Guns at Starbucks. Yea or Nay?

The NYT is appalled by the current Starbucks policy of allowing armed customers.

Should customers be free to sip Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Lattes at their laptop screens while brandishing a gleaming Ruger .357? So far, Starbucks executives say yes, claiming they are quite safety-minded within a policy that “supports the federal, state and local laws in the communities in which we do business.”

Jeez, I’m thinking no self-respecting .357 owner would be caught dead drinking one of those fat-laden, syrupy sweet, coffee-flavored confections anyway. Maybe a Starbucks Black Eye. But not one of those mango fudge coffee spritzers, that’s for sure.

However I digress.

Fortunately, Californians are treating the showdown at Starbucks as far from settled. Thousands are signing petitions from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, wisely begging the chain not to jangle its trademark caffeine serenity by tolerating firearms. Starbucks should listen.

Ahem. In some areas of the country, carrying handguns is quite legal, not a big deal, and part of the culture. It’s quite possible such locals have no problem with armed coffee drinkers. But might with a remote newspaper on the East coast telling them how they should behave.

PS ‘The Great Guns and Coffee Movement of 2010’ is not taking lightly this threat to ordering an expresso while packing a .38


  1. The absurdity is, it may not be legal for them to enact regulations stronger than the state in which they operate. For example, in Utah, the right to bear arms is guaranteed by the State Constitution– and has been upheld by the State Supreme Court. Even a state university was unable to prohibit guns from being carried in classrooms.

    The only exception is for churches, and while I suspect some Starbucks customers approach the level of religious devotion, I don’t think that’s the direction the company wants to go.

    BTW, “brandishing” a gun, and the NYT suggests, is illegal in almost every state, including Utah. Utahns are permitted to carry one, so long as it is not concealed, but may only “brandish” in a public place in self defense.

    So now it becomes part of the absurd back-and-forth between the gun nuts and the anti-gun-nuts.

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