Wisconsin glassware company buys firearms for every employee this holiday season
A company's staff members were all offered their pick of handguns by their employer. Some initially declined the offer while others were all for it.
BenShot, based in Hortonville, is perhaps the first business to present the gift to its workers. Post Crescent reports that there were a few reasons for their controversial decision.
The co-founder of the family business, Ben Wolfgram, said that they wanted to make employees feel safe and also do something staff would remember.
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According to NBC Chicago, he stated:
“We wanted something that was first for personal safety and protection of employees and the second was fun and memorable.”
The process they used was to have employees choose a local gun shop. BenShot then purchased gifts cards to the chosen shops, and the employees did background checks to attain the weapons.
Only 16 employees, some full-time and other part-time, work at the small business. They were all trained in gun safety before accepting the holiday gift.
Furthermore, they attended gun ranges as a group. Wolfgram said this helped with "team building."
A worker named Chelsea Priest was in full support of the given opportunity. She explained:
“Our owners want us and our families to feel safe and it’s very clear that we support the Second Amendment."
But online, several people had reservations about the gun gifts. Even some who were for upholding gun rights showed concern.
She added that "everyone's really excited about it." Priest also said it showed "what they believe in."
"I've never been a part of anything like this," Priest continued.
A portion of the workers were war veterans who had handled guns before. But some had never touched the automatic weapon.
Two employees at first declined the offer. Yet after doing the gun safety course, they said they would consider taking the guns.
The Wisconson company creates glassware that is supposed to look "bulletproof." The pieces are designed with a fake bullet embedded into them.
The business has been running since 2015. Only 3,000 residents fill the town that they operate in.
Gun control continues to emerge as a primary issue in the United States. Last year, the Las Vegas shooting terrorized the nation. It also left 64 people dead at the hands of Stephen Paddock.
At least two survivors of Las Vegas were bizarrely put in the same situation just last week. Another shooter named Ian Long killed 12 people in Thousand Oaks, California. Sadly, one of the survivors from last year did not make it out a second time.
The victim's mother said she doesn't want prayers anymore, she wants more gun control. But it's hard to change a deeply rooted value that is based in the constitution.
Furthermore, most Americans are in support of the second amendment, which calls for the right to bear arms. A Pew Research showed that 74 percent of gun owners consider their right an "essential" part of their freedom.
In comparison, 44 percent point to the ease of attaining a gun as a factor that contributes to gun violence. While the gun control advocates may be louder, their voices are still beaten out by numbers.
The younger generation was studied specifically. Another Pew project produced results over ten years till 2016. They show a decline in young people wanting control over gun rights.
However, 18 to 29-year-olds are increasingly rooting for gun control. More research is to be done as mass shootings become deadlier in the U.S.
Countries like Australia have banned most guns. They reflected significant decreases in mass shootings. Nevertheless, gun control advocates are only pointing to a need to make background checks stricter, not necessarily get rid of guns.
One state, Massachusetts, has set somewhat of a precedent. To obtain a gun there, one has to get a permit from their local department which may take weeks. Then they do paperwork, an interview, and a background check.
Having done all that, it is still up to the police chief to allow or reject one's request for a gun based on their knowledge of one's past.
For BenShot, Wolfgram claims he has no fears about violence resulting from the season's special gifts. We're not sure if they are from the same town, but Wolgram said all his employees are familiar with each other.
"For us, now, we have an entire armed staff. I think that's pretty good," he said.
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