After politicians urged Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz to ban guns at Starbucks, the executive has been pushed into the firearms debate. And so, in an open letter published this week, Schultz requests that patrons no longer bring guns into stores.
In issuing a respectful request and not an outright ban, Schultz makes clear that his company is not "pro-guns" while also standing by his initial logic "that gun policy should be addressed by government and law enforcement—not by Starbucks and our store [employees]."
The public request comes after what Schultz calls a "threatening" escalation of the debate in the form of "Starbucks Appreciation Days," gatherings of gun owners at local outposts that "disingenuously portray Starbucks as a champion of 'open carry.'" This is in addition to the mounting pressure from anti-gun activists wanting the publically liberal company to take a stance.
With a detectable level of weariness, Schultz urges his "fellow Americans" to basically leave Starbucks out of this. That the change is voluntary — Schultz makes clear that Starbucks will still serve customers legally bearing firearms, they'd just rather you leave your gun in your car or whatever — challenges gun owners to respect it while saving baristas from having to enforce a ban.
And yet, as noted by our pals over at Daily Intel, gun owners have so far been... unreceptive to Schultz's request. Here's a [sic'd] sample Facebook comment: "You can request all you want. All gun owners should continue to exercise your GOD GIVEN RIGHT. I will be"
The actual letter will run tomorrow in major newspapers like the New York Times, Washington Post, and USA Today, but you can read it now on the company's website.
An open letter from Howard Schultz [Starbucks]