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by Henry Bowman

Yesterday, our head scribe laid out the reasons why he would continue his caffeine consumption, with a side of high fructose corn syrup muffins, at his friendly neighborhood Starbucks. He made good, pragmatic points highlighting the coffee company’s “request,” the absence of legally binding signage, the natural right of self-defense and the potential political and social benefits of an armed costumer stopping a criminal assault within the now-seemingly unprotected cafes. Additionally, the marginal-to-nonexistent effect a gun-owner’s boycott would have on Starbucks’ bottom line pretty much ensures their policy is unlikely to change based on lost revenue. All valid arguments. However, I present the following two counterpoints why I refuse to patronize any business – Starbucks or otherwise – that demands, requests, or legally requires that I disarm before entering . . .

First, I respect the right to private property. It’s been argued that the right to property is actually the most fundamental natural human right in that each individual owns his own body. When you own yourself, there stems your right to continue your life unmolested, to mix your labor with natural resources and to enjoy the products of your work.

Consequently, each individual exercises complete and sole authority over himself and his property and can refuse entry to whomever he chooses, for whatever reason he chooses, or set whatever conditions he chooses, as long as he does not forcibly violate the natural rights of others. This authority has been usurped and the issue clouded by arbitrary laws creating “protected classes” of people and punishing property owners for “discriminating” against those people.

In a free society, all human interaction should be completely voluntary, and no business owner should be forced by law to associate with others against his will. Additionally, hateful and vile behavior towards people would result in the voluntary disassociation of the more evolved costumers. When business owners indicate that they don’t want me as a customer, I’ll happily give my money to someone else.

Second, gun-free zones are dangerous. We all know it. We harp on it every time there’s a mass shooting. From Luby’s Cafeteria to Virginia Tech, from Aurora to Sandy Hook and even the recent Navy Yard shooting, all of them took place in locations where guns were not allowed. If the first line of defense is avoidance, why deliberately place yourself in a dangerous location?

While I agree that an armed patron at Starbucks could do a lot of good in the event of a violent crime, I don’t go places where violent crimes are more likely to occur. I especially don’t go places where the defenseless victims inside are boldly advertised to the criminal element with a “No Guns” sign on the door. That same “No Guns” sign is the accompanying image to the definition of “stupid places” in the Gun Owner’s Dictionary. When business owners make themselves ripe for crime, I’ll happily go somewhere else.

This is exactly the situation now with Starbucks and with the TGI Friday’s that I recently encountered. At their entryway, the restaurant posted a non-legally binding notice of the prohibition of firearms on their premises. While I could still legally carry concealed, it was obvious that the business desired to disassociate itself with gun-carriers.

I asked for the manager and told him that I respected his right to private property but I was disappointed at his lack of respect for my property and my fundamental right to protect myself and my family. I also pointed out that not only was he demanding his patrons be essentially defenseless, he was advertising their status as potential victims to anyone with no respect for property or the law.

Finally, since he would not allow the greatest tools of self-defense currently available within his restaurant and clearly did not want me as a customer, I would be going elsewhere. While I’m sure he didn’t lose any sleep over it, nor did it affect his till much, I was not going to be a victim nor give my money to someone who didn’t want it.

Finally, there are those who say “concealed means concealed,” implying that if it’s legal and the business owner doesn’t know, then why not just carry anyway? To them I say, if a black man was somehow able to conceal his race, do you think he would still patronize a store that had a “Whites Only” sign?

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  1. Too long – didn’t read.

    Counterpoint: Starbucks makes truckloads of money off people who don’t want to look at guns while they drink coffee. Starbucks will continue to make said truckloads of money.

    • See, this is why I probably shouldn’t have moderator powers. Because my first impulse upon reading your comment was to delete it, because if you’re not going to take the time to read the post before spouting off your own opinion (and you’re going to make that very clear by literally typing TL;DR), why should you have the opportunity to subject others to that opinion?

