Betty Smith was recently hired as the Director of HR at Company XYZ. On her third day at work, the CEO called her in his office. He asked her to review the following terrifying timeline:
September 25, 2014
A man fired from an Oklahoma food processing plant beheaded a woman with a knife and was attacking another worker when he was shot and wounded by a company official.
January 29, 2013
A gunman, 70-year old Arthur Douglas Harmon, allegedly shot and killed 48-year-old Steve Singer, CEO of the Scottsdale-based Fusion Contact Centers LLC, a call center company.
December 14, 2012
Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
December 11, 2012
Jacob Tyler Roberts, a masked gunman opened fire at Clackamas Town Center, a mall in suburban Portland, Oregon, killing two people, injuring one, and then killing himself.
July 20, 2012
James Eagan Holmes, dressed in tactical clothing, set off tear gas grenades and shot into the audience with multiple firearms, killing 12 people and injuring 58 others in Aurora, Colorado, during a midnight screening of the film The Dark Knight Rises.
April 2, 2012
Seven people were killed and three others wounded in a shooting rampage by 43-year-old One Goh at an Asian religious vocational school in east Oakland, California; police later detained the suspected gunman.
January 8, 2011
Jared Lee Loughner killed six people and injured more than a dozen others, including a congressional lawmaker, outside of a supermarket in Arizona.
February 12, 2010
Amy Bishop went on a shooting rampage during a faculty meeting at an Alabama university, killing three colleagues and wounding three others as a result of being denied tenure.
November 5, 2009
U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan is alleged to have killed 13 people after he went on a shooting spree at the busy U.S. military base in Texas.
April 16, 2007
Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people and himself on Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia.
April 20, 1999
Students Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, opened fire at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, killing 12 classmates and a teacher and wounding 26 others before killing themselves in the school’s library.
June 18, 1990
James Edward Pough shot people at random in a General Motors Acceptance Corp. office in Jacksonville, Florida, killing 10 and wounding four, before killing himself.
August 20, 1986
Pat Sherrill, 44, a postal worker who was about to be fired, shot 14 people at a post office in Edmond, Oklahoma.
July 18, 1984
James Oliver Huberty, an out-of-work security guard, killed 21 people in a McDonald’s restaurant in San Ysidro, California.
After reviewing the timeline, the CEO asks Betty what their organization can do to prevent such tragedies. After a brief conversation, the CEO mentions that the organization will be laying-off 10 employees in the next two weeks. The CEO asked her to think of some safety measures to be considered at their upcoming meeting with the entire management team.
Later that day, she receives an email from the CEO asking if it would be a good idea to bring his personal gun to work (for protection) and have it locked up in a safe. She is troubled and calls her friend who is a “Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)” to help analyze this situation.
Case Study Questions
What questions would her SPHR friend ask Betty Smith?
Do you think it is a good idea for the CEO to bring a gun to work? Justify your response. Consider the Second Amendment.
Should there be covert “armed” employees at each organization that are carefully selected (after a thorough background check) by HR managers? Explain why or why not.
What are some issues with the traditional way of having an unarmed security guard sitting at the front desk?
What rules and regulations must be taken into consideration when making the decision? Interesting enough, Indiana is one of 13 states that signed into law a measure that bans employers from telling workers that they can’t have guns in their cars. Should all states consider such laws? Justify your response.