Packing a hand gun at Starbucks

gwg01No one likes to caffeinate when somebody is “packing” at Starbucks.

Well, almost no one.

Last Thursday morning, the Purcellville Starbucks had its usual ration of Moms with a well behaved child or two, lines of folk waiting for their small or grande caffeinated drinks, a latte or cappuccino, at least one sweet tasting java chip, some patrons sipping their drinks as they headed out quick step for their daily commute, and an array of others, not so rushed, sitting at various counters and tables pecking away at keyboards, telecommuting or indulging a round of social media, others turning the pages of the Washington Post, a few working their cell phones, and chatting up the latest gossip and personal news.

I was sitting at a table revising a memo for court when a broad-hipped large-bellied man in baggy Cami-shorts with a holstered firearm came by, wearing a loose light-green t- shirt with a full size skull on the back, a backwards flag all in red on his shirt’s short cuff, and the word, “Infidel,” in large red letters on his chest.

Eyes noted and averted. 

I took several pictures.

The quarters at Starbucks are somewhat cramped, and patrons navigate the crowded space carefully and respectfully.  There is no threatening wildlife or game to hunt.  It’s not a target range.  Nor was there any threat from another gunman.  Nor would I trust a stranger to protect me – if there was a threat of violence – in such tight quarters.  No one appeared to be threatening or intimidating anyone else – except for the fact that there was one man dressed – to be charitable – quite “casually,” with certain antagonistic symbol signals on his “outfit,” as described, and quite prominently carrying a gun.

Having since posted the picture, several have responded that they won’t go to Starbucks again because of it.

One response was as follows: “I feel unsafe knowing he is there – what training has he had? How often does he go to the range? How often does he clean the gun? Our law enforcement officers are required to go to the range all the time to stay current in their jobs, and even THEY F – – – up with weapons, kill citizens when they shouldn’t. Not comfortable at all with this . . .”

Starbucks is a private business and Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO, said loud and clear and plain enough for anyone to understand years ago, as follows,

“We are respectfully requesting that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas – even in states where ‘open carry’ is permitted – unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel.”

Mr. Schultz explained the reason he insisted on this policy was that “the ‘open carry’ debate” had become “increasingly uncivil and, in some cases, even threatening.”

The concept of Starbucks, Mr. Schultz said, was, from the beginning, “a ‘third place’ between home and work where people can come together to enjoy the peace and pleasure of coffee and community.”

Packing is inconsistent with Starbucks’ mission.

So for those who don’t know Starbucks’ policy, that’s it.

But even if you didn’t know it, why in the world would you go into a closely cramped coffee shop carrying a loaded firearm?

The fact that anyone would raises some serious question about the individual’s judgment and sociability.

Isn’t the person who walks among peaceful places with a hand gun seeking to intimidate others?

In Texas, when they got open carry, the gun owners respected the wishes of proprietors who didn’t want guns in their businesses.

In Charlottesville, Virginia, some mothers actually boycotted a local store until it followed what Whole Foods said was its national policy against guns in their stores.

Nor is Starbucks and Whole Foods the only stores that have said no to guns in their places of business.  There’s also Whataburger, Chipotle, Panera Bread, Sonic, Chilis, and Target.

If gun owners are going to press this point, then stores may have to put up signs that make it clear that guns are not welcome in their peaceful businesses.


7 thoughts on “Packing a hand gun at Starbucks

  1. Palladia

    I work for Starbucks and not only has Howard Schultz discussed the issue (all the way back in 2013), you know perfectly well that Starbucks does not approve of gun carry in its stores. But Anthony is right, how would it be enforced? It’s out of personal consideration for others that this man should have known not to bring a gun into any public place, for that matter.

    I love hearing people talk shit about Starbucks because it shows you really don’t know anything the company. So what a grande latte costs 4.19? Go to ANY coffee (even independent) and the prices are going to be around the same. Money and sales are the focus of every single company on the planet, so don’t crucify Sbux for desiring the same.

    I know you’re just a fundamentalist internet troll that has nothing to do but defend the Constitution but that’s okay. This man either didn’t realize what he was doing, or blatantly doesn’t have any respect for others. Which you have proved you don’t either.

  2. Jeanne T.

    “I took several pictures.”

    Did you get the gentleman’s permission to photograph him?

    “I feel unsafe knowing he is there – what training has he had? How often does he go to the range? How often does he clean the gun?”

    Why didn’t you just ask him? Just because you “feel” unsafe doesn’t mean you are. (And just because you “feel” superior to this man doesn’t mean you are, either.)

  3. David Dickinson

    If Starbucks puts up a sign saying no guns and he carries his gun in then, yes, it is illegal. You call the cops and have him removed.

    But Starbucks isn’t willing to do that. They want every last dollar they can get. Schultz was just pandering to liberals when he said they don’t encourage it. Starbucks could ban guns, but they choose not to because they don’t really care.

  4. Anthony Fasolo

    I think if someone had asked the man with the gun why he was doing this, his response would probably be “because I can”. (making a statement). Starbucks policy could be posted but how would it be enforced?? What he was doing was not against the law. Suppose this same man saw the sign and ignored it, what recourse does anyone have? Who wants to approach a man with a loaded gun????

  5. David Dickinson

    1. Open carry is legal and he doesn’t have to explain himself to anyone.
    2. It is also legal for Starbucks to post a sign banning guns in their store. They don’t. They don’t because they care more about the money than the cause. If you have a real problem with this, then talk to Starbucks. They CAN do something about it. They choose not to. They want to be commies and sell their coffee too.
    3. “Isn’t the person who walks among peaceful places with a hand gun seeking to intimidate others?” Isn’t the person carrying a $5 cup of coffee that really costs 25 cents seeking to impress others?
    4. Glad to hear people are boycotting Starbucks.

  6. Pariahdog

    Poor pathetic insecure “man.” He’s apparently looking for a fight to make himself feel big. He looks like the youth pastor who molests children for fun.

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