      Fortunately for you, I suppose, my better angel prevailed, and your rudeness remains, for all the world to see.

      • Dear Matt, let me be the first to welcome you to the internet! 🙂

        But agreed, the TL;DR is disrespectful and not helpful in getting a point across.

        • I like what goes on here, and I will fight tooth and nail to prevent it from devolving into something resembling Facebook. For that I will not apologize.

      • Everyone, I’m sorry for the TL:DR. my apologies to Henry Bowman as well.

        While it was meant in jest, I did read the piece but found it to be a heavily personalized editorial of why *one guy* will not go into Starbucks. We espouse the personal freedoms afforded by the constitution as the bedrock of all our arguments.

        I don’t need a thesis on why you don’t go into Starbucks.

        While we debate the finer points of each of our starbucks views, I’ll just put forth my original argument that I’ve stated on other articles dealing with this:

        Again – Starbucks does not care if you carry a gun.

        They care about profit margin, and the achievement of such.

        If you represent such a small iota of their customer base but manage to offend a majority of their paying customers, you represent what we call “risk of financial exposure”. Simply put, you’re scaring off the paying customers.

        Again, Why are any of us SURPRISED this happened? Starbucks is a major corporation who wants to make money. Their corporate image has been carefully crafted to represent a friendly atmosphere. I have worked directly on Starbucks retail projects throughout New England, and believe me when I say an openly displayed AR15 has no place in the specifications of the retail environment.

        Your willingness to assign emotions and logic to a corporate entity show the lack of understanding as to how large businesses operate: don’t rock the boat, and make money. I very much doubt their corporate meetings consist of secret agenda’s to alienate gun owners.

        We as as a group have alienated them, not the other way around. Guess what – not everyone likes guns. But you know what EVERYONE likes? Money. Money, Money, Money. If you choose to assign politics and viewpoints to this, you’re framing the problem incorrectly.

        • “Again – Starbucks does not care if you carry a gun. ”

          They made it abundantly clear that they *do* care and that they *do not* like it. Second amendment supporters outnumber anti-second amendment types by about five to one.

          Starbucks is trying to thread the needle, by giving something to the “progressive” types that the CEO hangs with while still keeping the second amendment supporters.

          They are going to lose income over this. Progressives have made it abundantly clear that they value agenda over profits. If you want examples, just look at the major media outlets.

        • Dean, you’re forgetting about the big “squishy middle”, who are largely ignorant about guns, and are more likely to be freaked out at the sight of a gun (especially an AR15). That’s who Starbucks doesn’t want to drive away.

    • They will still make truck loads of money in Newtown Connecticut but potentially lose truckloads of money in Fort Collins Colorado. There is more potential loss than gain in this. As I said yesterday, and you ignored, 40-50% of the public owns guns and just because they don’t carry doesn’t mean that they would not take umbrage at Starbucks position. The dilemma for Starbucks, or any nationally base chain, is that this country is very diverse and a one size fits all policy on something like guns will run into problems. Few if any additional people will show up at Starbucks because of this new policy. However, out west and in the south a significant number of people will decide to take their money elsewhere. It won’t break the bank but it will reduce the company’s profits.

      You must live a liberal, gun grabbing community and cannot think outside your own comfortable assumptions.

      • I disagree. I think there’s more gain. All the misinformed soccer moms will be happy to come in even more often to buy their overpriced drink, especially since Peet’s Coffee removed their ‘no firearms’ signs last year or so. Also, there are more people that don’t really care about it as much as we do. And even I still go to Starbucks, but that’s because I meet friends there.

        • First of all, I know quite a few “soccer moms” who are into guns so your stereotype isn’t valid. (My wife could have been called a soccer mon fifteen years ago and she carries.) This is all about who notices the policy and guess what? Your typical soccer mom still doesn’t realize that there might be guns in her local Starbucks. It only matters to the gun grabbing activists and the gun rights community. There are more of the latter than the former. It’s a net loss to Starbucks and if the policy gets tighter than those gun toting soccer moms in the south and west will take their business elsewhere.

