Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Starbucks Caves, Promotes Their Competition

I spotted this open letter from Howard Shultz, the CEO of the Starbucks Coffee Company this morning via a patriot group I follow on Facebook. You can follow the link to read the letter in its entirety, but I wanted to highlight this portion of it here:
Recently, however, we’ve 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 areas—even in states where “open carry” is permitted—unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel.
I understand the lack of enthusiasm for having one's place of business turned into a stage for political theater. It sort of detracts from the point of having a place of business: to make money.

What I don't appreciate is the obvious anti-2nd stance that Shultz is taking. He tried to make it appear that he's not taking sides, but after identifying two actors, he singles out one for exclusion without addressing directly the other: law abiding patriots, you're out; screeching anti-liberty activists, you get a pass.

People who were coming into Starbucks stores sticking up for their rights, which is something they can do daily and normally, during the course of making an organized political statement or not, you're out.

People who were showing up only to turn the stores into protest camps, you're in.

Oh, but cops can have guns. Great. Thanks.

Your message is loud and clear, Howard. Loud and clear.

The joy of a truly free market is the availability of alternatives (the so-called "free" mixed market that we actually have, for the moment it's sufficient). There are other coffee shops out there ready to exchange their products for my money that are perfectly willing to do the right thing, which is to tell the loons harassing their law-abiding customers to get off of their property.

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