My Rights End Where Starbucks’ Rights Begin


by Nate Dale

I’m a staunch libertarian, and proponent of individual rights, including the right to bear arms — whether concealed or openly, in public or in private.

Notwithstanding, if I hear one more person complain about Starbucks “trampling the Second Amendment”, I’m going to scream. For the uninitiated, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz recently posted an open letter (available here) outlining Starbucks imminently reasonable position on firearms in their stores. According to Schultz,

“Few topics in America generate a more polarized and emotional debate than guns. In recent months, Starbucks stores and our partners (employees) who work in our stores have been thrust unwillingly into the middle of this debate. That’s why I am writing today with a respectful request that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas.”

The official company policy had previously been to mirror existing local gun laws — effectively, concealed or open carry in their locations was allowed in jurisdictions where it was permitted by law. The change came about because it seems a group of patrons decided that Starbucks position wasn’t nearly vocally pro-gun enough (why every organization has to take a stance on every issue is a subject for another day), and decided that the best course of action would be to reply with an engaging, reasonable, and thought-provoking open letter of their own. However, once they realized that Walker, Texas Ranger was starting in 45 minutes, they decided it’d be easier to just walk into their local Starbucks while conspicuously carrying shotguns and modern sporting rifles and make a scene “demonstrate”, which — believe it or not — made some patrons uncomfortable, on account of the fact that they were in San Antonio, not Baghdad.

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