Starbucks CEO: Leave your guns at home from now on, please

Here’s his letter about it to the company. It’s just a request, not a ban. If he made it a ban, then employees would have to enforce it. And he’s quite candid about his misgivings over putting an unarmed worker in the position of telling someone who’s packing that they’re unwelcome.

Lots of grumbling about this on Twitter this morning, which surprised me. Surely there can’t be that much overlap between fans of open carry and fans of pumpkin spice lattes. Turns out I had missed the news about “Starbucks Appreciation Day” by gun owners last month, though. This isn’t just a change in policy by some random company; this is a company that had been notably respectful of gun rights and commended for it by aficionados deciding that it was all a big mistake. No mystery as to why, either. Sonny Bunch is spot on:

What’s interesting to me is that it’s obvious Schultz has no fear of guns (nor should he; when’s the last time there was a mass-shooting at a Starbucks perpetrated by someone with an open-carry permit?). No. He fears the left. And he doesn’t fear the right.

These are all sensible positions for him to take…

The left … does the politicized life exceptionally well. They mount campaigns to pressure corporations to get what they want. They organize boycotts. They direct their complaints to gatekeepers who share their views and can influence policy. They blacklist artists with whom they disagree and pressure corporations to do the same. They control the levers of the media to add additional pressure from newspapers and television networks.

So there will be a lot of fulmination on social media from those on the right about rights and guns and the Constitution, and then a little less the next day, and a little less the day after that, until finally you forgot why you were mad at Starbucks and you stop tweeting and facebooking and kvetching and start buying pumpkin spice lattes by the bucketful and, in a moment of clarity, you’ll think about how silly it was for you to give up Starbucks in the name of something that literally never impacted you in the first place because you don’t have an open-carry permit.

Exactly. Whatever little extra business Starbucks gets from gun owners on the annual “Appreciation Day” would be washed away by the business lost once the left’s intelligentsia finally decides Something Must Be Done about the company’s tolerance for gun rights. Schultz is getting ahead of a backlash by backing down now so that he doesn’t look even weaker by backing down later after a liberal boycott takes effect. Hopefully this half-assed “request, not a ban” position will mollify them while reassuring gun owners that if they simply can’t bear to be without the pumpkin spice while they have their weapon on them, they’re welcome to come in. Unless your business is designed to be overtly conservative, staying on the left’s good side is usually in your economic interest even if it means alienating righties. Imagine how many wedding-industry professionals have learned a lesson from stories like this one to extend their services to gay couples, whether they have an objection to gay marriage or not.

Exit quotation: “There are times when I feel like America has lost its conscience.”

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