March 4, 2010, - 12:55 pm
There’s a new battlefield in the war to defend the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. And it’s at the stores in which you shop.
Gun control advocates from the Brady Campaign are targeting stores and businesses that abide by state open carry laws. They’re waging war against stores that allow patrons to carry their weapons in states in which the law allows that. And they’re giving businesses “no weapons” signs to post.
But, thankfully, most large, national businesses are smarter than that. And it’s not about ideology. It’s about the bottom line. If you don’t allow people to carry guns who are licensed or otherwise legally allowed to do so under the law, you’re angering a lot of potential and longtime customers. And, especially in this economy, most businesses can’t afford to be left-wing Big Brother. Unfortunately, “most businesses” don’t include Peet’s Coffee and Tea and California Pizza Kitchen, which won’t allow guns in their stores. These businesses DO respect the Second Amendment and allow guns in states where its legal: Starbucks, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Best Buy, and Barnes & Noble.
I applaud these businesses for doing so, even if it’s a marketing decision. After all, there are plenty of lefties who won’t shop these places and will go to places like Peet’s instead. It’s sad that the gun control people have chosen to wage this kind of war. Do they really believe that criminals illegally carrying guns are going to obey the Peet’s policy of no guns? And would you want to patronize a place that not only doesn’t respect #2 on the Bill of Rights, but where you are possibly unsafe and definitely unable to defend yourself against malefactors with guns? But ya know who isn’t applauding Starbucks’ decision to allow guns? Its workers union. Figures.
Starbucks Corp. and some other chain stores in the U.S. are finding themselves caught in the middle of a firearms debate, as gun-control advocates go up against a burgeoning campaign by gun owners to carry holstered pistols in public places.
The “open carry” movement, in which gun owners carry unconcealed handguns as they go about their everyday business, is loosely organized around the country but has been gaining traction in recent months. Gun-control advocates have been pushing to quash the movement, including by petitioning the Starbucks coffee chain to ban guns on its premises.
Businesses have the final say on their property. But the ones that don’t opt to ban guns—such as Starbucks—have become parade grounds of sorts for open-carry advocates.
Starbucks on Wednesday, while bemoaning being thrust into the debate, defended its long-standing policy of complying with state open-carry weapons laws, in part by stating that its baristas, or “partners,” could be harmed if the stores were to ban guns. The chain said that in the 43 states where open carry is legal, it has about 4,970 company-operated stores.
The company added: “The political, policy and legal debates around these issues belong in the legislatures and courts, not in our stores.” . . .
Some chains have banned guns from their restaurants, even in open-carry states, because of the impact it could have on non-gun-carrying customers.
“We are concerned that the open display of firearms would be particularly disturbing to children and their parents,” said a spokesperson for the California Pizza Kitchen restaurant chain.
Hmmm . . . I’d bet it would be even more “particularly disturbing to children and their parents” to be held hostage by a criminal with a gun and unable to get away because no law abiding citizens with guns were allowed in.
A Peet’s Coffee & Tea spokesperson said that while the firm “respects and values all individuals’ rights…our policy is not to allow customers carrying firearms in our stores or on our outdoor seating premises unless they are uniformed or identified law enforcement officers.” . . .
Indeed, not all baristas agree that the Starbucks policy protects them. “I think the policy shows complete disregard for the safety and sentiments of their workers. The only thing worse than a yuppie upset with how their frappuccino turned out is a yuppie with a gun who’s unhappy with how their frappuccino turned out,” says Erik Forman, a Starbucks barista and union member in Minneapolis.
The IWW Starbucks Workers Union on Wednesday issued a statement, saying “We appreciate the vigorous debate taking place by principled individuals on both sides of this issue. However, to date we are not aware of any efforts by Starbucks to widely engage its workers who are directly affected by open-carry gun laws. We believe an appropriate solution cannot be reached without doing so.”
Um, Erik, the only thing worse than someone upset about his/her coffee, is an innocent customer who is shot by a criminal upset about his/her coffee or seeking to rob the place . . . because customers weren’t allowed to carry guns into the store and were unable to protect themselves, dying needlessly.
Tags: Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Brady Campaign, California Pizza Kitchen, gun control, guns, Home Depot, No guns, No guns allowed, open carry, Peet's Coffee & Tea, Peet's Coffee and Tea, public carry, Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Second Amendment, Starbucks, Wal-Mart