Gun Nuts Go Too Far Again -- And This Time, Even Gun Advocates Are Calling the Gun Crazies "Idiots"
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Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has decided that gun nuts do not go with lattes.
On Tuesday, he wrote an open letter to “Fellow Americans” respectfully asking gun owners not to bring their weapons into his nationwide chain of coffee shops, even in states where “open carry” laws permit residents to carry guns in public.
The request, which has drawn wide media attention and condemnation from pro-gun groups, came after gun-control foes targeted Starbucks. They saw a business with liberal values and decided to hold “Starbucks Appreciation Days,” during which they marched into Starbucks with their guns in plain view, ordered drinks, and lingered with their guns—including assault rifles—leaning against their chairs and laps.
The most confrontational of these incendiary protests was to take place at a coffee shop on August 9 in Newtown, Connecticut, near the elementary school where a shooter killed 20 children and six staff members last December. In response, Starbucks’ corporate management closed that store early, “out of respect for Newtown and everything the community has been through,” the company’s website announced. Newtown Action Alliance, a gun-control group formed after the shootings, said the protest by gun advocates from Connecticut Open Carry was “reprehensible.”
But the gun nuts did not stop there. In this YouTube video from San Antonio, Texas, three men gloated about sitting outside of a Starbucks with military-style rifles in their laps to enjoy their coffees and “freedoms.” After police showed up as asked what was going on and said that creating a disturbance was a crime, one man replied, “If someone has a problem with what were doing, that doesn’t mean we are breaking the law.”
Open Carry supporters even made stickers of the woman in the center of the Starbucks logo holding two pistols, surrounded by “I LOVE [heart] GUNS & COFFEE.”
These actions prompted Starbuck’s president and CEO to draw a fine line: not outright banning guns in states with open carry laws but asking people to leave their guns outside his business. Howard Schultz wrote:
“Our company’s longstanding approach to “open carry” has been to follow local laws: we permit it in states where allowed and we prohibit it in states where these laws don’t exist. We have chosen this approach because we believe our store partners should not be put in the uncomfortable position of requiring customers to disarm or leave our stores. We believe that gun policy should be addressed by government and law enforcement—not by Starbucks and our store partners.
“Recently, however, we’ve seen the “open carry” debate become increasingly uncivil and, in some cases, even threatening. Pro-gun activists have used our stores as a political stage for media events misleadingly called “Starbucks Appreciation Days” that disingenuously portray Starbucks as a champion of “open carry.” To be clear: we do not want these events in our stores. Some anti-gun activists have also played a role in ratcheting up the rhetoric and friction, including soliciting and confronting our customers and partners.”
Starbucks has more than 11,000 outlets across the country. Schultz told The Wall Street Journal that his letter was not prompted by the mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday where 12 people were killed, “but we don’t believe guns should be part of the Starbucks experience.”
Many blue states and local governments restrict people from bringing concealed guns into certain businesses, such as those selling alcohol. Last week, Chicago adopted that restriction for restaurants and bars. But red states have gone the opposite way, such as a recent North Carolina law allowing guns in businesses unless restaurant and bar management expressly request otherwise.