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Second Starbucks Shooting Highlights Danger from Gun "Carry" Extremists



Once again, the myth that gun carriers protect themselves and others has exploded. Two recent shootings at Starbucks, which welcomes guns in its stores, show why responsible corporations ban lethal weapons on their property. In both shooting cases, women were given guns by their fathers to "protect" them, only to drop their purses and shoot, or almost shoot, other customers.


At a Cheyenne, Wyoming Starbucks in 2011, a juvenile girl dropped her purse, discharging her gun. "The bullet missed John Basile, 43, by about 12 inches," reported the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle.The unidentified girl had never taken a hunter safety class or any kind of formal firearms training and had been encouraged by her mother to point the gun at a "bad person" if she were in trouble. Right.


This week, it happened again. Another woman given a gun by her father dropped her purse and discharged her weapon at a Starbucks, this time in St. Petersburg, Florida. The woman said she'd forgotten the gun was in her purse and had never taken it out to clean or service it, reported the Tampa Bay Times. A customer was shot in the leg.


The women's inability to defend themselves should surprise no one. Despite the bluster of gun rights activists, carriers do not make themselves or others safe. If carrying made someone safe, no one from President Reagan to Chris Kyle to Sean Collier, the officer allegedly killed by the Boston bombing suspects, would be shot. Nor are carriers trained like the Secret Service, Kyle or law enforcement personnel.


Despite fallen officers and carriers whose weapons were used against them, the myth that carriers protect themselves and others continues. When a 20/20 special revealed that trained gun carriers could not stop an assailant they knew would attack, there was a cascade of "yes buts" from gun rights activists, rejecting the terms of shootout. Maybe the assailant should have approached from two blocks away and yelled "draw."


Starbucks has ignored pleas from customers and gun safety advocates to ban lethal weapons in its stores which is the right of property owners. And, in the height of  hypocrisy, it issued a statement following the Florida shooting which said, "At Tyrone Square Mall, our primary concern is always for the safety of our customers and store employees, and we are thankful that the injuries sustained are reported to be non-life threatening." What?


Would a business whose "primary concern is always for the safety of our customers and store employees" allow lethal weapons on its premises?


Meanwhile, gun rights groups, led by radio host Craig Bushon, are hailing Starbucks as "a leading advocate for sane gun laws across America," this week. They are charging that Starbucks "is under attack by the NGVA (sic) because they aggressively support the NRA’s Pro-Gun Stance." National Gun Victims Actions Council, NGAC, called for a boycott of Starbucks because of the likelihood of such shootings. END


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