Reacting to yesterday’s appeal to gun-toters by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz to not carry their firearms into Starbucks coffee shops, Washington Ceasefire’s Ralph Fascitelli allowed his candor to reveal the true nature of the gun control lobby when he told the Seattle Times this was “a good first step.’
That was quickly followed up with acknowledgement that what gun prohibitionists want is an outright ban. That is the bottom line with all of the recent anti-gun activities in Seattle, including Mayor Mike McGinn’s promotion of “gun free zone” decals on business establishments, and the push by anti-gun-rights groups against Starbucks, which never wanted to be caught in the middle of a political struggle. Times readers are having quite a spat over this story.
All Starbucks wants to do is sell coffee, and the stores hadn’t made a fuss over people carrying guns into their premises until, as several bloggers quoted by this column noted, some activists began showing up with rifles. Critics suggest this, and the Newtown Starbucks Appreciation Day flap several weeks ago, led to the Schultz letter. The Starbucks in Newtown, Conn., closed early Aug. 9 rather than provide a focal point for a controversy the coffee chain wants no part of. Schultz’ letter alluded to belligerent behavior by some gun activists and some anti-gunners as contributing factors.
Starbucks aside, gun prohibition lobbying groups have been openly pressuring many other businesses to declare themselves off limits to legally armed citizens. The “gun free zone” effort that began on Seattle’s Capitol Hill – sarcastically dubbed the “zone of happy thoughts” effort by firearms owners – is part of this campaign.
Anti-gunners want to discourage firearms owners any way they can, from getting businesses to act as their surrogates in what the late Charlton Heston called a “culture war,” to pushing for increasingly restrictive gun laws. The Moms Demand Action group openly admits they pressured Starbucks in a Wednesday press release, thus claiming credit for Schultz’ appeal to gun owners.
Starbucks has not banned firearms from their stores. They’re just asking people to leave them outside. Nobody is going to be asked to leave unless they create a disturbance.
But thanks to Fascitelli, the cat is again out of the bag on what the gun prohibitionists really want: a ban. If it has to happen city by city, store by store, each will be seen as “a good first step” by gun banners who invariably are reluctant to explain what the second and third steps might be.
MEANWHILE, the mainstream press has seemingly turned its attention away from Monday’s mass shooting at the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard, and one might theorize that this incident simply did not fit the popular knee-jerk narrative. Early attempts by various news outlets to link this shooting with an AR-15, the so-called “high powered assault rifle” that is neither high-powered nor a true military weapon, flopped. As this column noted, there were some embarrassing assertions early in the process as media pundits and anti-gun politicians raced to see who could be first or loudest in the renewed demonization of these semi-auto firearms.
Cracks in that narrative began showing early, with reports from WRC reporter Jackie Bensen revealing that gunman Aaron Alexis wasn’t armed with a rifle at all, but a shotgun. She seemed to be asking the right questions of her sources, because it led to the revelation that Alexis was armed only with a Remington Model 870 Express 12-gauge shotgun. He used that shotgun to kill a security guard and take his pistol and a spare magazine.
Examiner’s own inquiries revealed that Alexis bought the gun last Saturday at a gun shop in Virginia, along with some standard 2¾-inch buckshot loads which are commonly used for deer hunting.
Perhaps that is why sensationalism over the Navy Yard rampage fizzled instead of sizzled. Even Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly latched onto the rush to exploit the shooting for another attack on a firearm that was not even used by the gunman. He tangled with Fox News media critic Howard Kurtz over the issue Wednesday evening.
The 12-gauge pump shotgun is one of the most common firearms in the country. Just about every major gun manufacturer has at least one model, including Remington, Mossberg, Browning, Winchester, Beretta, Benelli and others. They have been used by law enforcement, the military, hunters and other recreational shooters for generations. They do not have “high capacity magazines,” nor do they “spray bullets.”
They do come with black synthetic stocks, and more often with wood or camo-synthetic stocks. Someone will likely try to demonize them because they hold more than two shells, but in general terms, they are rather ordinary. Nothing sexy.
It may take a while for all those who rushed to blame Monday’s tragedy on an AR-15 to correct themselves and apologize for misleading the public. In the meantime, the focus is shifting to Alexis' mental health history.