More than 35,000 have now signed the Brady Center's petition urging Starbucks to ban guns in its coffee stores. Additionally, a wide-ranging Brady poll taken after Howard Schultz chose to let customers openly wear guns in his stores (while barring employees from doing so because it could be dangerous), found most of those polled support a store gun ban. They appear puzzled by Starbucks' acquiescence to the gunners' Colt-and-caffeine theology that it is necessary to be armed when going for designer coffee.
As Brady's vice-president Dennis Henigan pointed out during a recent Seattle visit, four Lakewood cops who gathered at a Parkland coffee shop last year were all carrying openly when they were assassinated.
That incident, said Henigan, also exposed the falsity of gun-activists arguments that guns don't kill, people do - meaning, don't blame the gun: a would-be killer will resort to any handy weapon. "Does anyone believe," Henigan asked, " that Maurice Clemmons, their killer, could have committed that violent act with a knife?"
Dennis Henigan at Town Hall, Seattle
Most responsible gun owners support sensible gun laws, Henigan said, citing figures compiled by conservative pollster Frank Luntz. A Starbucks ban makes not only sense but would make a statement against the NRA's efforts to turn America into an open-carry nation, despite the protests of law enforcement.
Peet's Coffee & Tea and California Pizza Kitchen banned open carriers. But Starbucks, Henigan said, chose to put "the interests of a few of these gun activists ahead of the interest of the vast majority of its customers who simply want to be able take their kids into Starbucks for a muffin - my daughter really likes their hot chocolate - without looking at a Glock!"
Schultz and his corporation are being rightly embarrassed by the media over the no-ban decision. "It has become an item of pop culture even," says Henigan. "It's been covered by Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel and The Daily Show and Doonesbury did a full week of strips on it.
"And actually the issue dominated the question-and-answer period at the recent Starbucks shareholder meeting here in Seattle, where CEO Howard Schultz was forced to respond to four different questions about Starbucks gun policy. I'm sure that's not the way he wanted to spend the shareholders meeting."
Starbucks did not respond to a request for comment.