- Al Sharpton, Trayvon Martin’s parents rally against Fla. ‘stand your ground’ law
- Hillary Clinton campaign got illicit funds from D.C. scandal figure
- Obama administration backs off plan to cut prescription-drug program
- Tickets linked to stolen passports purchased by Iranian middleman
- More than 3,500 police planned for Boston Marathon
- Ottawa day care suspends 2-year-old for ‘outside’ cheese sandwich
- Liam Neeson tells NYC mayor to ‘man up’ in horse carriage fight
- Real-life Dr. Doolittle to reveal how to talk to animals
- Climate change could bring back smallpox, researchers say
- Shoe-bomb witness to speak from London at N.Y. trial
Gun-shy Starbucks tries to end armed ‘Appreciation Day’
Rights group expresses unhappiness
Trying to ease itself out of the rancorous national debate over guns, Seattle-based coffee chain giant Starbucks found itself squarely back in the crosshairs Tuesday.
Gun rights groups expressed unhappiness and resignation over an open letter this week from Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz asking — but not demanding — that patrons not brings their weapons into the chain’s stores. Mr. Schultz was trying to quietly put an end to the “Starbucks Appreciation Days” staged by armed gun rights advocates expressing their gratitude for the chain’s policy allowing guns to be openly carried inside.
Cam Edwards, host of the NRA-sponsored radio show “Cam & Company,” explained in a piece Wednesday for the conservative website Rare.us why he was “done with Starbucks (at least for now).”
“I’ll honor Mr. Schultz’s request not to bring my legally carried firearm in his stores anymore,” Mr. Edwards wrote. “I’ll take my business to those stores who truly don’t care about my status as a gun owner but who see me as valued customer.”
“I don’t agree with everything in the letter,” said Mr. Anderson, who participated in a number of Starbucks Appreciation Days, “but it brought up an important point. With a right comes responsibility.”
Alluding to guns rights activists who brought long guns to a Texas Starbucks last month, Mr. Anderson said that pro-gun activists were “kidding themselves if they didn’t think that they were going to get a reaction out of Starbucks. Every action has a reaction.”
“We are not pro-gun or anti-gun,” Mr. Schultz told The Associated Press, noting that customers will still be served if they choose to a carry gun.
In his letter, Mr. Schultz made clear that both sides have contributed to his request. “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’ [gun laws]. To be clear: we do not want these events in our stores,” he wrote. “Some anti-gun activists have also played a role in ratcheting up the rhetoric and friction, including soliciting and confronting our customers and partners.”
Brian Malte, senior national policy director for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said the anti-gun group had pressed Starbucks to ban guns from its stores. In 2010, the group gathered more than 40,000 signatures for a campaign and sent them to Starbucks‘ corporate headquarters in Seattle.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” added Ladd Everitt, spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. “The carrying of weapons … doesn’t promote a relaxed environment.”
Kurt Mueller, the public relations director for Students for Concealed Carry, said he views Mr. Schultz’s letter simply as a request. “They’re not going to post signs or ask people who carry [guns] to leave. He is concerned about Starbucks‘ championing open-carry laws, that they were branded with a stance they didn’t have. They want to be clearer about their neutrality.”
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- Depth, distance reduce impact of California quake
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: 'We are going to crush them'
- Sharyl Attkisson resigns from CBS after months of talks
- Atheists sue to remove 'Ground Zero Cross' from 9/11 museum
- New faces finding ways to win on the PGA Tour
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Prosecutors: Gray had firsthand knowledge of 'shadow campaign'
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again