Robert’s already laid out, in no uncertain terms, why he won’t be boycotting Starbucks. And for those of you who think you smell insufficient firearms fidelity, this is the guy who moved from Rhode Island to Tejas for the friendlier gun laws. Be that as it may, that doesn’t mean he thinks Howard Schultz’s pseudo-Solomonic triangulation is wise. Read it for yourself here. Or just make the jump . . .

 

Starbucks’ non-ban gun ban won’t satisfy anyone

In an open letter published on Starbucks’ website and in newspaper ads, the coffee chain’s CEO, Howard Schultz, “respectful(ly) requests that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas.” It’s a “request” because “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.”

Yet in a sense, that’s what his “partners” are doing right now. The gun-wielding folks his employees have to confront aren’t “customers”; they’re armed robbers.

Regular robberies

Last month, a man walked into a Miami Starbucks wearing a ski mask. He pointed a gun at two employees and escaped with more than $700 in cash. As you might expect from a company with11,000 stores in the USA, many in urban areas, this was hardly the first time Starbucks employees have “confronted” armed robbers.

It’s not just a matter of money lost or people terrorized. In 1997, a robber named Carl Cooper executed three Starbucks employees at a store in Washington, D.C. Could a legal gun owner have stopped Cooper’s rampage? We’ll never know.

Nor will we know whether one of the victims could have saved all their lives with a defensive firearm. Starbucks, like most other major companies, does not allow its employees to exercise their gun rights while on the job. It doesn’t trust them.

With this non-ban gun ban, Starbucks is signaling that the company doesn’t trust its legally armed customers, either.

But one thing we do know is that, 11 months ago, an armed off-duty policy officerthwarted the armed robbery of a store in Hernderson, N.V. An armed customer might have been handy when a a Starbucks in Orange County, Calif., was robbed a couple months later.

Self-defense

Guns save lives. Americans are, at a minimum, responsible for tens of thousands of defensive gun uses per year. Whether sipping a latte in Starbucks or just walking down the street, armed Americans both deter and counter robbery, rape and murder. Why would Starbucks turn its back to that?

Schultz’s decision seems to be based on other factors. “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.” In other words, the CEO believes that guns are bad for business.

But gun bans are good for gun control advocates. They’ve welcomed Starbucks’ anti-gun open letter. And why not? The prohibition gives them a PR win, if not an actual restriction on guns. Demonizing and disarming Americans trying to protect themselves and loved ones is a first step toward greater restrictions.

Schultz’s decision to disarm Starbucks’ customers, whether by request or eventual edict, ultimately won’t satisfy gun control activists, either. Schultz’s attempt to split the baby — by “requesting” a gun-free zone instead of creating one — simply keeps the debate over Starbucks alive.

It will flare again when the next time someone dies in one of his stores. Then there won’t be an easy public relations move. There will be a debate about life and death, and Starbucks will have to choose one side or the other.

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42 Responses to RF on Starbucks in USA Today

  1. I would lay the blame on this policy change squarely on the shoulders of those individuals who decided to make political theatre out of Starbucks’ original neutrality on the issue. Parading around in a public with long guns is an infantile display, and certainly not good PR for responsible gun owners. It’s more like the costumed freaks that inevitably show up at the Gay Pride parades.

    • I would have to agree that the opening volley in this fight should most likely not have included people sitting around in Starbucks with various Scary Black Rifles, AKs and other such intimidating weaponry. Hell, these guys would make ME nervous.

      If someone invites you to their home or business and is at least neutral about your open carry or concealed firearm the least you can do is be polite and civil in your response. IMO the long guns were an over-reaction and bound to cause controversy in the media and consternation amongst the other patrons. In that they were counterproductive to the cause being promoted.

      A polite “Thank You Starbucks” would have included a more or less discreet display of holstered pistols, not groups of people sitting around with AR-15s between their knees.

      • Men are usually above such displays, and to think they were gullible enough to be goaded into it by a bunch of mommies in yoga pants and push up bras is very sad.