        • They don’t notice, but such a public statement will result in the misinformed “oh, but it’s so much safer now!! Those guns can just ‘go off’, now we’re all in happy la-la-land”. I’ve carried a full-size gun (92FS) IWB under a plain t-shirt. The aware eye sees it, but those are the people that carry as well, or they’re LE (and they probably ran all licence plates on the lot anyway before coming in the store), but the vast majority doesn’t see it. I worry about printing, and it always proves to be more nervousness on my end than anything else.

          But I think (part of) the vast unaware majority now believes they’re much much much safer due to Schultz’ request. Which is fine, I don’t mind looking at some of the nicer soccer moms there, together with my blissfully carry-unaware friends I meet there. 🙂

      • Florida doesn’t allow open carry. Georgia and Tennessee only allow CCW licensed people to open carry. So it doesn’t mean that there are no guns in Starbucks and that Second Amendment supporters will continue to patronize Starbucks.

        • Go back and read what I said. I never said there weren’t any guns in those Starbucks. I said I don’t see them. I know the nuances of TN and Ga as well. I have carried in Starbucks in those states as well. However, signs have the force of law in TN, but not in GA and FL. However, my point was, people aren’t having to “look at guns” as was suggested.

        • I read what you said and your statement was nonsense. You said you don’t see guns. Well, in Florida you can’t see a gun because it is illegal to open carry unless you are your on way to hunt or fish. In the other two states only a CHL holder can open carry. If you have the license why would you? Concealed means concealed. If any of those states allowed for open carry like Virginia you would see it on occasion.

  2. If that picture is a thing that happened, I see why Starbucks went the route they did.

    I get the whole “gun normalization” thing, but taking something too far is often what gets something banned.

    Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you SHOULD and if people were toting long guns around Starbucks and posing for pictures, keeping in mind the company’s culture and target demographic (hipsters, soccer moms, etc.) then we became our own worst enemy.

    It would not surprise me if Starbucks wasn’t already looking for some reason, any reason, to get people to cease and desist using their stores as their personal soapbox and just jumped at the chance that Moms Demand Action gave them.

  3. Interesting to note they didn’t do what they did to investors that may have a problem with them supporting gay marriage… and that was basically: if you don’t like our support of gay marriage, dump your stock and take your money elsewhere. I’m sure if they get any more pressure from the anti crowd though, they just might consider it (no longer suggesting, but demanding.) I’ve got alternatives where I live to Starbucks anyway if I want EXPENSIVE coffee.

  4. I love the photo. Worth at least a hundred words. You have two yahoos who decide to do a photo op inside a starbucks with gats out and a normal person- someone who doesn’t need everyone to look at her- rolling her eyes. Which customer do you think Starbucks would rather have? I don’t blame them. Too bad a few lookatme! types ruin what was a sane policy.

    • “Rolling her eyes”? From side-to-side, you mean? The woman’s eyes are on something to her left, not up in her eyelids.

    • Which customer do you think Starbucks would rather have?

      The one using the free wifi and occupying a table that SBUX’s paying customers might want to sit at.

      Good thing schultz got rid of those nasty gun people. All they do is order expensive coffees and seek to spend money in our stores. SBUX’s is better off without them.

      • He obviously didn’t stay neutral. He could have told the Gun Ban Lobby to take it somewhere else early on and it wouldn’t have become an issue.

    • Laptop Hobos are not very profitable coffee shop customers. They take up tables, often for hours, and usually order minimal amounts of food and beverage.

      I have walked out of many coffee shops without ordering anything because every table was taken up by people using a coffee shop as their own personal office space. Gun people, if they’re gonna stick around, generally walk around outside, not occupying a table, nor hogging wi-fi bandwidth.

