In a move that surely won’t upset anyone, Starbucks has issued a “respectful request” that customers refrain from bringing guns into their stores. How will they enforce their new request? By continuing to serve anyone with a gun, without asking them to leave or to put away their weapon.
“We are going to serve them as we would serve anyone else,” Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said in an interview with the New York Times. He elaborated in an open letter published Wednesday. “Enforcing a ban would potentially require our partners to confront armed customers, and that is not a role I am comfortable asking Starbucks partners to take on," he wrote.
Why issue such a proclamation now? Schultz said it's not because of Monday’s mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard or last December’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. “I’ve spent a significant amount of personal time on this issue in the last several months and I’ve seen the emotionally charged nature of this issue and how polarizing it is on both sides,” Schultz told the Times.
It appears as though firearm advocates took advantage of Starbucks’ previous policy, which allowed people to bring loaded guns into stores located in "open carry" states without politely requesting that they not do so. From Schultz’s open letter:
Recently, however, we’ve seen the “open carry” debate become increasingly uncivil and, in some cases, even threatening. Pro-gun activists have used our stores as a political stage for media events misleadingly called “Starbucks Appreciation Days” that disingenuously portray Starbucks as a champion of “open carry.” To be clear: we do not want these events in our stores.
But just so there's no confusion, Schultz wants us to know Starbucks isn’t actually taking a stance on gun laws, which he boldly admits his company cannot change. “I want to make it very clear that Starbucks is not a policy maker and as a company we are not pro- or anti-gun,” Schultz said in the Times. “However, there have been a number of episodes over the course of the last few months that have put us in a position to take a big step back and assess the issue of open carry.”
Bad news for these people, I guess:
[Image via AP]