Starbucks and guns

Everyone is talking about Starbucks new open letter from the CEO about their gun policy. Essentially, the new Starbucks policy can be summarized as “hey gun people, please stop bringing your guns in here; but we’re not saying you can’t, just asking you please don’t.” This comes in response to a recent furor from the anti-gun side about Starbucks’ previous True Neutral policy on guns.

The problem here is that many people in the pro-gun community confused corporate neutrality on Starbucks part for actual support of gun rights, which led to people who aren’t very bright slinging up their ARs to go get a cup of lousy coffee or sugary pastry. That’s actually what I want to talk about right now, because I honestly couldn’t care less what Starbucks does or doesn’t want me to. When I’m at home, I don’t go to Starbucks because there are a dozen better coffee shops in DTSF, and when I’m on the road I’ll go as a matter of convenience, regardless of whether or not I’m in state where I can carry.

No, the big problem I’m having is that people are at all surprised by this. Starbucks at its very best was neutral on guns, with the actual corporate management being pretty anti-gun. But they were (and are) pro-money. As in your money, my money, everyone’s money. When it was profitable and smart for them to remain true neutral on guns, they did. And then, like a bunch of battered wives who are overjoyed that their husband didn’t yell at them tonight, the pro-gun community decided that Starbucks’ neutrality was in fact an endorsement of gun rights. Which never made sense to me, because in the grand scheme of things we are winning. We stopped post-Newton gun control dead in its tracks, we have Heller and MacDonald, so why was the corporate neutrality of Starbucks so important to people that any sense of perspective was lost?

This was exacerbated recently, post-Newton when various anti-gun groups started calling for a boycott of Starbucks because of their neutral gun policy, and the sad reaction of the pro-gun community was to OC rifles into Starbucks and scream “WE’RE HERE, WE’RE QUEER ARMED” in the faces of baristas. This was covered with much glee by the MSM, which blew the actions of a few people who are obviously a couple pancakes short of a short stack into a national movement. That alienates the very people we need on our side to win, for example the sort of people who go to Starbucks every day to get their coffee and don’t really want to see a bunch of Red Dawn extras running around with rifles.

Starbucks was never on our side. They wanted your money. Now, they still want your money, but they’d really prefer if you didn’t show people your icky gun when you go buy their coffee. Yes, the OC activists carrying rifles in Starbucks share some of the blame for this, but the blame by and large falls on the people who deluded themselves into thinking that Starbucks was ever anything but neutral. Which is honestly all a corporate entity should ever be when it comes to Constitutional issues. That neutrality isn’t laudable, it’s merely the standard to which any company should be held. Embracing Starbucks as some kind of ally was always a mistake, and now we’re faced with the results.


  1. If you have the right to OC in a given locale, you’ve won.

    Just do it if you want to, when you want to, with the same gun you carry every day, day in and day out, in the same places you normally go, for the sole purpose of being peaceably armed for self-defense and -not- to send any sort of message. That put the “normal” in “normalizing” carry.

    Strapping on a long gun or thigh rig that you only OC for “events”, and making a spectacle of yourself when you already have the victory, is the -opposite- of “normalizing”, it is attention-whoring and, since you already have the right, can only potentially have a negative effect.

    If you have already free exercise of a right, it can’t get “more free-er.”

    But for some folks even on “our side” the gun seems to be a totem, not a tool.

  2. I mostly agree. But as a child of the 60’s, I’d prefer that they were a bit more pro civil rights. Not the in-your-face type of action but a reasoned statement with a bit of class. Now, at almost all chain restaurants, even in the Deep South, African Americans can buy a burger or coffe without discrimination. Why not courteous discrete lawful gun owners.

    1. We already could do that, anf they already publicaly said they respected state law which is all anyone can demand. They even put their money where their mouth was by resisting the anti’s attempts to get them to change.

      OC events involving long guns and attention whores, not normal courteous -DISCRETE- lawful gun owners carrying like they do everywhere else, forced Starbucks to this.

  3. OK, someone please explain to me the part I don’t get:
    ITEM 1: have I OC’d in said coffee shops? Yes I have, legally, with a glock 17 in a holster… oh yeah wearing a nice polo and *NOT* screaming about my right to be a jackass.
    ITEM 2: these guys basically came out and said “don’t be stupid and scare the crap out of our patrons with you tacti-cool long gun of choice”… not banning guns just have a little good sense about how you carry.
    ITEM 3: this all seems to me to be in keeping with “don’t do stupid shit at stupid time in stupid places” and “don’t be a dick”.

    so why are we even talking about this? and how in the world did this rate not one but two write ups on gun nuts?

    1. What Starbucks actually said was “don’t bring guns in our stores, please.” No mention of OC or CCW, just “don’t bring guns in here.”

      We’re talking about it because it’s a major PR victory for our enemies.

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