  5. The beauty that is what’s left of a free market consumer driven industry. I did read the whole article and the opposing position article yesterday. I, personally, never cared to spend more than a couple bucks for a cup of joe. Don’t agree? Don’t patronize. Carry concealed? Uh, that’s the point isn’t it?

  6. Henry:

    Despite our many disagreements I think you have summed up the “not patronize” argument very well. I am inclined more toward your position than Roberts but I will probably continue to drop by Starbucks when there isn’t an alternative available. If Schultz decides that stores should start posting than I will never go to Starbucks again. I have confidence that he won’t go that far unless he decides he wants abandon business in large parts of the south and west.

  7. The last time I set foot in a Starbucks the staff was rude and the coffee was burnt. Frankly I don’t see the attraction. I’d rather go to the gas station down the road for coffee.

  8. I have been a supporter of the NRA for over 30 years, I also have been a peace officer for 23, 11 years military service. I do believe that there is a better way to show ones support of the scond amendment than open carry. I do not care for it, but that said I have taken an oath to protect and defend this county and it’s constitution. I will fight for anyone’s rights. I may not agree, and I don’t even have to listen to you, I will fight for you. That said Starbucks is a private company and they have the right to chose what they do. You at least have to give them enough credit for taking some what of a stance. I also believe that we need to move on to something else more important than a cup of coffee.

  9. actually, to the OP, since you are not a Black man, let me help you out. Some of us are real fair skinned. We “pass” for something other than Black. I am one of them. If I got rid of my goatee and Malcolm X-styled glasses, you would be hard pressed to call me anything but Italian, or somewhere from the Med area. Maybe even Hispanic.

    Would I go to a store that had a “whites only” sign. Sure. as an attorney (and coming from a family with 4 generations of Black attorneys), I would be curious as to who was that stupid and blatant to violate any number of federal civil rights laws. Maybe it is a curio. Maybe it is a relic. Maybe it is a sign for sale (I have a “colored waiting room” sign I bought off ebay for my man cave as a slight dig at the Man, if you catch my drift). Anywhose, I don’t get riled up about stuff like that. Actually, I am cool with blatant racists. Easier to identify them, and frankly, if that’s their opinion, I will respect it. What I don’t like are the fake and phony acting like they are our friends. those are the ones you have to watch out for as they will stab you in the back when you are watching, since you should not have to watch your “friend”. As for starbucks, well their coffee sucks, the pastries are not that interesting, and it is private property. maybe not going their will hurt them. maybe not. But at the end of the day, why not let the market forces help here? If somewhere welcomes you, embrace them and let’s see who makes more $$$ at the end of the day. When my kids were younger and we would go out, I would tip 30%. Not because I am such a nice guy, but because I felt bad for whomever had to clean up from the mess they inevitably left behind. the server learned that a married Black couple with kids and speaking the Queen’s English ain’t so bad after all, and they tip good. maybe that lesson benefitted those after me? Not sure,, but being a prick to Starbucks doesn’t work.

  10. Both HP and RF have made good points.
    Others comments have pointed out the activities that brought this Starbucks “request” about.
    Is there not a big difference between a holstered pistol concealed or openly carried and an EBR in hand as in the picture above. We also see many rules generated for the least common denominator or “most stupid person”.
    What stupid people can understand is “Please no guns”
    What Starbuck’s probably would be satisfied with would be ‘ “Don’t bring guns into our stores that draw attention to themselves and the carrier. Don’t Bring guns into our store if you’re main purpose is using the store as venue to make YOUR point. Don’t come into our stores with an AR to mind f*ck our coffee buying customers.
    Come into our stores with a pistol if you want a cup of coffee and you also happen to be an open or concealed carrier.
    Our stores are a place of business and not a stage nor auditorium nor is it our obligation to provide you with a stage and audience.’
    With this reading between the lines, which is the space RF is trying to occupy, I might think that if it used to be OK to discreetly carry a pistol in a holster, it is still probably OK now.
    But SB has to discourage the “most stupid person” with a blanket request so that it will be understandable.
    We are GUESTs in every business establishment we patronize. Are some of us too thick to ask ourselves “Am I a good guest? Am I doing anything objectionable?” Those are things to be determined and expressed solely by the host if we can’t figure it out for ourselves. And now they have spoken, mostly to the AR carriers that they are not welcome. They don’t want to get into the business of creating a Feinstein list of banned firearms so they do it the simple way for the “most stupid” of us.
    I’m sure RF is welcome, the jerk in the picture is not.
    Like the former NFL player that got his house trashed by 300 kids partying,
    Starbucks is just saying, the party is over!

