Wednesday, September 18, 2013

In Which I Piss Off EVERYONE...

*Sigh* OGNTSA.

Starbucks Takes Stand on Firearms, Open Carry
Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and CEO on Tuesday, Sept. 17, posted the following open letter regarding customers bringing firearms into Starbucks locations:

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.
I'm conflicted on this, I really am. I support open carry wholeheartedly and have practiced it when possible/practical/legal. I have no problem with anyone who wishes to open carry as long as they're doing it safely and legally. I also understand that by letting our opposition define the issue, we're fighting a losing battle. By pretending that open carry is only okay in certain situations by certain people, we're letting them box us out.

It's the sad predictability of the "in-your-face" factions that carry rifles around (Tam's comment about "'Battle of Fallujah' reenactors' club meeting" hits the mark perfectly IMHO) and the response that has me shaking my head. What did y'all think was going to happen when you walked into a trendy urban coffee shop full of hipsters with a rifle on your back? Did you think the latte-sipping Apple fanboi was suddenly going to be seized by divine inspiration, tear up his Brady membership, and suddenly convert to the Church of John Moses Browning (PBUH)?

Those in the OPEN CARRY BECAUSE 'MURICA camp sometimes use the "Gay Pride" analogy - that it took waaaay over-the-top marches in order to focus the conversation on gay rights and acceptance; that those "in the closet" would have remained so their entire lives if not for brave members of their ranks who were willing to risk ridicule, personal danger, and worse to shine light on the inequality of treatment they received by society. There's a fair amount of truth to this line of thinking, however there's one very important piece missing: the media - who still shape opinions in this country - were 100% behind the gay-rights campaign.

The media is 100% opposed to anything that furthers gun rights. Getting all "SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED" at an open carry rally isn't going to win friends and influence people. It's going to guarantee that the media actively seeks out the worst representative of the group to interview - and let's face it, in *ANY* group there's bound to be one or two people you just don't want in front of a camera. While I understand that not everyone can be as awesome an ambassador for open carry as, say, #1 blogdaughter, it would go a long way towards normalizing open carry if folks saw more people like her openly carrying and less of the 'Battle of Fallujah' reenactors' club. Folks want over-priced, bitter coffee when they go to Starbucks, they don't want political theater.

And, lastly, I swear to all that is holy and to John Moses Browning Himself (PBUH) that if this screws up open carry before I get to Virginia there will be hell to pay...

That is all.

UPDATE: TL/DR: Go read Robb's excellent post...


The Scribbler said...

Your takeaway was pretty similar to mine. This is what I had to say.

It truly is frustrating on so many levels.

Geodkyt said...


Of course, once you're a VA resident, you should be able to get your VA CHP in a few weeks (I think Nancy and my last renewals took 2-3 weeks. . . ).

Just remember the stupid GFZ rules.

ASM826 said...

Not open carrying, or concealed carrying (or doing or not doing anything gun related) because of how it will spun by the media is a mistake.

The opposition has the main stream press and is going to use it no matter what. If I told you that CNN was opposed to bald guys in kilts and was going to make you look bad, would you modify your behavior?

Do what is right, what is honorable, and what you can stand behind no matter what anyone says about it, even if they're lying.

Anonymous said...

I would not have had a problem with Starbucks saying, You dudes and dudettes, go fight on somebody else's lawn, we just sell coffee.

What they did was say some of you make us nervous so you gun folks need to stop because your scaring the soccer moms and libtards children. That is not neutral.

If they had problems with people acting like fools, throw them out for being a fools.


Ed said...

Just remember that some may also prefer that we go back to "Whites Only" lunch counters, as it makes them feel more comfortable. Some would would also advocate the return of the definition of "eligible voter" as "property owner", but that is not going to happen, either.

It is appropriate that those who are uncomfortable with people asserting their civil rights to become desensitized to the things that upset them. The world does not exist to make you feel comfortable.

Glenn B said...

ASM826 said what I think on this pretty well.

