In what appears to be a complete reversal in the stance Starbucks once took on guns, CEO of Starbucks Howard Schultz is now requesting that gun owners no longer bring guns into his stores. While he is afraid to call it a “ban” on guns, that’s simply what it is and Schultz is probably unwilling to call it a ban because of the backlash he would face from gun owners nation wide.
With an open letter on the Starbuck’s website, Schultz lists several reasons why he is changing the company policy on guns, stating mainly that he does not want his stores to become a battleground for gun rights supporters or anti-gun activists.
“Starbucks stores and our partners (employees) who work in our stores have been thrust unwillingly into the middle of this debate. That’s why I am writing today with a respectful request that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas.” The letter reads.
According to the letter the company’s longstanding approach to guns was simply to follow local laws, and if local laws permitted open carry of firearms then the Starbucks stores in those communities would allow it in their stores as well, so they would not be put in the position to make a customer leave if he/she was simply obeying the law.
But apparently, Howard Schultz did not “appreciate” all of the attention and business garnered by the “Starbucks Appreciation Days” that gun owners set up in order to help endorse a company that seemed to support 2nd amendment rights.
“Recently, however, we’ve seen the “open carry” debate become increasingly uncivil and, in some cases, even threatening. Pro-gun activists have used our stores as a political stage for media events misleadingly called “Starbucks Appreciation Days” that disingenuously portray Starbucks as a champion of “open carry.” To be clear: we do not want these events in our stores. Some anti-gun activists have also played a role in ratcheting up the rhetoric and friction, including soliciting and confronting our customers and partners”, Schultz said.
Schultz goes on to say that the presence of a weapon in his stores is unsettling to some customers and that the place for this debate is in the legislative process not in Starbucks stores. But perhaps he has forgotten that the legislative process already ALLOWS for guns to be open carried in these areas, so it is actually the company that is entering the gun control arena and they are NOT on the side of gun owners.
“For these reasons, today we are respectfully requesting that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas—even in states where “open carry” is permitted—unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel. I would like to clarify two points. First, this is a request and not an outright ban,” the letter goes on to say.
We knew all along that Starbucks was not exactly a champion company for freedom and liberty, but now the CEO has taken a stand and it is clear that he wants gun owners to leave their guns at home while still bringing their wallets to his stores.
So what do our readers think? Is this really a ban and the CEO does not want to admit it?
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