Picket signs and protesters rallied at a Denver Starbucks in an effort to implore the chain to change its policies on firearms. Currently the coffee giant allows customers to carry firearms into its stores in accordance with state laws. Starbucks has no ban on lawful concealed carry, or even open carry, on its premises. But Colorado Ceasefire, a Colorado based gun control group, is trying to pull Starbucks into the center of a divisive social issue.
Attention was first brought to Starbucks when some open carry supporters (people who support the lawful act of openly carrying a firearm) began meeting in coffee houses across the nation. The Brady campaign, followed by groups like Colorado Ceasefire, quickly rushed to pressure Starbucks into changing their policies. But it’s not just open carry that the protesters where rallying against. “We’ve got approximately 50,000 permits to carry concealed weapons in Colorado, which means that these loaded handguns are going into stores all over the state” said Ted Pascoe with Colorado Ceasefire. . . . An accurate statement. What’s the point?
But Starbucks, much to their credit, has so far refused to let the political ambushes wreak havoc on their policies. Starbucks has further explained that their allowances of lawfully carried firearms are part of their respect for the local rule of law rather than ideological agendas.
Do you think the group would like to ban police officers from obtaining coffee? Probably not. Obviously the objection is not to the gun, but to the law-abiding citizens that are carrying them. Colorado Ceasefire’s agenda is clearly to limit and eventually reverse the practice of concealed carry. The Starbucks at which the protest took place was in Denver County; the only county in Colorado that bans the open carrying of firearms. How many loaded weapons do you think walked into that very store behind the protesters without their knowledge? (I know of at least one.)
Tom Mauser, with Ceasefire Colorado said about Colorado’s concealed carry laws, “[Starbucks] is not required by the law to accept it.” Another accurate statement. And again I struggle to see his point. Starbucks has a choice, and they have chosen to respect local laws and communities around the country. If someone wants a cup of coffee without the possibility that a law-abiding citizen, who has been properly vetted by the government and has had sufficient training, might be carrying a gun, don’t visit a Starbucks. It is very telling that the anti-gun group is protesting a company for exercising a right of free choice.
The basic right of self-defense is not granted to us by our Constitution or by the laws of Men; but by our existence and our creator. Moreover, it is within the rights of any business, or property holder, to determine how restrictive they decide to be when it comes to prohibiting certain activities that are within the confines of the law. Starbucks itself may have had the most quotable reaction to the anti-gun protesters when they said that issues with city or state laws should be taken up in court, legislative processes, or ballot initiatives. . . Not within their stores.
“A gun is just a tool;” said David Williams with the Colorado Libertarian Party. And he is right. Colorado Ceasefire resents an individual’s right to carry that tool. In their view, a woman does not have the right to defend her life with deadly force against a rapist or an attacker. . . At least not while she gets her tall vanilla latte.
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