Thursday, September 19, 2013

Why the Starbucks Gun Carrying Statement Doesn't Bother Me at All, and Why Gun Advocates May be to Blame

Well here we go.  Again.

If you follow anything resembling politics at all, you have undoubtedly heard by now...Starbucks says no guns.

You know how it all started...a few months ago some patrons at a Starbucks felt uncomfortable in the presence of another Starbucks customer that was legally open carrying their firearm.  (For those that may be unaware, open carrying refers to carrying a firearm in plain view of others around you, similar to the way a police officer carries a firearm.)  Those patrons complained to Starbucks, and Starbucks issued a statement that said that they would not interfere with patrons operating lawfully within their establishments.  Basically, if it's legal where you are at then you can open carry, and if it's illegal then you can not.

Gun advocates celebrated the statement.  Especially since so many conservatives were very anti-Starbucks due to some false stories floating around the internet about Starbucks not supporting our troops, this was an especially interesting turnaround regarding public perception of the Starbucks brand.

The gun rights supporters took it too far, though.  They organized "Starbucks Appreciation Days" in which lawful gun owners would flood the stores with groups of open carrying gun owners to thank Starbucks for their position.  They would often go above and beyond traditional open carry, and bring shotguns and rifles with them and pose for pictures.

In return, the anti-gun lobby responded equally loudly.  They would also stage events at Starbucks locations to show that they disagreed with the positions that Starbucks had put forth. They despised the fact that Starbucks wouldn't make a strong stand in their favor, and just tell gun owners to take their business and their firearms elsewhere.

Well, that all came to an end yesterday, when Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz issued a new statement on guns via a blog posted on the coffee giant's website.

" 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."

Aaaaannnnndddd cue the outrage.

As you might imagine, the immediate response from people on both sides of the issue was overwhelming.  Those that were celebrating the original Starbucks statement were suddenly irate that the company would ever go down this path.  Protesters of the original Starbucks statement were suddenly strong Starbucks supporters again.

But what did Starbucks REALLY say with each statement???

Basically...they just said to leave them alone and leave them out of the discussion.

The reality is that everything would be better for gun advocates if, after Starbucks' first statement was released, they would have just left Starbucks alone.  Instead, gun advocates stomped on Starbucks' original statement as some broad statement of support that it was not.  Starbucks basically said they don't want to get involved, and gun advocates paraded the statement as if Starbucks had said they were on their side.

But the simple reality was that neither side was properly embracing what Starbucks wanted.  Starbucks had, for all intents and purposes, only said one thing: " long as your legal we don't care...but, PLEASE, leave us out of this.  We don't want to be involved."

And, of course, the anti-gun advocates leaped out in response.  The gun owners were having their open carry events, and the anti-gun crowd was bound and determined to have their rallies at the same places and at the same times.  Suddenly, Starbucks' locations everywhere were being turned into political battle grounds.

So, now, Starbucks has done what was left for them to do.  And that is where we truly are with them today.  They just want left out of this.  They said, "if you're legal it's ok, just leave us alone."  But they weren't left alone...they were turned into a 2nd amendment warzone.

So, now, they've come out and said, "Eff you.  We asked to be left alone, and you instead turned us into a political pawn.  We're not going to ban bringing guns in, but, please, just leave them outside.  Please, just leave us alone."

And, really, that's all I think that Starbucks is saying.  And I think it is all they have been saying from the beginning.  Their original statement simply said they don't want involved.  But instead they were made a focal point of the gun rights war, so they replied.

"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."

Really, I don't think that I can blame Starbucks for their recent position.  And truthfully, I think Schultz handled it rather well.  He even said that they weren't banning guns, they were just asking nicely for you not to bring them inside.  He stated that they wouldn't be asking you to leave if you carried, just that you please respect their wishes to not do so.

 Of course, no matter what side of the gun debate you are on, you are free to respond how you wish.  If you are a gun owner, maybe you stop going to Starbucks.  Or try to find somewhere else first.   And if you hate guns, then maybe you pop into Starbucks a little more often to show support.  I rarely open carry, but I am a gun owner and I do carry concealed.  Nonetheless, I will still go to Starbucks once or twice a week, just as I did before now.

In the end,  other than a possible little hiccup for the first few days, I don't think Starbucks business will be too drastically affected by this statement. Nor do I think it should be.

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  1. I think it would behoove you to add in how strongly starbucks has come out in support of other dividing positions ... like say gay marriage and LGBT rights ... They do have a history of taking some pretty tough stances on things ... but never have they told a group of people to stay out of their stores before ... I get what you are saying with the whole "both sides fucked up with the rallies and shit" but honestly ... how is an entire population of people to blame for some crazies? There have been a crop of articles like yours popping up talking about how "we" had this coming and blah blah blah ... I didnt have a god damned thing coming ... but now after years of supporting starbucks ... I am being asked to change how I operate?? what because some fucking stupid cunts decided to bitch and moan and piss off the wrong crowd that actually fought back?? I think not ...

    Now I know they said they are not going to ask people to leave and what not ... but do you honestly think that will stay that way? That the loud mouthed anti gun cunts will let it end here? No because some people that OC will not know about and walk into a starbucks ... thus creating an uproar ... or some people like me will 100% ignore it if I start going into PSL withdrawals and need my fix ... I will walk into a starbucks OCing ... and then there is a picture taken ... and then another call to arms by the cunts .. and BAM ... corporate no gun policy just like Buffalo Wild Wings ...

    One more thing ... I know how high and mighty all the concealed carry people are ... and how they flaunt that they carry in places that are gun free zones ... but thats kind of bullshit and a horrible way to stick up for anything ... by flaunting you openly ignore private property owners edicts ... hurr durr

    1. As a concealed carrier, if I see a sign on the door that says please don't carry here, I either don't enter, or return to my vehicle and leave my firearm there.

      I also try not to carry in people's homes if I feel they would not approve.

    2. Except, Starbucks didn't tell a group of people to stay out of your stores. They simply said, please do not come in if you are in possession of a firearm. That's telling that group of people that they wish to have a rule they instituted followed when others come onto their property. Something entirely different than outright prohibiting access.

      You bring up property rights. In many ways, it is analogous. Imagine your home has white carpets everywhere, but you don't make people take off their shoes when they come in. Now, most people will take their shoes off anyway or at least make sure they don't have muck on their shoes before walking all over carpets, it is just common courtesy. But some random assholes will come in bringing in mud and dog shit, staining your beautiful white carpets. Might you afterwards enforce a strict no shoes policy from then on? I know I would.

      Starbucks said, "hey, look, in some states carrying a firearm is legal. If you live in a state and have gone through the proper channels to be legally carrying, then that is cool." Then next thing you know, assholes began getting mud and dog shit all over their carpets. Starbucks didn't like that, therefore a statement was made saying that if you come onto their property, they would appreciate it if you follow this rule.

      "Now I know they said they are not going to ask people to leave and what not ... but do you honestly think that will stay that way?"

      Honestly, do not care. They are property owners (or leasers/renters with use rights). And besides, if I may say so myself, I make a pretty damn good cup of joe at home.

    3. Not really sure who you were talking to with your white carpet shit ... are you attempting to educate someone on how property rights work or something? If you are attempting to educate me ... how about you go fuck yourself.