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Using a business to make a statement, or not?

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  • Using a business to make a statement, or not?

    Should be an interesting discussion. Here we have a Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz with a history of making a statement about the 2nd Amendment usually with the corporate logo or some relation to the Starbucks in some way.

    Question (somewhat related to another discussion on 1st Amendment rights of religion,) does the private business have a right to exclude 2nd Amendment rights inside their establishments?

    I understand that is not quite what happened here but it is close. Is Howard Schultz making a bigger mess of things with the open letter on this "respectful request."

    Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has a message for gun owners: Please don't bring your weapons into our stores.

    Schultz told CNN that the company is not instituting a ban, and is simply making a request "through the lens of civility and respect."

    The company was roped into the gun debate last month when a group of gun owners announced plans online for a "Starbucks Appreciation Day" in recognition of the chain's policy of allowing gun owners to bring in their weapons where permitted by state law.

    In response, the Newtown Coalition For Corporate Responsibility -- a group including family members of victims from last year's mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School -- published an open letter calling on Schultz to ban guns in all Starbucks (SBUX, Fortune 500) stores.

    "We've seen advocates on both sides of this debate use Starbucks as a staging ground," Schultz said. The company, he added, is "not pro- or anti-gun," but believes that guns "should not be part of the Starbucks experience."

    Starbucks is publishing an open letter from Schultz on the subject in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and a number of other newspapers.
    Starbucks to customers: Please don't bring your guns! - Sep. 18, 2013

    The open letter (I am posting the entire letter as relevant to the discussion.)

    Dear Fellow Americans,

    Few topics in America generate a more polarized and emotional debate than guns. In recent months, Starbucks stores and our partners (employees) who work in our stores have been thrust unwillingly into the middle of this debate. Thats why I am writing today with a respectful request that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas.

    From the beginning, our vision at Starbucks has been to create a third place between home and work where people can come together to enjoy the peace and pleasure of coffee and community. Our values have always centered on building community rather than dividing people, and our stores exist to give every customer a safe and comfortable respite from the concerns of daily life.

    We appreciate that there is a highly sensitive balance of rights and responsibilities surrounding Americas gun laws, and we recognize the deep passion for and against the open carry laws adopted by many states. (In the United States, open carry is the term used for openly carrying a firearm in public.) For years we have listened carefully to input from our customers, partners, community leaders and voices on both sides of this complicated, highly charged issue.

    Our companys longstanding approach to open carry has been to follow local laws: we permit it in states where allowed and we prohibit it in states where these laws dont exist. We have chosen this approach because we believe our store partners should not be put in the uncomfortable position of requiring customers to disarm or leave our stores. We believe that gun policy should be addressed by government and law enforcementnot by Starbucks and our store partners.

    Recently, however, weve 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. Some anti-gun activists have also played a role in ratcheting up the rhetoric and friction, including soliciting and confronting our customers and partners.

    For these reasons, today we are respectfully requesting that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areaseven in states where open carry is permittedunless they are authorized law enforcement personnel.

    I would like to clarify two points. First, this is a request and not an outright ban. Why? Because we want to give responsible gun owners the chance to respect our requestand also because 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. Second, we know we cannot satisfy everyone. For those who oppose open carry, we believe the legislative and policy-making process is the proper arena for this debate, not our stores. For those who champion open carry, please respect that Starbucks stores are places where everyone should feel relaxed and comfortable. The presence of a weapon in our stores is unsettling and upsetting for many of our customers.

    I am proud of our country and our heritage of civil discourse and debate. It is in this spirit that we make todays request. Whatever your view, I encourage you to be responsible and respectful of each other as citizens and neighbors.

    Sincerely,

    Howard Schultz
    http://www.starbucks.com/blog/an-ope...d-schultz/1268

  • #2
    Re: Using a business to make a statement, or not?

    Sadly, this has happened because of the ill-considered actions of a small number of in-your-face gun activists who chose to hold demonstrations at Starbucks stores after Starbucks clearly said that they don't want to be involved in the political debate on either side.

    Sometimes, gun owners are our own worst enemies.

    ?


    • #3
      Re: Using a business to make a statement, or not?

      Originally posted by Sluggo View Post
      Should be an interesting discussion. Here we have a Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz with a history of making a statement about the 2nd Amendment usually with the corporate logo or some relation to the Starbucks in some way.

      Question (somewhat related to another discussion on 1st Amendment rights of religion,) does the private business have a right to exclude 2nd Amendment rights inside their establishments?