  11. “Finally, there are those who say “concealed means concealed,” implying that if it’s legal and the business owner doesn’t know, then why not just carry anyway? To them I say black man was somehow able to conceal his race, do you think he would still patronize a store that had a “Whites Only” sign?”

    I’m not sure if the analogy trying to make works with using an example of Jim Crow / segregation laws. Being a gun owner is a matter of choice (intensely personal choice) while one’s ethnicity is not.

  12. Glad I don’t drink coffee, I don’t have to get involved 😉

    I do though think our own are pushing it just like they did here in Cali and screwing us over in the long run.

  13. Meh. As soon as I run out of Starbucks gift cards I probably won’t go there anymore. Not because of their politics, but because I don’t like spending $5 for a cappuccino.

  14. Say what you like, anyone looking at the photo and knowing that the private property owner in question was working very hard to stay neutral and also seeing the look in the other patron’s face as this photo was being taken can see how wrong it was to rally at those stores while open carrying.

    I wish we’d all make a pledge to not do something so obviously Mommy hysterical again in the future. Sadly it seems we cannot commit to this.

  15. There are those that would take someone who is afraid of the water, and would “normalize” them to the water by pushing them off the end of a dock.

    That’s about as effective as trying to “normalize” someone apprehensive about guns by bringing your AR-15 along for a mocha.

  16. “First, I respect the right to private property. It’s been argued that the right to property is actually the most fundamental natural human right in that each individual owns his own body. When you own yourself, there stems your right to continue your life unmolested, to mix your labor with natural resources and to enjoy the products of your work.

    Consequently, each individual exercises complete and sole authority over himself and his property and can refuse entry to whomever he chooses, for whatever reason he chooses, or set whatever conditions he chooses, as long as he does not forcibly violate the natural rights of others. This authority has been usurped and the issue clouded by arbitrary laws creating “protected classes” of people and punishing property owners for “discriminating” against those people.”

    This. The problem being, that our rights take such a low value on the spectrum.

    If a place of business, posted a “No Blacks” sign, it would be socially unacceptable on a vast scale that not only would they lose the business of the black population, but the business of many individuals of other ethnicities; their property would probably be a regular target of vicious vandalism and/or violent crime.

    If a place of business, posts a “No Firearms” sign, the only resistance they get a few lost patrons, and the moaning of gun rights internet bloggers.

    Both, however, in this grand “free” country of ours, are fundamental human rights and should be treated at the same level. We are not just facing discrimination of race or religion, but discrimination against our humanity itself. If you take away what defines us, we are but nothing.

    Everyday that goes by, open carry becomes just a little more appealing, not just due to comfort, but as an act of defiance against our slavers.

    • I’ll just point out that being black is not a matter of choice, but of genetics. Being armed, though, is exactly a matter of choice.

        • You got it nearly right; the parallel situation would be if Starbucks’ sign said “Christians allowed, but no revealing that you are a Christian.” Or a Jew. Or a homosexual, how’s about that? “Gay’s allowed, but no mincing around or feather boas.”

        • William Burke says:
          September 21, 2013 at 16:22

          You got it nearly right; the parallel situation would be if Starbucks’ sign said “Christians allowed, but no revealing that you are a Christian.” Or a Jew. Or a homosexual, how’s about that? “Gay’s allowed, but no mincing around or feather boas.”

