The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence doesn’t like guns. They don’t want private citizens to own guns unless they really, really have to. (And probably not even then.) Some of those gun-toting private citizens caffeinate at Starbucks. Some of these coffee-drinking gun owners take their guns into Starbucks—where it is legal to do so. Starbucks bans employees from packing heat, but doesn’t ban law-abiding concealed carry customers. SO WHAT? WHO CARES? It’s not as if Starbucks is the locus of accidental firearms discharges. Or spree shootings. (In fact, we know of at least one widely unreported example where a Starbucks was robbed at gunpoint.) The only reason The Brady bunch has targeted Starbucks: a California Open Carry organization held a meeting there. GET OVER IT. MOVE ON. Go kick someone’s ass who’s got a dog in this hunt. But nooooooo. Writing in The Huffington Post, Brady Prez Paul Helmke lashed out at the Seattle chain’s institutional investors.
Last week, I sent a letter to the company’s ten largest institutional investors, asking them to ask about Starbucks’ dangerous policy, perhaps during a coffee break during the annual meeting. What I told the investors was simple: incidents have been occurring, with growing frequency, where gun owners, seeking to “make a statement” about their “gun rights”, are openly carrying their weapons into more and more public places. These gatherings of armed individuals have provoked a strong and adverse reaction from members of the public who legitimately feel endangered by the proliferation of guns.
So, Paul, how many signatures did you get on that petition (which doesn’t require U.S. nationality or, indeed, any form of verifiable identification)? He no say. Growing frequency? IT WAS ONE, LOOSELY ORGANIZED EVENT.
Reality check. If Starbucks customers had such a strong and adverse reaction to the ONE meeting of the Open Carry people, wouldn’t Starbucks have figured that out themselves? I bet they have. I bet they’ve weighed the possibility of alienating ANYONE with a gun ban and thought screw it, this Brady guy will go away eventually. Which he really should. At least on this one.
“This isn’t really a Starbucks issue, it’s an open carry issue,” Helmke said today, at a “rally” outside Starbucks’ annual shareholder meeting. Good. Then leave Starbucks alone, woodja?