Starbucks CEO ‘respectfully’ says guns not wanted

Posted Thursday, Sep. 19, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has made a polite request of the coffee store chain’s customers:

“[W]e 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,” Schultz wrote in an open letter to “Fellow Americans” released Tuesday.

That’s pretty straightforward. Starbucks isn’t fighting anyone’s Second Amendment rights, as some people said in reaction to the letter.

Schultz called his letter “a request and not an outright ban,” adding, “we want to give responsible gun owners the chance to respect our request.”

He explained the business reasons behind the request: “From the beginning, our vision at Starbucks has been to create a ‘third place’ between home and work where people can come together to enjoy the peace and pleasure of coffee and community … a safe and comfortable respite from the concerns of daily life.”

While noting the “highly sensitive balance of rights and responsibilities surrounding America’s gun laws,” he said the company “for years” has listened carefully to voices on both sides of the issue.

But he pointed out, “The presence of a weapon in our stores is unsettling and upsetting for many of our customers.”

Starbucks has made its position clear. People who insist on carrying guns should go elsewhere for coffee.

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