        They walked right into the trap.

  2. RF, it is pretty obvious why your blog is the pre-eminent gun rights source in America (possibly the world). You seldom fail to make absolute sense in your statements and arguments. Based on this post and the previous “Why I won’t Boycott…” post I went (concealed carry) to the local Starbucks and bought a coffee and cookie. Unlike your muffin, the cookie was pretty good. The coffee, however, confirms my reasons for otherwise seldom patronizing them. I’ve had better from a C-Ration box.

    I recall a few years ago, and I do not remember where this happened, where a couple of punks went looking for easy pickings in a Starbucks and noticed several open carry patrons sipping coffee. The perps retreated to their vehicle behind the store and were promptly confronted and arrested by local 5-0 who recovered at least one AK-47 and some other weapons.

    While I sympathize with the Starbucks CEO trying to tread a fine line between opposing political groups, perhaps he would have been better advised to put together all of these sorts of reports and send them as an open letter to Moms Demand Action, MAIG, Brady Bunch, etc.

    • Not really the “anti’s” – just the Mommies. There’s a difference.

      Do men here put up with that much taunting and goading at home and respond with such a ridiculous over the top display?

      Doubtful. The Mommies deserved ignoring. We failed their sh!t test.

  3. How else was he supposed to get the open carry goofballs to stop using his store as a statement. He doesn’t care much about guns one way or another, or didn’t until he had dozens of people show up at his store with rifles. Don’t blame him for finally saying enough for something he’s clearly been tolerant yet uncomfortable with, blame the open carry tards for him finally saying enough.

  4. Robert, even if you take out your agreement or disagreement with their policy – why would you PLACE YOURSELF in a GFZ voluntarily?!

      • So he’s accepting a higher level of insecurity while armed? Personally, one of my rules is to stay out of situations where the probability of getting into armed confrontation is high.

        I don’t walk in bad neighborhoods at night.

        I stay out of rowdy taverns.

        And I avoid Gun Free Zones – even the ones that say they are even if they say they aren’t.

        • As part of my “situational awareness” regimen I routinely avoid legitimate “Gun Free Zones” whenever I possibly can. Here in Washington state those zones are specified in state law and it is easy to know where they are and when you might encounter one. I plan accordingly.

          As for zones that are merely posted as Gun Free I ignore the signs and carry concealed anyway since state law does not require my obedience to those signs, just my compliance should I be asked to leave.

          Since almost everyone who carries here carries concealed it would foolish in the extreme not to ASSUME that wherever you are you are the only one with a pistol. Act accordingly. Going into Starbucks last week or next week I would not be overly concerned as I am already considering myself as the only gun in the place the same as I do everywhere I go.

  5. My feeling about Star*ucks is this: I’m refusing Schultz’s request to show up unarmed. Okay, I don’t like their coffee so I don’t go there anyway. But if I did, I’d be strapped. Because it’s okay with me if I’m the only guy in the room with a gun. I live in MA. I’m used to it.

  6. BTW, Star*ucks business partner in Damascus is requesting that people not bring Sarin gas into the store. Apparently, it smells better than the coffee.

  7. If he had said “no more activities involving political activism with respect to firearms ownership and rights are to be conducted at our stores”, that would be reasonable and understandable.

    But he didn’t. Instead he chose to focus on the object in question, rather than the actions of individuals on both sides who were stirring up controversy, and that I’m sorry to say puts him on one side of the argument, and it’s not the right side.

  8. Flame me, hate me, call me a troll if you wish. I completely understand why Starbucks made this decision and I don’t blame them for it. They want to sell coffee, not be the firebrand in a heated debate. I think they did a great job of staying out of it for as long as they could.

    And while I’m rubbing against the grain, open carry as a method of protest is the gay kiss in of gun rights. If you want to protest speak your mind, boycott and hold a sign. If you want to convince other people that your point of view is right, debate, debate, debate. We do have the luxury of truth and facts on our side after all.

