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: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.
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.
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...