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In a disappointing turn of events, Starbucks has kindly asked us not to bring our guns to their stores any more.  This is a shocking but understandable reversal from a company that many of us considered to be one of the most staunchly “neutral” or even 2A friendly.

Lenny and PuppyWhy the change of heart?  What happened?  Did we (the 2A community as a whole) love our “Guns and Coffee” too much?  Unfortunately, yes, we did.  We loved it so much we killed it.

In some respects we played the role of Lenny Small with a new puppy.  Much like some people’s affection for Starbucks, Lenny’s affection for his new puppy was so great that he smothered it with love, until he killed it, unaware of how powerful his grip really was.

A similar analogy is the one of a salesman who doesn’t know how to shut up once he’s made the sale, as presented by Chris Farley in “Tommy Boy.”

Were we like “Jo-Jo The Idiot Circus Boy” – killing our sale after it had already been made?

We screwed this up, folks.  We blew it.  The sale had been made.  We had the high ground.  It was ours to lose. The anti’s were being repeatedly stiff-armed by Starbucks, but somewhere along the way we started obsessing and turning their stores into a venue to wage a political battle. We made it about gratifying & promoting ourselves, instead of about the supporting business itself. In our delight with a company that let us carry any and every firearm we wanted to, some well-meaning 2A supporters went overboard and pushed Starbucks into territory it was uncomfortable with.  We alienated Starbucks and the public; driving them into the arms of the gun-grabbers, who now get to claim a victory in the war against our rights.

We can and do praise and patronize companies for respecting our rights, but we CAN NOT abuse their respect and turn their places of business into a circus or a political arena.  If a company says they desire to remain neutral, we MUST respect that.  We can legally exercise our rights and show our gratitude without becoming a nuisance to the company and the public, and making the job of our detractors that much easier.

We played right into the hand of the anti’s by abusing the favorable policy of a company the simply wanted to be neutral, and in so doing became easy targets for unfavorable reporting from an already biased media

starbucks AR carry

Good ambassadors of gun rights?

Some people took their observation of Starbucks’ policy too far, bringing long guns, staging events at their stores, and profiteering from sales of crap like coffee mugs, buttons and T-shirts bearing a rendition of the Starbucks logo.guns and coffee  This after Starbucks repeatedly told the world that they just wanted to sell coffee and stay out of politics.

Starbucks was becoming a political football for a national spotlight issue they wanted nothing to do with.  Both sides pushed, but our pushing offended the public and the corporation more than the gun-grabbers did.  We lost, and we will lose again if we continue to alienate neutral parties.  That is the lesson here.

Second Amendment Check’s goal is not to see an AR-15 in every coffee shop in America.  We want to REWARD businesses that do not discriminate against us and punish those that do.  To be a reward, the business must enjoy and welcome our patronage. Let’s make businesses HAPPY to have us, not resentful of us.  Let’s make the public feel COMFORTABLE with us, not afraid of us or alienated by us.

To protect our rights we need to win over the hearts and minds of the more than 80% of people who would never think of carrying a gun in public, but don’t mind if we do.  If we can do that, we will have the support of the public and the businesses, not the gun-grabbers.

The point of exercising our rights isn’t to publicly carry everything we can just to show everyone we can.  It is to 1) provide for our own protection and 2) to be GOOD AMBASSADORS of gun rights to the undecided, neutral public that may one day join our fight, or oppose us, depending on how they perceive us.

Let’s hope we never make the mistakes we made with Starbucks by dragging a company into a fight they’ve already told us they want no part of.