Sorry, that’s not going to happen any longer.
I’m going to do something in this blog entry I haven’t done. I’m going to slam some gun owners. Specifically I’m going to address open carry advocates – not all of you – but those of you who insist on bringing drama and screeching from the rooftops about how you’re going to exercise your rights, instead of just doing so.
See, Starbucks policy has always been to abide by the state law. They welcomed open carry, concealed carry and non carry coffee drinkers to their stores, as long as state law was followed. They didn’t want to be in the middle of a gun control debate. They just wanted to serve coffee and make money.
Unfortunately some concealed carry advocates decided that simply exercising their rights wasn’t enough. They thought it was a great idea to rub their ability to do so into the faces of those who oppose that right by drawing attention to themselves at Starbucks, staging media events, such as “Starbucks Appreciation Days,” claiming Starbucks is some kind of open carry champion, instead of a damn coffee shop! To be fair, the hoplophobes did what hoplophobes do – confronted, abused and castigated people merely for exercising their rights. But that’s nothing new and different.
Look… no one is saying you shouldn’t exercise your rights. They are your rights and you should be free to assert them. But what you people have done is drag a company into a political debate – a debate it wanted no part of.
Yes, Starbucks is left-leaning, but you know what? They respected your rights, and didn’t want to discriminate against those willing to exercise them.
So instead of exercising your rights in a peaceful manner, you people decided to thump your chests and screech about your rights from the rooftops.
What was the result?
Well, according to an open letter from Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, you are no longer welcome there with your firearms.
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.
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.
Congrats, open carry advocates!
You have accomplished something gun-banning asstards couldn’t. You have caused Starbucks to decide that you are no longer welcome with your firearms. Don’t blame them! You had every opportunity to exercise your rights in peace. You had every opportunity to simply get your coffee, assert your rights and move on. Instead you created drama and dragged a coffee company into the middle of one of the most contentious debates in the United States! Instead of getting your coffee and being on your way, like a kid with a new toy, you had to show how cool you were by loudly proclaiming your rights and your exercise thereof (although tactically, it’s better to carry concealed anyway).
Starbucks is a business. They’re in the business of serving overpriced coffee, not championing your rights. Your “Appreciation Days” have wreaked havoc and caused a disruption to their business. And like any business, they have changed their policy in order to protect their profits.
This is not about your rights. They didn’t even ban you outright. They simply requested that you cease and desist visiting their stores if you insist on loudly exercising your rights to the detriment of their business. You are no longer welcome there.
And you have no one to blame but yourselves.