          Starbucks supports the alternate lifestyle too much. I doubt they’d put any limits or bans on GBLTs. They support them so much that they told stockholders who have a problem with them doing so, to sell their stocks off and take their investment money elsewhere. In essence they did tell Christians to take a long hike off a short pier… They just won’t post signs saying it.

  17. I agree on what I see as the most valued point.
    No guns or gun free zones are just not my cup of coffee.
    I don’t put myself into a potential area of possible danger.
    I take myself and my dollars elsewhere.

  18. I’m not a frequenter of Charbuck’s, but I’ll still go there on occasion.

    Firstly, I respect their “we are not a soapbox” policy and secondly, were something unwholesome to unfold, I might do some good for the place, customers and movement.

    My 2¢.

  19. While I agree with Henry Bowman’s comments to a great extent, I do not agree that a property owner has unlimited latitude to demand anything of patrons as a condition of business. Let me illustrate an example.

    Suppose a young woman is driving across a sparsely populated area during a brutal cold spell. Almost out of fuel, she stops at a small town to fill up her car’s fuel tank at the only fuel station in town. Much to her surprise, the gas station owner refuses to sell fuel unless she will sleep with him. She only has two options: sleep with the station owner or die in the cold. (She doesn’t have enough fuel to drive to the next town and she will freeze to death in the cold when her car runs out of gas.)

    Is that scenario okay because the fuel station owner is operating his business on his private property, can do anything he wants on his private property, and isn’t forcing the woman to sleep with him? Is that scenario okay because the women truly is free to refuse to sleep with the station owner? I hope the answer to all of those questions is an emphatic NO!

    As contrived as that scenarios sounds, it is actually quite possible. More importantly, it illustrates a point. While private property owners need extremely wide latitude to control their property for obvious reasons, that latitude should never include the latitude to “ask” guests to compromise their lives or the well being of their bodies, period.

    So how does this relate to private businesses? I have no problem with businesses wanting to conduct business in an orderly fashion to maximize customers and profits. So the obvious answer is that Starbucks requires concealed carry and also allows discrete open carry as long as discrete open carry does not disrupt their business. This condition preserves their maximum profit potential without depriving patrons of their lives or physical well being. In summary, everyone wins.

    • Interesting argument.

      Be careful, sir; the assertion that the wellbeing of the woman in your example potentially trumps or even equals the rights of the station owner might almost be construed as Democratic.


    • A property owner has the right to control the use of his property within the law. Clearly, an attempt to extract sex from this woman under these circumstances constitutes the use of coercion to obtain sex. It is legally rape.

      • Not quite; it is the reductio ad absurdum of a free and utterly unregulated market, the Holy of Holies of the Tea Party.

        The fact that most of us find it repugnant is the touch of Blue in most Reds.

      • What is coercion? According to Henry Bowman, all parties are free to do whatever they want as long as they don’t force someone to give up their Natural rights. In my example the fuel station owner is definitely NOT forcing the young woman to do anything. The station owner simply stated the conditions of doing business with him. The young woman is free to refuse, go back to her car, drive back onto the public road, and die from cold in several hours when she runs out of gas.

        I am illustrating the flaw in Henry Bowman’s idea of rights. My example clearly shows that something is missing from Henry’s notion. As Russ Bixby stated I am illustrating “… reductio ad absurdum of a free and utterly unregulated market …” In fact I am illustrating the reductio ad absurdum of a free and utterly unregulated nation.

    • Are you saying that if there was no gas in that town and she froze to death that someone violated her rights?
      Her circumstance are of her making and no matter how dire they are, they do not by their nature, alter the the rights held by the station owner.

      • No, that is not what I am saying. I am saying that if all gas stations in town require sex as a condition to sell gasoline to a patron, that is wrong and violates a patron’s rights. As Russ Bixby stated, “… it is the reductio ad absurdum of a free and utterly unregulated market …”

        If a person runs out of gas in the middle of nowhere and dies as a result, that is tragic and their own doing and that is different than requiring someone’s body or life as a condition of doing business.

