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.