8/12/2013 5:00 PM ET|
4 observations about Starbucks and guns
Gun owners show up en masse at Starbucks Appreciation Day to support the coffee chain’s policy of allowing customers to display guns on their hips in jurisdictions where that’s legal.
Starbucks (SBUX) was back at the center of the culture wars at the end of last week: Aug. 9 marked the now-annual Starbucks Appreciation Day, when gun owners show up en masse and conspicuously armed at their local coffee shop, in appreciation of the coffee chain's policy of allowing customers to display guns on their hips in jurisdictions where that's legal.
The event again drew headlines and criticism. The hostilities offer a revealing case study of a business trying to balance the interests of social activists who prefer fighting to finding common ground. Here are four blunt observations sure to please none of the committed combatants:
Gun-rights activists are playing an obnoxious, unnecessary game. They have the right in most states to carry firearms openly. But the now-annual Starbucks Appreciation event is a gratuitous attempt to rile the portion of the populace made uncomfortable by open display of firearms.
In a country with sharply divided attitudes toward guns, why purposely provoke one's neighbors? If one wants to carry a Glock, why not do so modestly, without the intentionally offensive show of force? The vast majority of lawful civilian gun owners handle their weapons carefully. The ones who show up at armed rallies at Starbucks are sending an unsavory signal of intimidation.
Gun-control activists take the bait. In their eagerness to condemn gun ownership broadly -- as opposed to the social ills that flow from misuse of firearms -- gun-control activists reveal their condescension toward a part of American culture that is here to stay.
In a press release condemning the coffee chain, the Washington, D.C.-based Coalition to Stop Gun Violence wrote: "It is not up to public officials to provide for the safety of Starbucks' customers and employees. That is [the company's] responsibility as a private business and theirs alone."
Huh? It is not up to the local police to protect people as they come and go from Starbucks? That makes no sense whatsoever. Starbucks, the coalition adds, is "tainting their brand and exposing their customers and employees to unnecessary risks." If Starbucks' policy bothers you, fine -- go to Peet's or another coffee shop that does ban openly carried firearms. But there's absolutely no evidence that law-abiding citizens bearing arms at Starbucks has led to crime or injury.
Starbucks is trying to do the right thing. "Our longstanding approach to the open-carry debate has been to comply with local laws and statutes in the communities we serve," a company spokesman told the New York Times. What a radical philosophy!
"We continue," the spokesman added, "to encourage customers and advocacy groups from all sides of the debate to share their input with their elected officials, who make the open-carry laws that our company follows." Another outlandish idea. Maybe gun foes should try to change the law, rather than attack a company that follows existing law.
The Newtown compromise made sense. In the Connecticut town that was the site of the December 2012 elementary school massacre, some residents were so upset by the prospect of a pro-gun rally at Starbucks that the company closed the Newtown store early on the afternoon of Aug. 9.
Just because it has a (reasonable) national policy doesn't mean that a well-run company should ignore special local concerns and adjust accordingly. Once again, bravo, Starbucks. A company that sells cappuccino doesn't bear responsibility for resolving an ideological clash as fierce as the one over gun ownership.
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People please listen. Guns are NOT to be shamed nor those that own or carry them. A gun is a tool for good or evil. What about
responsibility? You are in a free country because of guns, you don't speak German or Japanese because of guns, there are no concentration camps [so far] because of guns. Thank GOD for guns! If you have murder in your heart and kill with a gun is that the guns fault?? Wake up you clowns before its to late USMC I will enjoy the coffee in in free country!
I disagree with your assessment that "Gun-rights activists are playing an obnoxious, unnecessary game. ". You ask the question "In a country with sharply divided attitudes toward guns, why purposely provoke one's neighbors? "
Following your "logic" the same question could be asked of free speech advocates. (another of our constitutionally guaranteed rights).
In a country with sharply divided attitudes toward "gay marriage", why purposely provoke one's neighbors?
In a country with sharply divided attitudes toward "abortion", why purposely provoke one's neighbors?
In a country with sharply divided attitudes toward "healthcare reform", why purposely provoke one's neighbors?
The gun rights activists are not, as you claim, simply doing this to "provoke their neighbors". They are doing it to show their support for the 2nd amendment. Anyone who would try to limit the 2nd amendment is, in effect, trying to nullify all the other amendments, as well.........
Hey EnergyDude12, look at it this way, You are a bitter person to write such comment.
Keep drinking cool-aid and should you run out of this, get food stamps.
Guns and Mojo
Way to go
Let's avoid the cool-aid drinkers, they are our society nuisance...
fool you into thinking they are being objective but their aim is clear. They don't like anything that butts up against their 2nd Amendment bashing and Starbucks, a National business has stuck it to them. When people use one right to advocate the infringement of another they have to face the fact that people are and will push back. Quite frankly if push comes to shove I would rather be on the pro 2nd Amendment side of that particular argument.
Do people realize that Gun Permit in Newtown is up big time... The number of people wanting to carry in Newtown has grown by 80%.... This should be a sign that Americans are going to start open carry in every state. We will see crime rates drop by 75%....
Not a big fan of open carry; defeats the purpose of a concealed weapon, the element of surprise. Note the photo that accompanies this article: A cocked weapon unsecured in a pancake, form-fit holster; any one of us, no matter how old or slow, could walk up from behind and take this guy's weapon from him before he even knew it.
I wonder if this is a staged photo? No one I know with weapons experience would EVER open carry like this(use a thumb break strap for Christ's sake). DUMB if real, devious and misleading if staged.
Appreciation event is a gratuitous attempt to rile the portion of the populace made uncomfortable by open display of firearms.
Yep !! It's like I've said before, anything to piss off a liberal....
Those that seem astounded to hear it is not up to local police to protect people should understand that time and again it has been ruled by the courts that police do not have any legal obligation to protect individuals. Thus, it is incumbent to the individual to protect themselves. This revelation obviously frightens the sheeple.
I own lots of guns; great big loud ones and little concealed carry ones. Learned how to shoot them compliments of Uncle Sam in exchange for my service. Still, even I might be a little nervous standing in line with a bunch of jittery caffeine addicts packing heat while waiting for their first cup of the day....
When there is a bombing we blame the bomber.
When there is a shooting we blame the gun.
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