It’s not Seattle-based Starbucks in the crosshairs of some gun bloggers in the wake of last night’s open letter from CEO Howard Schultz asking customers not to carry firearms in their stores, but some of the more “in-your-face” activists whose demeanor may have been at least partly responsible for Schultz’s request, at least as they tell it.
The Starbucks action, which is not a ban, but a request, is making big news as reported earlier, not just in the Seattle area, but well beyond; wherever there is a Starbucks, and that encompasses a lot of the landscape.
Many on the Open Carry.org forum are not happy about the Starbucks decision, but countering that are what amount to admonishments from others, and particularly bloggers, that suggest some gun owners have become their own worst enemies. The flip side is being debated by gun activists on Northwest Firearms and Seattle Guns. Some suggest that concealed carry solves the problem; out of sight, out of mind.
The Bang Switch noted Wednesday, “We have no one to blame but ourselves for their new policy. Starbucks tried to remain neutral but we, as a community, acted irresponsibly and disregarded their wishes by dragging their business into the middle of our fight — a fight they wanted nothing to do with.”
That commentary added, “Many of us feel entitled and as a result we become militant in our behavior and begin to alienate potential allies. The fact we forced Starbucks into taking this action through our own irresponsible behavior is a black eye to our cause. We should be ashamed of ourselves and we most certainly shouldn’t blame Starbucks.”
Meanwhile, over on Gunnuts.net, this was the observation: “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…
“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,” the remarks continued.
Blogger Grant Cunningham noted, “This happened because our side doesn't take the ‘responsible’ part of 'responsible gun ownership' very seriously. As a community we don't police our own very well, and we don't consider the consequences of our/their actions. The rabid open carriers who organized the ill-considered Starbucks Appreciation Days weren't being responsible by forcing a conflict on an innocent (and surprisingly tolerant, given what they've had to endure) third party; neither were the open carriers who participated in them, nor the rest of us who didn't step up and remind the others what responsibility actually means.”
Rob Allen weighed in at Sharp as a Marble, observing, “So I do not say this because I hate OC but holy s--- we are our own worst enemies at times. When you shove your gun in someone’s face, you’re being a dick. If you are going out of your way to ensure everyone knows you’re armed in an attempt to show them 'Haha! I can carry a gun and make you uncomfortable!!!' you’re being a dick. When you carry a rifle, something you would not normally do, with the intent to do a victory lap in the end zone, you’re being a dick.”
Geoff Beneze, founder of the 1911 Tech Talk chat group had this to say: “Recall though, as you said, (Starbucks) never wanted to be involved in the controversy. Didn't want to be a symbol. They wanted to sell coffee to whoever wanted it, and they did that by following local law. The anti's whined and stomped their footies. But WE had to make a show of it, just as the lefties had done.
“If we'd bought the coffee, kept our mouths shut at the time and talked about it later, do you think the result would be the same,” he questioned.
“(Starbucks) does NOT deserve to be punished for this, they're still doing the right thing by enforcing local law and NOT prohibiting carry in their stores.”
How this all shakes out remains to be seen. But right now, the announcement has gun rights activists arguing with one another – a habit at which many of them excel – and gun prohibitionists just love that.