L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 258, February 8, 2004
Government has no requirement to protect anyone
Some Questions for Verizon:
Special to TLE
By now, you should be aware that freedom-activist Jeff "Hunter" Jordan was arrested by the Ohio State Highway Patrol for lawfully carrying a concealed weapon (yes, you read that right). (Details here and here. There may be another aspect to this issue that needs attention.
Many of you know that I headed up to New Hampshire (and go to court appearances in Ohio, too) when Mr. Jordan was arrested. So I'm in a position to see some things. I can't explain all of what I see, mainly because he has been advised not speak about any aspect of his case that isn't already public. That puts a crimp in my reporting, but probably does wonders for Mr. Jordan's legal case.
One of the things I've noticed is that Mr. Jordan hasn't been going to work since he returned from Ohio. From years of association with the man, I know he's a long-time employee of Verizon (in its various iterations over the years. And with expensive legal actions in the works, it strikes me as odd that he would voluntarily cut off his income by simply neglecting to go to work. I've asked, and he just tells me there's nothing he's free to speak of regarding Verizon, just like the legal proceedings.
This is the sort of thing that gives me pause to wonder ... Some companies suspend or fire employees who have been convicted of crimes. Is Verizon doing something similar to Mr. Jordan? I hope not, for their sake.
Let me put this in perspective. A private company may well be entitled to suspend/fire someone whose danger to society or individuals has been established by a court conviction. But this isn't the case with Mr. Jordan.
I hope that Verizon hasn't fired or suspended a man for an alleged act which has not yet been questioned in court, much less proved.
Which brings me to another unanswered question: I never saw Mr. Jordan go to work at all since returning to New Hampshire. This suggests to me that he was suspended/fired by Verizon before he even got back home. How did Verizon learn about his legal situation even before he came to work to inform the company? Maybe Verizon managers read the news; that, and websites, is where I get my data. But to suspend/fire someone without a hearing on the basis of a newspaper article? Maybe Verizon had a more direct channel for information to which the rest of us are not privy. Which begs yet another question: A channel to whom? Is someone giving them information on Mr. Jordan's case on the sly; and if so, why?
Something reeks. Does Verizon conduct "star chamber" personnel actions? Questions, questions.
I wonder if Verizon would do this to an employee accused of DUI, or another such crime. Or is it singling out Mr. Jordan because his is a firearms-related case? After all, isn't Verizon based in gun-hostile Massachusetts?
Next question: Does Verizon remember what happened to CitiBank and Smith & Wesson, when they angered a few million gun owners?
Verizon is a huge company, offering a wide variety of landline telecommunications services, long distance, and wireless access. Which means that it very likely has a large number of America's estimated 100 million gun owners as customers. Which in turn means that a total boycott of an anti-RKBA company would hurt.
It seems that Mr. Jordan cannot speak about this, so I invite Verizon to do so. I hope that it will confirm or deny my suspicions. If Verizon has not suspended/fired Mr. Jordan, it can say so, and I will publicly apologize. If it has peremptorily acted against Mr. Jordan, Verizon can admit that, and explain why. In the latter case, Verizon can also tell us with whom the suspension/dismissal idea originated. And why.
In the absence of any answers, I believe an immediate boycott will be in order.
Show time, Verizon.
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