Yael T. Abouhalkah

Starbucks + gun lovers = controversy on Friday

Updated: 2013-08-10T23:03:29Z

By Yael T. Abouhalkah

The Kansas City Star

Mix guns and coffee and what do you get? A controversial Friday for Starbucks, as gun enthusiasts converge on thousands of Starbucks in Kansas City and across the nation.

It’s all part of a “Starbucks Gun Owners Appreciation Day,” which is being promoted by gun lovers. (Check out the interesting twist on the Starbucks logo on the cup in this link.)

The event endorses the view of CEO Howard Schultz, who has said weapons-toting customers are welcome to get their caffeine fixes at his shops.

It’s good business for Starbucks, given the number of Americans who absurdly think their 2nd Amendment rights are in danger of being taken away.

These are the people who want to take guns into public places to show they won’t be intimidated by gun-control advocates.

Or so the story goes.

The “Appreciation Day” has, of course, prompted the gun-control crowd to criticize Starbucks for being so positive about customers carrying guns in their stores.

One of the most high-profile attacks on Starbucks’ attitude toward weapons comes from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

“The practice of packing heat in places like Starbucks is intimidating and could be potentially dangerous to our families and communities and it must be stopped. It’s everyone’s right to sit in a restaurant or coffee shop with their families without intimidation or fear of guns, either concealed or openly carried.”

And Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America also has stepped forward with highly critical comments.

These common-sense views are not shared by many gun supporters.

They point out — correctly enough — that Starbucks isn’t doing anything illegal and neither are people who obey state and federal laws when carrying their guns into the coffee shops.

A large social media debate, which broke out Thursday night, was being waged on Starbucks’ Facebook site and Twitter by backers and opponents of Starbucks’ position.

Naturally enough, capitalism and free enterprise will deal with this situation.

People who like taking guns into public places will be more likely to go to Starbucks on Friday.

People who don’t like places that essentially urge people to come to shops with weapons will buy their coffee elsewhere and perhaps tell Starbucks officials why they are doing that.

This is just part of the long-running battle over how guns are regulated in America.

Get used to it, because the people who think the 2nd Amendment is under assault will push as hard as they can for even more places to openly welcome guns in the future.

To reach Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to abouhalkah@kcstar.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/YaelTAbouhalkah.

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