This Is Why We Cant Have Nice Things – Starbucks

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by Admin on September 18, 2013

Well. We have done it.

I say we, as in the collective gun-owners and 2nd Amendment supporters/enthusiasts of this nation. We win together, and we lose together.

Last week, we shared a major victory in Colorado with the recall of two anti-gun politicians. Thats our Win.

This week, we have finally forced Starbucks to choose a side in the great gun debate. All the sabre rattling, and “starbucks appreciation days” and open carry foolishness we could throw at them. They finally made a decision.

Good Job. Well done. We have “educated” them and their “liberal” customers who don’t particularly share our views and affinity for all things that go bang.

The decision is in, and it is not in our favor. Starbucks has said that they do not wish to see “guns as a part of the Starbucks experience.” We have educated them to the point that they would prefer we just go away…or at least leave them out of it. They have said that they will not ask anyone open-carrying to leave, nor will they post signs regarding the policy. Frankly, I wish they would. I hope the “activists” have the intestinal fortitude to respect their wishes…but I’m not holding my breath based on how they have acted in the past. Calling for a boycott is weak-sauce, too.

We have essentially forced neutral Switzerland into the hands of the Nazis. A company that was not restrictive in their corporate policy. A company who followed local law. We forced them onto the national stage– without consulting them about it, I might add– and into the center of a rather divisive debate. Replete with “I Love Guns and Coffee” patches and t-shirts and mugs and all sorts of other cute little trinkets.

Instead of quietly supporting a company through the  purchase of their product to show your appreciation,  you just had to load up an AR, AK, or shotgun or put on that fancy “tactical” drop leg holster, call all of your gun-guy friends to meet you there, and march into the place to “Make a statement” and “educate” people on our rights.

Edit: I was contacted by the individual pictured above. He is in the US Military, and for context, wanted to advise that this photo was taken in a Starbucks in Camp Arifjan, Kuwait in 2005. He did not request the photo be removed, just wanted to add context for this particular photo. -Casey

You had to throw that rifle on your back, knowing damn good and well you were going to cause a scene. If you DIDNT know you were going to cause a scene, you’re an idiot when you consider the multiple “active killer/mass murder” incidents of very recent notoriety. You have allowed those of us who choose to be smart regarding these matters to get a black eye from society and,  you are directly responsible for allowing the left a small victory.

The attention-whoreness of it all is rather disturbing.

My guess is that you are the same ones who only carry when you are trying to bait a cop or ruffle feathers or trying to “educate” people….well, you did. Congratulations. (P.S. Of the eleventy-billion videos of seen on YouTube wherein folks of your ilk try to “educate” cops on the law, Ive seen about 5 that were legitimate)

Don’t complain now because the company had to make a business decision to make their customers and workers feel more comfortable and/or safe. Remember that YOU are responsible. YOU forced their hand. YOU are the reason they made this choice.

We have turned the debate into a joke. Yes, we are all responsible.

Whether youre an (A) “in your face activist” as previously mentioned, or a (B) gun owner who doesnt agree with them but remains silent and thereby complicit, we are all responsible. Own it.

Personally I fall into the latter category (B). I think the first category are a bunch of fools, and open carry is a piss-poor method of carry outside of a few distinct instances. I have remained silent on the issue, but that ends today.  I don’t want to be represented as a gun owner by those who choose to act as those described above. A tactical victory is never worth a strategic defeat. In the end this has hurt us in a battle where we are making progress. If we dont “eat our own” and correct these issues, the OTHER SIDE will. We have lost ground due to tomfoolery, chicanery, and general shenanigans. If we don’t get on the same page, we will continue to give up ground.

Much like how we get irritated when the “not terrorist” muslims dont come out and outright condemn muslim terrorist acts and organizations…we are taking the same track by not raising the bullshit flag when we ought to. We have to police our own. No successful organization, entity, or cause embraces personnel or spokesmen who damage the image and value of the brand.

There is strong precedent that responsible activism, grassroots campaigns, and legal processes can make a tangible difference. Just ask two former Colorado politicians. Ask our Founding Fathers. Ask any number of successful organizations or causes.

And now the internet comes to life on the topic. There are alot of  “scuffles” and debates going on about how Starbucks is wrong to take this stance, or how we (gun owners) shouldn’t “eat our own” with regards to the fools who just have to “educate the public” with their open carrying of guns, and treating them as if they were nothing more than a high end fashion accessory. Still others say that while they dont disagree with Starbuck’s policy, they dont like being “lumped in” with “those guys” — talking about the aforementioned “educators and keepers of liberty”

One internet poster said: “I never believed Starbucks was an ally anyway.” I would say he may be right. They weren’t. They are an outfit that sells coffee. Period. They just had a policy that wasn’t restrictive, and followed local law. They were unwillingly and unwittingly co-opted by the “rabid gun movement” people, and literally thrust on the national stage in the midst of a highly charged debate without their consultation on the matter.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

Don’t blame Starbucks, and don’t blame liberals. Blame stupid gun owners.

Look in the mirror, own it, give yourself a pep-talk, and go fix it.

Practical takeaway: Just because you CAN doesn’t always  mean you SHOULD.


For those living under a rock, or who don’t click links in articles, here is the full letter:

An Open Letter from Howard Schultz, ceo of Starbucks Coffee Company

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Posted by Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and chief executive officer

Dear Fellow Americans,

Few topics in America generate a more polarized and emotional debate than guns. In recent months, 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.

From the beginning, our vision at Starbucks has been to create a “third place” between home and work where people can come together to enjoy the peace and pleasure of coffee and community. Our values have always centered on building community rather than dividing people, and our stores exist to give every customer a safe and comfortable respite from the concerns of daily life.

We appreciate that there is a highly sensitive balance of rights and responsibilities surrounding America’s gun laws, and we recognize the deep passion for and against the “open carry” laws adopted by many states. (In the United States, “open carry” is the term used for openly carrying a firearm in public.) For years we have listened carefully to input from our customers, partners, community leaders and voices on both sides of this complicated, highly charged issue.

Our company’s longstanding approach to “open carry” has been to follow local laws: we permit it in states where allowed and we prohibit it in states where these laws don’t exist. We have chosen this approach because we believe our store partners should not be put in the uncomfortable position of requiring customers to disarm or leave our stores. We believe that gun policy should be addressed by government and law enforcement—not by Starbucks and our store partners.

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.

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. Why? Because we want to give responsible gun owners the chance to respect our request—and also because enforcing a ban would potentially require our partners to confront armed customers, and that is not a role I am comfortable asking Starbucks partners to take on. Second, we know we cannot satisfy everyone. For those who oppose “open carry,” we believe the legislative and policy-making process is the proper arena for this debate, not our stores. For those who champion “open carry,” please respect that Starbucks stores are places where everyone should feel relaxed and comfortable. The presence of a weapon in our stores is unsettling and upsetting for many of our customers.

I am proud of our country and our heritage of civil discourse and debate. It is in this spirit that we make today’s request. Whatever your view, I encourage you to be responsible and respectful of each other as citizens and neighbors.


Howard Schultz




Starbucks Letter Internal


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