Also think of this, if you go along with it makes us nervous, what about when you go to a local outdoor range and the people living in the area say - it makes us nervous. Should we just voluntarily stop going to ranges or not try our best to keep them open. Others are afraid of us carrying 30 round mags - should we all turn them in and vote in lawmakers who would restrict them.

More people walking around with guns, wherever and whenever, will only get folks used to it. It is about time they realize that the average gun owner is a responsible citizen and not an armed monster.

Matthew said...

If people had simply exercised their right to OC and enjoyed the fact that Starbucks had a policy of being neutral and following state law by carrying the same pistol, the same way they carry it every day, day in and day out, for the sole purpose of being armed for self-defense, this letter would never had been written.

It was the attention-whoring and rubbing our "win" in the anti's faces by idiots "making statements" and "sending messages" by holding events with rifles and tactical thigh rigs and other nonsense, which they wouldn't do anywhere else as part of their daily lives, that led to this set-back.

Those morons don't get to claim some sort of righteousness as "defenders of OC" after screwing it up for the normal folks who just wanted to not have to cover up the pistol they wear everyday everywhere they go to get a cup of joe they were going to get anyway, not making a special trip to "Appreciate" a damn thing.

Sabra said...

This isn't truly analogous to the outré outfits and actions at Gay Pride events, though. It is far more analogous to two dudes in body oil, booty shorts, and boas having lunch at Denny's, sitting side-by-side, and making constant buttsecks jokes. Do they have a right to do it? Arguably, yes. And hell, I fully support their right to do it. But they shouldn't be surprised when the reaction is unfavorable.

The gay couple who go to Denny's dressed nicely, sit side-by-side, and talk about their show dogs while occasionally touching one another's hands are going to do far more to normalize things.

It's the same reason that, although I could literally pull a boob out of the top of my dress and walk around Wal-Mart nursing my two-year-old, I choose instead to sit down and uncover no more than necessary.

Saillorcurt said...

I agree with several previous posters.

I agree that it's a mistake to change the way we do things to appease those whom we might make uncomfortable.

But I also agree that we shouldn't change the way we do things to go out of our way to make people Uncomfortable to "make a point".

Are we looking for normalization, or shock value?

Of course, there is the small issue that we can't control what everyone does. Contrary to what the anti-gunners would like to believe, our community is not a hive mind that all walks in lock-step. There are going to be people that do things that we disagree with. Should we excoriate them? I honestly don't know the answer to that...but I do know that the anti's love our little self-immolation episodes.

My major thoughts on this mirror Gerry's: Starbucks had every opportunity to simply say "we don't take a stand on this issue, please don't involve us." Which is the stance they've taken in the past. They didn't do that this time. The specifically asked us to stay away. They didn't require it (yet)...they asked. They were very courteous. I appreciate that and I'm more than willing to honor their request. I'll go elsewhere for my coffee. No skin off my butt. I don't like their coffee all that much anyway. The only reason I have been patronizing their establishments is because of their principled "we have no position on this" stand.

If they don't want my money, I'm happy to oblige them.

And on a side note: JayG, don't worry about open carry in's not a legislative matter than could be repealed before you get here; In Virginia, the State Supreme Court recognized open carry as THE "right to ... bear arms" well over a century ago. Any state law here banning it would be rapidly overturned as unconstitutional.

In Virginia, you only need a permit to conceal a handgun, not to carry one. I don't see that changing any time soon, regardless of the antics of the "please notice me" crowd or the policies of a coffee shop.

Matthew said...

"Starbucks had every opportunity to simply say "we don't take a stand on this issue, please don't involve us." Which is the stance they've taken in the past. They didn't do that this time."

Think about that. They -already- asked us nicely over and over again to leave them out of it.

At what point do we acknowledge it is totally the fault of a minority of idiots on -our- side who refused to be courteous adults and respect their wishes that led them to stop asking nicely and to be blunt?

They gave us 3 years of politeness, I'm surprised they were as restrained as they were.