I’m often confused when I see a controversy in the news. I’m a black and white kind of guy, you are either free or you aren’t, it is either legal or it isn’t, it is right or it is wrong. This attitude keeps my philosophy consistent at least, and makes for some entertaining discussion over drinks with both my Lefty and Righty friends.
So I’ve seen a little buzz about Starbucks and people carrying firearms. I thought it odd, because I don’t generally put coffee and gun ownership in the same discussion. Alas, Starbucks has become some sort of battleground for the issue of open carry.
I fundamentally believe every individual is born with a right to defend him/herself by whatever means the individual chooses. As would follow, I believe everyone has a right to carry a firearm of any type in any way they choose.
I also believe in property rights, and that my right to do something stops where it violates your property rights. As such, I do not have a right to carry my firearm into your house if you tell me you do not allow firearms in your house.
So why is this such a big deal?
My advice to Starbucks? Take your stand and be done with it, and quit waffling.
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.”
This is not a policy or a position. Either allow firearms or don’t, quit relying on the government to tell you what to do. If you don’t want guns in your stores, ban them. Until then, allow them. And if the folks in San Fransisco get all upset, either let ’em go or change your policy based on your target market.
California Pizza Kitchen and Peet’s made their call, and they have every right to do it.
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.
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.”
By the way, this article does nicely sum up why I’m not a member of the NRA
“We support the self-defense rights of law-abiding Americans in accordance with local, state and federal laws,” says Andrew Arulanandam, an NRA spokesman, who declined further comment on open-carry activity.