UPDATE: STOP!!! DO NOT READ THE POST BELOW! No, really — somebody else did it better here, and I highly recommend you click over and see where my own opinion has ended up, right alongside Lloyd…
“Gun-Rights, Barney Fife Style” (ArmedLutheran.us)
(…and now for my original post, for those of you who are poor at following directions…)
I have a lot of respect for the way this has been handled by the Starbucks folks up to now; and I have a lot of respect for the way they’re handling it now. I’m sad that they have had to stand for all the activism from BOTH sides of this debate — that is not their role (they just want to sell coffee…).
Having said that, and understanding that they have unfortunately made it easier for hoplophobes to stage a freak-out when a carrying customer is noticed, I choose not to visit them any more because — just as most legally-carrying people will respect the wishes of Starbucks not to carry in their stores — there will eventually be a number of Bad Guys who are not bound by the same decorum that will now see Starbucks as an appropriate place to do Bad Things with firearms. You see, we have all just collectively pointed out to the Bad Guys that none of us will be able to offer any resistance when they choose to use deadly force to steal $150 from the cash register.
Clearly, mass shootings never happen where this first step to delineate a completely defenseless audience has not taken place.
Secondarily, let me point out that this isn’t a Second Amendment issue — it is one for the state level, at which it is decided how personally-owned (and sometimes carried) defensive weapons should be regulated, and what constitutes ‘normal’ for those communities. This isn’t about combating tyranny; no one at Starbucks is saying that people shouldn’t be able to own or carry — they’re just asking that we don’t do it there.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Posted by Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and chief executive officer
Dear Fellow Americans,
Few topics in America generate a more polarized and emotional debate than guns. In recent months, Starbucks stores and our partners (employees) who work in our stores have been thrust unwillingly into the middle of this debate. That’s why I am writing today with a respectful request that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas.
From the beginning, our vision at Starbucks has been to create a “third place” between home and work where people can come together to enjoy the peace and pleasure of coffee and community. Our values have always centered on building community rather than dividing people, and our stores exist to give every customer a safe and comfortable respite from the concerns of daily life.
We appreciate that there is a highly sensitive balance of rights and responsibilities surrounding America’s gun laws, and we recognize the deep passion for and against the “open carry” laws adopted by many states. (In the United States, “open carry” is the term used for openly carrying a firearm in public.) For years we have listened carefully to input from our customers, partners, community leaders and voices on both sides of this complicated, highly charged issue.
Our company’s longstanding approach to “open carry” has been to follow local laws: we permit it in states where allowed and we prohibit it in states where these laws don’t exist. We have chosen this approach because we believe our store partners should not be put in the uncomfortable position of requiring customers to disarm or leave our stores. We believe that gun policy should be addressed by government and law enforcement—not by Starbucks and our store partners.
Recently, however, we’ve seen the “open carry” debate become increasingly uncivil and, in some cases, even threatening. Pro-gun activists have used our stores as a political stage for media events misleadingly called “Starbucks Appreciation Days” that disingenuously portray Starbucks as a champion of “open carry.” To be clear: we do not want these events in our stores. Some anti-gun activists have also played a role in ratcheting up the rhetoric and friction, including soliciting and confronting our customers and partners.
For these reasons, today we are respectfully requesting that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas—even in states where “open carry” is permitted—unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel.
I would like to clarify two points. First, this is a request and not an outright ban. Why? Because we want to give responsible gun owners the chance to respect our request—and also because enforcing a ban would potentially require our partners to confront armed customers, and that is not a role I am comfortable asking Starbucks partners to take on. Second, we know we cannot satisfy everyone. For those who oppose “open carry,” we believe the legislative and policy-making process is the proper arena for this debate, not our stores. For those who champion “open carry,” please respect that Starbucks stores are places where everyone should feel relaxed and comfortable. The presence of a weapon in our stores is unsettling and upsetting for many of our customers.
I am proud of our country and our heritage of civil discourse and debate. It is in this spirit that we make today’s request. Whatever your view, I encourage you to be responsible and respectful of each other as citizens and neighbors.
LINK: “The CEO Of Starbucks Is Writing Letters To Americans Now, Too. Awesome.” (ChicksOnTheRight.com)
LINK: “Coward or Idiot? What About Both?” (MichaelZWilliamson.com)
LINK: “Starbucks And Your Gun: Congratulations, Idiots.” (TwoWheeledMadWoman.blogspot.com)
LINK: “This Is Why We Cant Have Nice Things – Starbucks” (PracticalTacticalPodcast.com)
LINK: “Why I’m done with Starbucks (at least for now)” (Rare.us)
LINK: “McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts to Gun Owners: Hey, We Respect Gun Laws” (TownHall.com)
LINK: “Gun-Rights, Barney Fife Style” (ArmedLutheran.us)