    If you want to piss people off and energize the base of your opponents shove your way of life right in everyone’s fucking face. Some people would rather lose loudly than win efficiently.

    • FLAME! HATE! TROLL! Not really, but no one else was responding to your post and I thought you might feel neglected.

      While some may consider open carry demonstrations the “gay kiss in” of gun rights activism (nice metaphor), and it may result in a strong reaction from people, the gay rights people have seen some pretty impressive results from their activism and it is really important to point out that Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender rights are not discussed in The Constitution of the United States of America nor included in the Bill of Rights. Our right to keep and bear arms most definitely IS included in the Bill of Rights, including the injunction that said rights “…shall not be infringed.”

      IMO this tends to put RKBA activism on a slightly higher moral plane than LGBT rights. It may make you uncomfortable or angry, but suck it up. They are doing this for OUR constitutional rights, not there own self-aggrandizement or your comfort.

      • Cliff, I agree with you sentiment and I acknowledge that the gay lobby has made remarkable strides in recent years… but they had the media at their back, blowing just as hard as they could on their sails. We do not have that advantage. Normalizing firearms is going to be more difficult than normalizing a couple of chicks holding hands in line. We do not have sympathetic gun-toting characters in our sitcoms and the other normalizing exposure that gays had from the makers of culture.

        I would prefer to not be associated with some tacticool parody figure on a Black Rifle Pride Parade float, thank you very much.

  9. I tend to agree with the authors. I will neither increase nor decrease my Starbucks patronization — and will continue to carry when appropriate. (I work on a military base, so workdays are pretty difficult . . . .)

  10. Starbucks did say that all firearms regardless if open or concealed carry are not welcome. I conceal carry, and because of my previous career, I carry for a very good reason. I do not open carry unless I am at the range. I will not disrespect anyone by entering their property if I and my only means of protection are not welcome. I started going to Dutch Brothers today, and you know what, I found that the barista’s are friendlier and the drink I had tasted better.

  11. This whole Starbuck’s thing has gotten way out of hand. Schultz is a businessman like myself and is tired of people thinking about Starbuck’s in any other light than a coffee franchise. I do believe it’s a nod nod, wink wink statement to pacify all. Millions love their latte, he just put this statement out there so his coffee business stays steady. Deep down he knows normal, non grandstanding honest Concealed Carry Patrons are still going to pack heat. He “requested” we don’t bring a weapon into his stores (actually, don’t open carry) so the gun control crowd “feels better” and stays for another espresso. Neither side has a 100% win, because he didn’t really pick a side strongly. If I want a coffee, I’ll be damned if I’ll avoid Starbucks because I have a .38 in my pocket. The “law” is the law and his “request” is just a request. Obviously, the guys toting a shotgun or rifle into Starbucks are just dumb asses looking for attention and making lawful carriers shack their heads. If you carry legally, nothing has changed. Keep it hidden but available, and don’t whip it out unless you plan on using it to defend yourself. I’m in Boston, MA, and I’ll bet if I poled every business I enter from 7-11 to the barbershop, they would all “request” I leave my handgun home too, but it’s really none of their freaking business. The State of Massachusetts already concluded I have the legal right to carry when they issued my license.
    So Schultz in essence is saying: Don’t use Starbuck’s as your staging ground for your political views regardless of what they are and keep buying our overpriced brew.

    • I sort of agree with you but I will still go elsewhere if there is an alternative. There is a difference between a business not welcoming you but staying silent and one that explicitly says I am unwelcome. “Don’t ask, Don’t tell.” is a good policy to follow.

      • Personally, I like Starbuck’s Blond Roast or maybe I just Like asking for “a tall blond.” I went in and bought one today and did not disarm. It was fun knowing I was breaking the “request.”

