Scoot Blog: Starbucks Asks Customers to Leave Their Guns at Home
by Scoot,posted Sep 18 2013 8:10PM
Starbucks is asking its customers to no longer bring guns into its locations. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s request to customers is the result of the growing popularity of “Starbucks Appreciation Days,” when gun rights advocates show up at Starbucks cafes with their firearms. Many Starbucks’ customers have not been comfortable with the pro-gun rights demonstrations at the cafes. Last month, Starbucks closed a store in Newtown, CT for a day after learning that gun rights advocates planned a “Starbucks Appreciation Day” at that location.
Schultz was quick to point out that Starbucks will not ask anyone with a permit and a gun to leave and will not refuse service, but he is hoping that customers will honor his request. Schultz further explained that Starbucks is not pro-gun or anti-gun.
Should businesses have the right to ban guns, even if customers have a concealed carry permit? And what about patrons with legal permits carrying guns into businesses that serve alcohol? Off-duty law enforcement officers in Louisiana are not allowed to bring their guns into a bar or restaurant that serves alcohol, unless they are conducting official business.
Should gun owners have the right to carry their firearms into bars or restaurants that serve alcohol because they need their weapons for protection? Or, is it more a case of wanting to do it just because they can? Most people go to bars and restaurants for the purpose of having a good time. Why would anyone choose to go to a bar or any business where they felt the need to carry a gun for protection?
If gun owners have exercised their right to carry a firearm legally, why would they feel the need to demonstrate this right in public places, like a Starbucks café? Is this an example of gun-rights advocates “shoving their right to carry a gun in the face of others?” And if so – how is that different from those who criticize gays for demonstrating their right to be together in public?
I would hope that gun owners are secure and confident in their 2nd Amendment rights and would not feel the need to push their right to carry a firearm on the general public. But, unfortunately, as with every group, there are individuals who are overzealous in promoting an agenda.
Recently, there was controversy about a bakery in Colorado that refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. The owner of the bakery said that boycotts forced him to go out of business. The debate over whether the bakery should have served customers who do not share their same political or religious beliefs was fierce. If you would argue that a business does not have the right to ban law-abiding customers who are legally carrying guns from their establishment, then would it be fair to argue that a business has the right to refuse service to law-abiding customers with a different view on same-sex marriage?
With the understanding that the 2nd Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear arms, in theory, if a business does not have the right to ban customers with firearms, then would it not be hypocritical for a business to ban customers based on countless other activities or ideologies?
The challenge in America is to avoid the trap of hypocrisy and maintain consistency with actions and ideologies. Many Americans support the right of states to pass laws that supersede federal laws, but those same Americans do not agree with states trumping federal laws when it comes to the legalization of marijuana or same-sex marriage laws.
There are endless examples of hypocrisy. Many Americans will condemn a president from one party while accepting the same policies of a president from their party. And this is what contributes greatly to the hate in today’s political debates and the depth of partisanship in Washington.
Try to be fair – if you support a business’s right to ban gun owners from carrying their weapons into a business – then support the right of every law-abiding customer to be served by a business, without judgment of personal or political beliefs.