Covington VA –-(Ammoland.com)- The media has been flooded with stories about Starbucks changing their policy on guns.
Let's first be clear – Starbucks is NOT banning guns and you will NOT be trespassing if you carry on their property. Basically they are saying, “as a favor, please don't carry guns on our property. However, if you do, we are OK with it.”
This was a poor move on their part. They should have just stood on the high ground and let things quiet down naturally.
Starbucks had made it clear several times that they didn't want to be in the middle of the gun debate. All they wanted to do was to sell coffee.
I completely understand that position.
BUT, the antis were determined to be rude and continue to try to put Starbucks right in the middle of the debate on guns with threatened boycotts (none of which had any impact at all). And, sadly, some on our side decided they just had to also bring Starbucks into the middle of the debate by holding “Starbucks Appreciation Days” and flood their establishments with openly armed gun owners coming in groups. In fact a Starbucks in Connecticut closed early to avoid a planned “Appreciation Day.”
What part of “We don't want to be in the middle of the debate” was so hard to understand?
The problem is, of course, even though they are OK with us carrying on their property, they have asked us not to. Gun owners are going to respect that request, and in turn, we will be going elsewhere for coffee (that was the part that was a bad move on Starbucks's part by even asking such a thing).
Too bad the anti-freedom folks as well as some gun owners didn't respect Starbucks's first polite request, though.
I'm not sure that the book is fully closed on this issue. If they get enough phone calls from disappointed gun owners, perhaps they will consider.
If you wish to contact Starbucks, here is some information about doing so.
From member Deborah Jane Anderson:
I just had a pleasant 25-minute phone conversation with a Starbucks customer service representative. I wanted to express my disappointment with the letter that their CEO, Howard Schultz published, but since I also had some $$ remaining on two Starbucks cards, I wanted to find out how I can get my money refunded by mail — being that I won't go into a Starbucks anymore, due to CEO Schultz' request that I not bring my firearm to their establishments.
The good news is that Starbucks will refund all the remaining $$ on my Starbucks cards and will send the refund by mail.
[PVC: I tried this, but was told they don't do refunds outside California. I talked to a different person than Deborah, though. He was very pleasant and very apologetic, emphasizing to me that it wasn't a ban, just a request and they'd happily serve gun owners. He really fought hard to try to keep me as a customer.]
If anyone else wishes to do likewise, or even if you just make a comment, the number to call is: 1-800-STARBUC (1-800-782-7282). Choose Option 2, and you'll be connected with a live representative.
By the way, in the course of my phone call with the customer service rep (a gal named Dadin), I calmly and politely explained to her about my personal position that if my firearm isn't welcomed at Starbucks, then I am not welcome there, either. I emphasized to her that the concern for my personal safety was the #1 reason I wouldn't be visiting Starbucks anymore, and that I always merely did at Starbucks what I do anywhere else when I carry my firearm, which is that I carry it for safety. I further pointed out that I am sorely disappointed at the lack of Mr. Schultz' understanding that openly welcoming those with firearms means having the presence of a “good guy” on the scene, should there ever be a “bad guy” who comes in where I (or other firearms carriers) are present.
In the process of explaining more about why “requesting” firearms not be brought to their stores likely will mean that many other gun owners also would cease doing business with Starbucks, our conversation effectively morphed into a mini-lesson for Dadin about the 2nd Amendment, the fact that “gun free zones” are the most dangerous places to be, the fact that more guns equals less crime, and much more.
Dadin listened to what I had to say during the course of that 25-minute conversation. She interjected several times that Mr. Schultz' letter didn't say that we're not “welcome,” just that we're being requested not to bring our firearms — as well as that “open carry” was what was emphasized in the letter.
In turn, I pointed out to her that Mr. Schultz quite specifically stated in the opening paragraph his request that “…customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas.” Thus, even though he went on to use the term “open carry” repeatedly, I emphasized that Mr. Schultz made NO distinction about “open” or “concealed” carry in his opening statement — he said “firearms”…period! I also pointed out that he made no mention about “drive-thru” windows, but the fact still remains that Mr. Schultz conveyed the message that “firearms” aren't welcomed at Starbucks anymore, without qualifying what kinds or methods of carry, and that to me, this means I'm not welcomed at Starbucks anymore with my firearm — and that makes Starbucks an UNsafe place for me to be.
I hope other gun owners will call Starbucks and explain their position, as well as ask for refunds for any remaining balances on their Starbucks' cards.
Here is some local NoVA coverage. EM Ed Levine and Mike Irvin are interviewed (with a brief cameo of Board member Bruce Jackson):
Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right. Visit: www.vcdl.org