  12. Are people actually blaming Starbucks for this? Threatening boycotting because they asked us not to bring in weapons in their establishments. I got news for you, most businesses do not allow you to bring in a firearm. And at the same time they won’t confront you either. You’re saying it’s our right to open carry yet the media covers a shooting every other day of the week. And you’re telling people they shouldn’t be scared. Shame on us for fueling the fire.

        • If one makes a comment that something will never happen unless the one thing they stated caused such a result, then they should have the intellect and logic to prove it, as lets be frank, it could have happened anyway in a dozen different ways.

          16.08 deaths/injuries avg. in gun free zones without self defense!
          2.65 deaths/injuries avg. in gun free zones where armed self defense did occur!

          Now start posting pictures of the dead and murdered kids with that data and add “This is what Starbucks prefers” and play some emotional hardball back against those blood thirsty anti gun nuts!

  13. Howard Shultz is a Dweller in the Forest. We begin with a reading from the Holy Book of Geekdom, Life, the Universe and Everything.
    ===========

    One night, he said, a spaceship appeared in the sky of a planet which had never seen one before. The planet was Dalforsas, the ship was this one. It appeared as a brilliant new star moving silently across the heavens.

    Primitive tribesmen who were sitting huddled on the Cold Hillsides looked up from their steaming night-drinks and pointed with trembling fingers, swearing that they had seen a sign, a sign from their gods which meant that they must now arise at last and go and slay the evil Princes of the Plains.

    In the high turrets of their palaces, the Princes of the Plains looked up and saw the shining star, and received it unmistakably as a sign from their gods that they must now go and set about the accursed Tribesmen of the Cold Hillsides.

    And between them, the Dwellers in the Forest looked up into the sky and saw the sigh of the new star, and saw it with fear and apprehension, for though they had never seen anything like it before, they too knew precisely what it foreshadowed, and they bowed their heads in despair.

    They knew that when the rains came, it was a sign.

    When the rains departed, it was a sign.

    When the winds rose, it was a sign.

    When the winds fell, it was a sign.

    When in the land there was born at midnight of a full moon a goat with three heads, that was a sign.

    When in the land there was born at some time in the afternoon a perfectly normal cat or pig with no birth complications at all, or even just a child with a retrousse nose, that too would often be taken as a sign.

    So there was no doubt at all that a new star in the sky was a sign of a particularly spectacular order.

    And each new sign signified the same thing — that the Princes of the Plains and the Tribesmen of the Cold Hillsides were about to beat the hell out of each other again.

    This in itself wouldn’t be so bad, except that the Princes of the Plains and the Tribesmen of the Cold Hillsides always elected to beat the hell out of each other in the Forest, and it was always the Dwellers in the Forest who came off worst in these exchanges, though as far as they could see it never had anything to do with them.

    Starbucks just wants to sell us hot milk with a little coffee mixed in. Is that so wrong? Must we show our appreciation by lugging impractical weaponry into their lobby? Must the Mommies of the World protest outside their stores?

    If you cared nothing about carrying firearms, would you want to go buy caffeinated dessert in a cup at a Starbucks with these two agitated factions stomping around?

    • Guess starbucks should have just told the mommies to go #$%^ themselves as they would obey the law, as they had stated in a previous release, so have no empathy for companies who let such anti gun morons dictate corporate policies and dont like the publicity they garner by opening their mouth and inserting their foot!

  14. I’ll connect some dots here.

    “It’s not just a matter of money lost or people terrorized. In 1997, a robber named Carl Cooper executed three Starbucks employees at a store in Washington, D.C. Could a legal gun owner have stopped Cooper’s rampage? We’ll never know.”

    This was NOT the fault of or caused by Starbucks’ policy. This was the result of the unconstitutional DC law which prohibited the private possession of firearms at that time.

  15. Starbucks is all about the bucks and they won’t be getting any of mine. I’m sure at some point business owner will come around when they are being singled out by criminals as an easy mark with no resistance. Whats it gonna take shultzie, one of the kids making coffee to get shot in the face? Then you can blame the gun right? Stupidity in this country is freaking contagious…

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