Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Starbucks Kerfuffle

There's been a lot of chatter in the past week on the recent Starbucks statement on guns in their stores. I've read much discussion, from both the anti-freedom forces as well as the differences of opinion from gun rights advocates. I delayed posting to give the matter serious thought. Now, after absorbing it all, I find my initial reaction is unchanged.

Asbestos suit at the ready

I think Starbucks statement is offensive, undoubtedly pushed by an attorney, and sadly an attempt to be "politically correct." Those who know me, know my opinion on PC. I firmly believe we have a right to carry where, and how, we wish, and we should not be questioned while doing so. That said, I strongly feel that the "demonstrations" at Starbucks were ill-advised and did more to harm the cause than to help. Good tactics can win a battle, bad tactics can lose the war.

Showing up en masse, carrying rifles and shotguns, is really not a way to win hearts. "Because I can" might be true, but it's an excuse, not a reason. I hear comments about "normalizing" the sight of a gun in public. But face it, we had a known libtard company, and even though they really don't agree with the 2nd Amendment, they publicly stated that they would follow the law of the land with regard to guns. That's pretty much normalized right there. As thanks, a group of "activists" went out of their way to make other customers of the company feel uncomfortable. As irrational as the hoplophobe's fears are, their money spends at Starbuck's too. Frankly, I wouldn't feel comfortable walking into that "pro-gun" crowd myself, for the same reason I generally avoid gun shows.

I have no objection to "open carry," I do object to "carry for protest." I choose to carry a gun for my personal and my family's defense, and for no other reason. It's not a show. Despite the claims of "I prefer open carry as a tactic," it's obvious the "appreciation" groups showing up at Starbucks with rifles slung over their shoulders were not doing so for any self-defense needs. Heck, if someone told me they need to be in a group, armed with rifles and shotguns to buy coffee, my response would be they should find a safer place to buy coffee.

For all intents and purposes nothing has changed, other than a pointless statement, and a lot of bad publicity for gun owners. Of course this move by Starbucks will only embolden our foes. Starbucks has never specifically allowed or disallowed guns in their stores. They have said all along this not their battle, they take no sides and made following local law their policy. Some gun owners weren't happy with being allowed to carry like they always could, so they decided to make Starbucks their pawn. As expected, and as they warned, Starbucks got fed up and issued an admittedly weak and PC message. The company has not banned guns, they essentially said, again, please, leave us out of it. They have asked gun owners to refrain from opening carrying, but did not forbid it on their stores. They specifically say in their employee direction accompanying the statement that employees are NOT to ask any one to leave for carrying.

So now the anti-gunners get to play it up as a win. All because a bunch of gun advocates decided to make a "statement," instead of simply carrying their guns as they always did, to which Starbucks never objected. Why would anyone go out of their way to antagonize someone who was not restricting their rights? That's not defending your rights. It's just stupid.

Now the calls for boycotting Starbucks have switched from coming from the hoplophobes to coming from the gun rights side. I've never been much on boycotts in general. I do buy Starbuck's coffee on occasion, and will probably continue to do so. It's convenient to my travels. I happen to like my coffee on the bitter end of the scale anyway. And, I will continue to exercise my rights as I see fit. My right to self defense does not come from the 2nd Amendment, nor is it mitigated by a sign.

The pro-gun crowd can rant and rave about the new Starbucks attitude, but our side owns this one. We all know the four rules of gun safety. But some have forgotten the first rule of gun ownership, don't act like a fool.

5 comments:

  1. "it's obvious the "appreciation" groups showing up at Starbucks with rifles slung over their shoulders were not doing so for any self-defense needs.....But some have forgotten the first rule of gun ownership, don't act like a fool."

    I never thought I'd see the day when this damn liberal would agree with you on anything. Let's just say I'm more inclined to defend your 2nd Amendment rights if you're more responsible about gun ownership and sensibly recognize the damage caused by gun violence.

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  2. “As thanks, a group of “activists" went out of their way to make other customers of the company feel uncomfortable"

    I think that is a gratuitous exaggeration, inflammatory and divisive. I don’t think anyone involved in any of the appreciation days, guns & coffee or similar efforts had any ill intent and I don’t think they set out to make anyone afraid, uncomfortable or even uneasy. Instead, I’m inclined to give the guys & gals on our side the benefit of the doubt and I firmly believe their hearts were in the right place. They may not have been fully cognizant of what their actions may have meant down the road, but I haven’t met any of these people who intended to incite fear and I think it’s disappointing for many on our side to be attributing that type of malice to these people.

    As a movement, open carry has been frowned upon from the gun lobby and gun owners since it became popularized in the early 2000’s. Even to people who had no other option to exercise their rights. As a community, we have condescended to open carriers and we were wrong.

    As to the purpose for carrying - that is, at its heart, a politically correct position to be the arbiter of what motivations compel a person to exercise their rights. When we look down on carrying openly, or carrying for the purposes of lawful protest, or celebration, or any other lawful reasons, we stoop to the level of the antis, and are no better than the sub-human scumbags that comprise anti-rights groups.

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    1. US RKBA -- ". . . They may not have been fully cognizant of what their actions may have meant down the road, but I haven’t met any of these people who intended to incite fear and I think it’s disappointing for many on our side to be attributing that type of malice to these people. . . "

      I could accept that, except for the fact that sensible people (including those promoting the "Starbucks Appreciation Days" and very vocal OC proponants were TELLING them, "Hey, you're going to freak out the 'danes, and Starbucks will cave to the gun banners."

      Even if abyssmally stunted social skills to the point of not realizing the impression that guys showing up in a suburban hipster coffee joint all tac'ed out, or carrying EBRs on their shoulders was an acceptable defense by means of ignorance of teh reasonable likely outcome, the fact that people have been pointing out THIS PRECISE LIKELY OUTCOME from WITHIN the OC community means it was not ignarance.

      Given how many of these tools I've run across who were PROUDLY ACKNOWLEDGING the fact that they were going to "normalize" OC by jamming their "in your face" tactics down the throat of Suzie Soccermom, I don't even buy the "innocent little enthusiasts didn't figure it out on their own and were totally ignorant of the very open conversation in the online gun community" defence.

      I did run across two VERY common threads of justification, BOTH of which were expressed by most of these tools I ran across:

      1. "It worked for the gays! They were DELIBERATELY offensive, and look how they've gone from criminalized pariahs to a point where it's not just 'OK' to be gay, but everyone else has to 'accept' and support it!" OK, that's a confession that you are being deliberately confrontational and going for shock value.

      2. "I want to jam it down the antis' throats sideways and break it off. Watch them reswallow their own bile while they have to see me in a bastion of THEIR liberal culture, openily carrying an AR, and listen to Michael Bloomberg wet his panties." That's an even MORE unambiguous statement of INTENTIONALLY being as offensive as legally possible to grind the antis' faces into the mud.

      No, the militant OC'ers who decided to show up ready to cosplay a Hollywood propaganda flick on the emminent dangers of Evil White Racist Militia Insurrectionists were doing it because they are attention whores, and feel that beating their chest in public was more important than actually winning the culture war.

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  3. David,I agree with your musing,and from the start, my view of Starbucks policy was "Great,they will obey the local law,that's enough."Once the extremists amoung us turned it into 'a thing',it got out of hand.Now it has turned into an embarrasment.I will still buy Starbucks coffee once in a while,but I have never wanted to carry my AR slung on my back into a coffee shop.
    No one can tell if I'm carrying or not,and that's the way I always hope it will be.

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  4. Someday humans will get the concept that animals still hold on to: to each is own. Always pushing our ideals on other people is the root of retardation.

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