It appears to me that a broad coalition of gun-controllers and in-your-face open carriers have managed to change Starbuck's long-standing neutrality on the lawful carrying of firearms in their coffee shops.
Oh, they're still standing by their observance of state and federal law; if you can lawfully carry in the location where you find a Starbucks, you can carry right up to the counter and order yourself a treat; but they're asking you -- us! -- to not bring openly-carried (or even concealed, though if you're doing it right....) guns into the store.
CEO Howard Schultz expressed, well, annoyance about his stores being made a debating stage, citing both sides for "uncivil rhetoric" and "friction," pointing out the "disingenuous"-ness of claiming the coffee giant is a champion of open carry.
There are times to, as it were, scare the white folk and there are times not to. We had a major retailer that was aggressively neutral and the Bradys and the "I have a right to carry an AR-15 here!" people managed to collude, however inadvertently, to change that. Starbuck's is still kind of neutral; they're no happier with the Mommies Against Bangety Badness than they are with Joe Tacti-cute but they're sending a clear warning: ramp it down. Coffee shops are not the village green.
Starbucks sells coffee. They don't sell political philosophy. Not yours, not mine, not Josh Horwitz's or uncle Wayne LaPierre's. Like Orwell's rifle hanging over the freeholder's fireplace, our job remains what it should always have been: to see that it stays that way. Instead it's hanging by the sling from one peg. The anti-rights types are going to spin this as a win -- and we can't unspin it with more Open Carry Theatre. You can vote with your dollars, the same way you do with any other business and the same way you should've been all along.
(Text of the Howard Schultz news release here, along with a round-up of gun blog posts on the issue.)
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8 months ago