  20. Define discreet (not discrete) open carry? If your heat is hanging out there for all to see, it’s not discreet, is it?

    • When I say “discreet open carry”, I mean open carry in a manner where most people will not notice unless they look directly at your hip. This would apply to almost all compact, medium, and probably even full size handguns carried in a holster on your hip.

      Carrying a rifle or shotgun on a sling over your back (or worse in your hands) is NOT what I consider “discreet open carry”. I imagine there is some way to carry a handgun openly that would draw almost everyone’s attention in the room as well which is also NOT “discreet open carry”. I am not sure what that is off the top of my head.

      • Examples of open handgun carry that would draw everyone’s attention are: in your hand, in a shoulder holster against a contrasting colored shirt, or in GIANT KYDEX HOLSTER ON THE FRONT OF YOUR HIP like the woman in the top photo. I guaran-damn-tee that is not how that woman everyday carries.

        On an interesting note, unless your handgun was of the full frame variety (and even sometimes then), “in your hand” is probably the least likely of my examples above to draw notice. Most people are fairly immune to the sight of something small and dark in another person’s hand, assuming it’s some sort of personal communication device. My P238 is approximately the size of my cell phone, and if I could legally get away with it, it’d be interesting to see how long I could carry it around in my hand before someone noticed.

  21. Since its a request that you don’t carry in the stores, and you chose not to shop the stores. Than you gave a victory to the liberal gun haters. If your CC and no one knows it, so what. When you get you coffee. Make a loud salute to the 2sd. Amend. Same with the drive up.

  22. As a blackman who can and has concealed that I’m black (to escape the ire of some baton happy police) I wouldn’t go into a white only place unless I had to.

    But at the same time, this isn’t quite the same thing. This is more akin to a company asking people to not bring cellphones in, and if they do conceal them. Cellphones being one of the greatest tools for calling for help or taping a bad situation going down for use when court time arrives.

    This seems to be a half-assed attempt by hoplophobes to stretch an olive branch to the gun community while keeping other homophobes somewhat placated.

  23. I have news for some of you, the list of anti gun companies is long and wide.
    Trying no to expend any money on said companies is nearly impossible.
    Unless you are planning to stop going to the movies, buying toys for the kids or cables for your new home theater among other things, the plan to not expend your money on the dark side is a bit unrealistic.
    That been said Matt brings up a great point about avoiding gun free zones, I guess I’m going to miss my grande mocha with an extra shot and whip cream.

  24. I was wondering Andrew, is your decision to not patronize a business that does not permit firearms, based on whether or not there is a law that you can be prosecuted for if you do? Here in Florida, we have what are known as “sterile areas” where even CCW permitted people can’t carry guns, primarily, Federal buildings, airports and hospitals. Two of these are private businesses, many of them, for profit. If you’re caught with a roscoe at Starbucks, they will just ask you to leave. If you’re caught with your heater in a hospital or airport, you will be asked to leave too, but it likely will be in police custody. Since all 3 of these businesses have profit in mind, are you going to refuse major medical treatment, like say, for a gun shot, or cancel your flight and attempt to drive to Europe, or are you going to leave your hand-cannon in the car, or safe, and venture into……THE GUN FREE ZONES? What will you do? Unless you plan on bleeding to death, or you’re waiting for a glacier to re-connect the American continent to Europe, I’m guessing that you’ll go to the hospital, and you’ll travel by plane to Europe, and all without being able to carry your gun. Huh, wait…what? I respect your right to protest the way that you think it matters most, but if your primary criteria for patronizing a profit making business is whether they will permit you to carry, then your boycotting gun-free zones like Starbucks but not airports or hospitals, well….wouldn’t that be a little hypocritical? Why are you people trying to bully Starbucks into doing something just because you want them to? Of all the things to complain about, why turn a possible friend into an unsympathetic acquaintance?

