- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
Coffee cup in hand, gun in holster: Firearms advocates show appreciation to Starbucks
Question of the Day
Starbucks seems an unlikely dueling ground in the national debate over guns, but the ubiquitous coffee chain Friday will once again find itself squarely in the cross hairs in the battle between gun control and gun rights advocates.
The Seattle-based chain takes no formal position on guns but has a corporate policy of following applicable state gun laws — including “open carry” laws in more than 40 states that allow permit-holding patrons to bring their loaded weapons into the shop while they sip their lattes and caramel macchiatos.
Gun owners began staging the appreciation days a few years ago when the company faced pressure from gun control advocates to ban firearms from his stores.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz resisted the move, saying in one interview, “I’m not a politician. I run a coffee company and we’re trying to abide by the laws in which we do business.”
It’s not the first time gun owners have staged the armed Starbucks sip-in, but it is the first major demonstration in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., shootings that killed 20 schoolchildren and the first since President Obama’s push for major gun control legislation stalled on Capitol Hill.
Plans for a pro-gun display at the Newtown Starbucks has added another layer of tension to the day.
“Our community is still healing and we find it reprehensible that they are picking Newtown to rally,” David Ackert, spokesman for the Newtown Action Alliance, said in a statement. “It is disturbing to think that tomorrow night you and your children may be sitting in Starbucks when people carrying guns walk through the door.”
Gun rights advocates insist they will carry on the campaign to thank Starbucks for “standing up for our right to bear arms,” as organizers put it in a Facebook page dedicated to the event.
“I don’t understand why people make a big deal out of this. It’s already been put to bed about two years ago,” David Anderson, founder of I Love Guns and Coffee, a prime organizer of the Starbucks appreciation movement, said in a phone interview Thursday.
Mr. Anderson said the movement arose in response to what he said were rising threats to Second Amendment rights. His organization sells products such as T-shirts and tire covers using a modified version of the famous green Starbucks logo — the iconic twin-tailed mermaid in the center is shown holding two guns.
Students for Concealed Carry will post a message about the meeting at Starbucks on its website. Kurt Mueller, director of public relations for the group, said he will “certainly be attending” a Starbucks on Friday to mark the occasion. Students for Concealed Carry lobbies for the right to be armed on a college campus and has about 30,000 members, the vast majority of whom are current students.
Shannon Watts will not be one of those celebrating the occasion.
Ms. Watts is the founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, founded the day after the Newtown shooting. Starting as a Facebook page, the organization eight months later claims 100,000 members with a chapter in every state.
“You could be enjoying a latte and scones with your kids and someone next to you could have a gun loosely in their pocket or out on a table,” Ms. Watts said during a phone interview.
TWT Video Picks
By Richard Rahn
Treaty would let tyrants peer into Americans' financial information
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Babson College, BYU win top spots in Money magazine's college rankings
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- Romney would win popular vote in rematch against Obama: CNN poll
- White House defends Kerry failure to broker Middle East cease-fire
- D.C. plans to seek stay of order striking down ban on handguns in public
- Islamic State opens 'marriage bureau' for single jihadists
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq