, our warehouse is aflood with box-cutters, knives and other tools, not to mention gun parts (we count two major gun companies as clients). During hunting season, managers have been known to secure guns and bows in their offices. The owners are very pro-gun (one rabidly so), so those of us who carry feel like they would back us up, written policy notwithstanding. I am a little uneasy about disobeying a policy I signed my good name to. On the other hand, we have had incidents, one of which did involve a gun pointed at an executive (without his knowledge). I’m more uneasy about that.

  3. avatar Aharon says:

    I work from home so I don’t need to worry about a co-worker going ballistic. I have chosen not to marry or live with a woman so I don’t need to worry about defending myself from being victimized by domestic violence in my home workplace. I also don’t need to worry about divorce, alimony, and losing my home but that’s another story.

  4. avatar Matthew says:

    I work in a hospital in Texas. A gun free zone. I have two
    options. Run or play dead. That’s it. Couldn’t illegal carry even
    if I was of a mind to, I have close physical contact with patients,
    no way to hide a gun in my scrubs.

    1. avatar Tim McNabb says:

      http://smartcarry.com/

      I have one of these, it’s the dope shizzit for deep conceal.

      1. avatar Matthew says:

        Doesn’t work. First time I pick up a pt and they run into
        my gun I am outed.

    2. avatar KYgunner says:

      I’m in the same position as Matthew. Even with the smart carry (assuming it could completely hide a weapon in scrubs, which I’m skeptical about), my problem is the nature of my job. I specialize in children with behavioral problems (ranging from suicidal/homicidal ideation to mental disabilities). The risk of having a gun in a room with an unpredictable adolescent far outweighs the risk for workplace violence. I have to stick to car carry only and hope for the best. :/

    3. avatar HankH says:

      If you want to carry in your scrubs it’s very easy, check out SmartCarry – I’ve used it for years and it works like a charm.

    4. avatar HankH says:

      How about ankle carry?

  5. avatar pair-o-dee says:

    I work at home, but don’t start the day until the wife leaves.

  6. avatar ROger.45 says:

    Remember, only law enforcement officers should be allowed to have guns.

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      ANd they all stand around wondering what just happened. Someone should walk up to her and quietly remove her 700 dollar glock from her holster and hand her a coloring book instead.

  7. avatar Brian Z says:

    While my workplace is a gun free zone I am lucky enough to work in a room with controlled access and bullet resistant glass, so as long as the situation was occurring outside my room I would be able to just stay put. For any other situations I carry a knife. Not the most ideal means of protection, but better than nothing.

  8. avatar Andrew says:

    As a full time student what’s this defending yourself concept?
    we have no weapons allowed signs so we don’t have to worry about violence

  9. avatar Ralph says:

    I’m retired and as a self-employed writer I mostly work from home. My employer (me) is very understanding and actually encourages workplace carry.

    When I do forensic document research, I carry in government buildings. Concealed carry in government buildings is permitted in Massachusetts, so long as the building does not have metal detectors. Where metal detectors are present, such as in courthouses, I check my piece into the firearms locker when I enter and pick it up on my way out. The first time I did so, I was expecting the process to be a big deal, but it wasn’t.

    For those who cannot carry at work, I recommend keeping a picture of Sarah Brady in your wallet. Just show the pic to your attacker. He will be reminded of his better nature and immediately cease and desist.

    1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

      oh – is it the picture of her in the Black Teddy?

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Thanks for nothing, DD. You made me upchuck.

        1. avatar DaveM says:

          Thanks Ralph, was working on a chubby and then I read your comment.
          On second thought Sarah in a teddy with Uncle “lion of the senate” Teddy probably wasn’t gonna work anyway

  10. avatar Jim says:

    We were allowed to carry at work as long as we had a valid Concealed Carry Permit.

    Now that I am retired my pistol never leaves the house without me and me goes out a lot.

  11. avatar Accur81 says:

    I open carry. Have been for 11 years.

  12. avatar Buuurr says:

    I simply don’t go near California or any of the states that are gun ‘nuts’. I am back in Ohio where a gun in plain sight is fine for most. I CC all the time. No one around me needs to know. That’s the point of CC.

  13. avatar karlb says:

    I know this is not an answer to how I protect myself at work posting, but I think we are missing a point with this story. Many people who are against people carrying guns in public would point to this story and say “See, this is what happens.” The shooter did not go to work, it seems, with the intent of committing a crime; instead, it was because of an unfortunate coming together of two things that led to the shooting: an escalation of bad feelings between two workers (none of us know what the background is between the two) and the firearm used in the shooting. Yes, we look at the situation and see that it is great that there was another person there who was armed and stopped the shooting–and might well have saved others from harm–but there are many who would argue that this would not have happened but for the gun the angry employee had access to.

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