      I understand that is not quite what happened here but it is close. Is Howard Schultz making a bigger mess of things with the open letter on this "respectful request."


      Starbucks to customers: Please don't bring your guns! - Sep. 18, 2013

      The open letter (I am posting the entire letter as relevant to the discussion.)


      http://www.starbucks.com/blog/an-ope...d-schultz/1268
      I don't see anything wrong with a "respectful request". The open letter sounds like a reasoned discussion respecting all parties and they are careful to point out it is not a ban.

      I think they are being careful to avoid a ban because of your point, that public businesses are required to respect rights granted by our constitution.

      At the same time, a respectful request for gays not to patronize an establishment because they may upset other customers probably wouldn't be received very enthusiastically, would it?

      It seems at the crux of all these discussions it is always the old axiom at play, "It depends on whose ox is getting gored."

      ?


      • #4
        Re: Using a business to make a statement, or not?

        Originally posted by hermanboo View Post
        I don't see anything wrong with a "respectful request". The open letter sounds like a reasoned discussion respecting all parties and they are careful to point out it is not a ban.

        I think they are being careful to avoid a ban because of your point, that public businesses are required to respect rights granted by our constitution.

        At the same time, a respectful request for gays not to patronize an establishment because they may upset other customers probably wouldn't be received very enthusiastically, would it?

        It seems at the crux of all these discussions it is always the old axiom at play, "It depends on whose ox is getting gored."
        It is not the respectful request really, it is why it was even needed. Your point is still noted.

        In a way Starbucks did this to themselves with this whole "Starbucks Appreciation Day" they were more or less played into having. That goes to the question. Which was bound to happen once a business injected themselves, good intentions or otherwise, into a polarizing debate.

        Looks like there will be plenty of ox goring to go around the further this goes.

        ?


        • #5
          Re: Using a business to make a statement, or not?

          Originally posted by Sluggo View Post
          It is not the respectful request really, it is why it was even needed. Your point is still noted.

          In a way Starbucks did this to themselves with this whole "Starbucks Appreciation Day" they were more or less played into having. That goes to the question. Which was bound to happen once a business injected themselves, good intentions or otherwise, into a polarizing debate.

          Looks like there will be plenty of ox goring to go around the further this goes.
          I don't think Starbucks had anything to do with the "Starbucks Appreciation Day". If I recall correctly, several Starbucks locations closed early once the demonstrators arrived.

          ?


          • #6
            Re: Using a business to make a statement, or not?

            In Missouri:

            In accordance with Section 571.107 RSMo., you may not carry a concealed
            weapon in the following places:
            • any police, sheriff, or Highway Patrol office or station without consent;
            • within 25 feet of any polling place on Election Day;
            • adult or juvenile jail or institution;
            • courthouse or facilities;
            • any meeting of a government body (except by a member with a concealed
            carry endorsement);
            • bar without consent;
            • airport;
            • where prohibited by federal law;
            • schools;
            • child care facility (without consent of man-
            ager);
            • riverboat gambling facility;
            • amusement parks;
            • any church or place of worship; without per-
            mission of Minister or person representing
            religious organization
            • any sports arena or stadium (with seating for more than 5,000);
            • hospitals; and,
            private or public property where posted
            As is my right, I restrict weapons coming into my business with the following sign posted in my office:

            "Weapons larger than 50 cal. are prohibited."




            http://www.mshp.dps.mo.gov/MSHPWeb/P...ts/SHP-863.pdf

            ?


            • #7
              Re: Using a business to make a statement, or not?

              I imagine he is between a rock and a hard place. I imagine some of those kind and loving liberals have told him to get rid of the guns or they will do what they did to the business in Oregon.

              ?


              • #8
                Re: Using a business to make a statement, or not?

                Originally posted by OldmanDan View Post
                I imagine he is between a rock and a hard place. I imagine some of those kind and loving liberals have told him to get rid of the guns or they will do what they did to the business in Oregon.
                I think it is good to have a vivid imagination. One positive aspect is it lets you avoid that old pesky thing called reality when it doesn't serve your needs.

                ?


                • #9
                  Re: Using a business to make a statement, or not?

