What do we learn from this remarkable initiative of the American company BenShot: every employee receives a weapon of their choice as a Christmas present.

BenShot produces glasses in which a bullet seems to stick. In terms of originality a ten, but whether this is the most suitable gift? “It’s the first time we do something like that. In this way we want to strengthen the team spirit,” explains boss Ben Wolfgram.

“Two things were decisive: everyone feels safer when he or she has a weapon in the house. And besides, it is also just fun. Some companies arrange team building at the shooting range, which seemed a bit more original to me. I could have just given a bonus, but with that money the bills would be paid. At least they have something to do with this.”

Lessons

Two of the sixteen employees were at first disgusted with the idea. After the promise that they would receive lessons on safe use, they also tacked.

For most staff members, however, there is never a problem. “This makes me stronger, I will get a safer feeling. And it does indeed reinforce group dynamics,” says Chelsea Priest.

The business started in 2015 by Ben and his father. As a starting point they used a small garage in Hortonville (Wisconsin), a small village of 3,000 inhabitants about 160 kilometres from Milwaukee.

“We know each other very well”

The arms discussion was recently put into focus by the shootings in a synagogue in Pittsburgh (eleven deaths) and in a bar in Thousand Oaks (thirteen deaths). Two months ago, a disgruntled employee could shoot four colleagues in a software company in Wisconsin itself.

Or that Wolfgram does not think about it? “Oh no, we are only a small company. All colleagues know each other very well here. And now they are all armed, what else do you want?”

The comments on Twitter sound particularly divided. “The BenShot company is named after owner Ben. How ironic would it be if a disgruntled employee went after him? Then the headline in the newspaper “Ben shot” (Ben shot, ed.) Would be ringing.” But also: “You are great, do not listen to all those gullible people. You have the leaders we can only dream of.”

 

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