Are you a proud card-carrying member of the NRA or perhaps you’re just an avid supporter of our 2nd Amendment right to bear arms? If so, stop by your local Starbucks today to show your support for the coffeehouse’s decision to allow sidearms in its stores in states that allow the practice, including my home state of Arizona.
When I woke up at 5:30 this morning and turned on the local news, there was a reporter broadcasting live from a Phoenix-area Starbucks waiting to interview sidearm-carrying patrons that were there to support Starbucks. At broadcast time, though, the only handgun that was seen was on the hip of a local law enforcement official.
Last year, the National Gun Victims Action Council started a public awareness campaign and petition asking consumers to demand that Starbucks ban weapons in its stores. Although it has been more than a year since the ‘Brew Not Bullets’ campaign launched, Starbucks still has no official corporate policy on weapons in its stores. If state law allows a weapon, so does Starbucks, even though local businesses in many states can choose to ban weapons regardless of state law.
I am not a gun owner but I am also not alarmed when I see someone with a holstered gun in a public place, I do live in Arizona after all. However, there is one aspect of this campaign that really bugs me – supporters are planning to visit a Starbucks in Newtown, Conn.. Yes, the city in which dozens of first-grade students and school staff were gunned down. I understand the whole ‘people kill people, guns don’t kill people’ debate but it hasn’t even been a year since the Newtown shooting, can we please show a little sensitivity?
David Ackert, spokesman for the Newtown Action Alliance, told the Washington Times, “Our community is still healing and we find it reprehensible that they are picking Newtown to rally. It is disturbing to think that tomorrow night you and your children may be sitting in Starbucks when people carrying guns walk through the door.”
Are you planning on supporting Starbucks by participating in the ‘Guns and Coffee’ event or checking out the 'Brew Not Bullets' campaign instead?