                  Originally posted by hermanboo View Post
                  I think it is good to have a vivid imagination. One positive aspect is it lets you avoid that old pesky thing called reality when it doesn't serve your needs.
                  From the article:

                  In response, the Newtown Coalition For Corporate Responsibility -- a group including family members of victims from last year's mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School -- published an open letter calling on Schultz to ban guns in all Starbucks (SBUX, Fortune 500) stores.
                  He said people carrying guns into Starbucks have made other customers uncomfortable.
                  Think these people would just stay quiet if he ignored them?

                  ?


                  • #10
                    Re: Using a business to make a statement, or not?

                    Originally posted by OldmanDan View Post
                    From the article:

                    Think these people would just stay quiet if he ignored them?
                    It's hard to say for me, but I think you are saying you don't think so. At this point I say that is sheer speculation.

                    I think Matt's post was more to the point, pro-gun people actually began this with their program for the "appreciation day". The Coalition response came after that. I think he is clearly in the uncomfortable position of being put in the middle of a debate he really did not initiate. From your response I get the impression you want it to be more than that, though.

                    That was the point behind my post.

                    ?


                    • #11
                      Re: Using a business to make a statement, or not?

                      Originally posted by Sluggo View Post
                      Should be an interesting discussion. Here we have a Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz with a history of making a statement about the 2nd Amendment usually with the corporate logo or some relation to the Starbucks in some way.

                      Question (somewhat related to another discussion on 1st Amendment rights of religion,) does the private business have a right to exclude 2nd Amendment rights inside their establishments?

                      I understand that is not quite what happened here but it is close. Is Howard Schultz making a bigger mess of things with the open letter on this "respectful request."


                      Starbucks to customers: Please don't bring your guns! - Sep. 18, 2013

                      The open letter (I am posting the entire letter as relevant to the discussion.)


                      Server Error | Starbucks Coffee Company
                      Its his business therefore its his right to A) request that politely and B) enforce it as a ban if he's willing to take on the liability for his employees. Just as I could not enter your home armed if you told me to divest myself of my weapon before entering, his business should be respected if that is the path he chooses for it. Just like in the other thread where we were talking about the cake bakers refusing to serve the lesbians.

                      I'd just carry concealed

                      ?


                      • #12
                        Re: Using a business to make a statement, or not?

                        Originally posted by OldmanDan View Post
                        From the article:





                        Think these people would just stay quiet if he ignored them?
                        But those were responses to the pro-gun demonstrations a small number of gun owners inflicted upon Starbucks.

                        ?


                        • #13
                          Re: Using a business to make a statement, or not?

                          Originally posted by hermanboo View Post
                          It's hard to say for me, but I think you are saying you don't think so. At this point I say that is sheer speculation.

                          I think Matt's post was more to the point, pro-gun people actually began this with their program for the "appreciation day". The Coalition response came after that. I think he is clearly in the uncomfortable position of being put in the middle of a debate he really did not initiate. From your response I get the impression you want it to be more than that, though.

                          That was the point behind my post.
                          No, I think that he is now between a rock and a hard place. I'm not disputing who put him there in the first place, I'm just saying that he is obviously getting pressure from somewhere or he would not have felt it necessary to write this letter. Personally, I would respect his wishes not to open carry there, I don't open carry anyway. What I am saying tho is that those who want us to give up our rights are the ones who are pressuring him to do something and I believe they will keep elevating the rhetoric until he does.

                          ?


                          • #14
                            Re: Using a business to make a statement, or not?

                            Starbucks Irks 2nd Amendment Supporting Customers

                            One group that has targeted Starbucks is Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. The group started its campaign in early July to pressure Starbucks to eliminate guns from its stores.

                            A statement from the group declared victory and praised Schultz’s decision.

                            “This is a huge win for American moms who fought for this policy change, which will make Starbucks customers safer. Because Starbucks is a business icon, this policy change represents a sea change in American culture, which is finally shifting away from allowing guns in public places,” Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America said.
                            Starbucks Irks 2nd Amendment Supporting Customers | Washington Free Beacon

                            ?


                            • #15
                              Re: Using a business to make a statement, or not?

                              Originally posted by MattInFla View Post
                              I don't think Starbucks had anything to do with the "Starbucks Appreciation Day". If I recall correctly, several Starbucks locations closed early once the demonstrators arrived.
                              At this point I am uncertain what all really happened, there seems to be at least a mild contradiction on if there was any Starbucks knowledge of the "Starbucks Appreciation Day" planning. At the same time, closing early seems to be a statement all in itself. I tend to agree with your earlier statement about some making it more difficult for the rest of us.

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