  25. Well written piece that said I am tired of race being dragged into the gun descussion. I usually don’t bring up the fact I am Jewish because it is often irrelevant to the topic at hand such as this one. A better analogy would be someone concealing their political opinions in a critical thought free zone such as a “libral” arts course. Where people who have traditional values have to deny who they are to obtain a degree. Because in the Starbucks case it is implied not posted. That said again well written piece and I don’t go to a lot of chains now a few places I have noticed more chains posting in Mississippi where I most recently worked we’re shell gas and pizza huts. So I hope this post can be semi informative and thank you for reading it.

  26. From

    “Ever since this statement was posted Starbucks in my area have been receiving angry calls fro gun owning customers threatening to come into our stores with there gun. They even go so far as to repeat our name when they make these threats and one of my fellow partners refuses to wear a name tag now.”

  27. If Starbucks only stated open carry was not welcome, I would still be a customer, but they didn’t. They essentially said that unless you identify yourself as an on-duty police officer, your firearm is not welcome. No exceptions. Sorry, I am not addicted to caffeine enough to sacrifice my values.

  28. This entire argument is absolutely pointless and a silly waste of time. Starbucks like any other company is in the business of making money, and they tried to stay out of this silliness as long as possible.

    If that photo really happened I can’t blame them, what is this the wild west? You need to carry an AR into a coffee shop just because you can? Just because technically you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.

    Anyway the real gun rights debate isn’t nonsense like this, its certain high population states banning everything in site. With all the good rifles on the chopping block for bans, that means no kids playing COD now will be able to buy firearms when they get older. Which means less people in the sport, and as a result less voters so we lose.

    Instead of this nonsense the real concentration should be on high population states with lots of voters. Gun normalization, is a kid in CA, NJ, CT etc growing up and out of toys and video games and getting into shooting by buying an AR; not carrying an AR into a Starbucks to get a coffee. That’s the battle which is going to decide what the 2A looks like in 20-30 years.

    • Shultz was pretending to stay neutral to maximize profits. He hopes the open carry people will duck out and the ccw people will continue business as usual since signs don’t have power of law in most states anyway.

    • WHY? I can exercise free speech, “just because I can”. I can exercise any right, in place where the public is invited. Starbucks can’t say, “you can pray silently, but not out loud, because a customer might be scared away.”

      Your argument is ultimately untenable. They can’t make a single exception to Constitutional rights. It’s high time you owned up to it. It’s like claiming “a little tyranny” is acceptable. When does it stop? WHERE does it stop? Who draws the line, and BY WHAT RIGHT?

  29. Coffee? Meh. But, they could put a TSA checkpoint outside and require me to go through a full body scanner and I’d still go in for my Venti Vanilla Bean Frappuccino.

  30. Another Schultz’s words may have been more appropriate in this situation and am surprised no one has quoted him.
    “I see NOTHing, I hear NOTHing”

  31. “… gun-free zones are dangerous. We all know it. We harp on it every time there’s a mass shooting. From Luby’s Cafeteria to Virginia Tech, from Aurora to Sandy Hook and even the recent Navy Yard shooting, all of them took place in locations where guns were not allowed. If the first line of defense is avoidance, why deliberately place yourself in a dangerous location?”

    Bingo – that says it for me. Thanks.

  32. I don’t have problem with Mr. Shultz’s position statement or policies and agree with his right to run his business as he sees fit.

    That said, I’m sure he doesn’t have a problem with me taking my dollars and voting with them elsewhere.

    What’s the problem?

    • Except it ain’t about the coffee. What if they were giving away door prizes instead? What if you saw someone in there you hadn’t seen in 20 years?

  33. For me it’s real simple. Where I live Open carry is legal, and something I do every day. I don’t have to be an LEO. If i decide to give starbucks my business, i do, if I don’t , I don’t. now given that I rarely have to go that direction when I want a cup of coffee, and I don’t buy their product in the grocery store, i guess it’s their loss.


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