The day after the mass shooting at the Naval Yard in Washington, D.C., Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced that guns aren’t welcome at Starbucks. With Schultz’s unfortunate comment to a traditional marriage supporter just six months ago, many conservatives will undoubtedly regard this as yet another slap against them by the world’s largest coffee retailer.
In his “Open Letter,” the CEO acknowledged that Starbucks’ past approach to open-carry was to “follow local laws [and] permit it in states where allowed and we prohibit it in states where these laws don’t exist.” Then, without citing any specific instance, Schultz said the open-carry debate was becoming “increasingly uncivil” and “even threatening.”
Although Schultz suggests that the “presence of a weapon in our stores is unsettling and upsetting for many of our customers,” he doesn’t explain how a concealed weapon would bother anyone. Nor does he examine whether gun-free zones – like the Naval Yard in DC – actually encourage the type of violence and bad press he is trying to avoid.
Schultz concludes that he is proud of our nation and its first amendment heritage. With the likely fall-out from his announcement, Schultz may regret not giving more consideration to the very amendment that guarantees that heritage.