In an enthusiastic and politically-volatile show of support, gun owners across America plan to go armed into Starbucks coffee shops and buy their coffee as part of an "I Love Guns and Coffee" campaign. People plan on taking a moment of appreciation for the coffee company giant since it allows customers to pack heat when it accords with state law.
This is particularly in response to an earlier event where a group of coffee-going gun owners were asked to leave a coffee shop when it was discovered that they were holding weapons, even though they were legally entitled to carry firearms. They later went to Starbucks who allowed them into the building and to have their drinks without any trouble. Following this back-and-forth, multiple anti-gun groups including the Brady Campaign, the nationwide advocacy group supporting handgun control, asked the company to change their policies towards gun owners. In response, Starbucks stated that they did not intent to be involved in this political affair, and since it was all legal activity, continued to conduct business as per usual.
Starbucks should be commended for sternly remaining an impartial player in the gun policy debate. In fact, this "I Love Guns and Coffee" campaign is not intended to cause a problematic stir. "All that's going on is that gun owners will be openly carrying guns, and flocking to Starbucks and thanking them for following local, state and gun laws," said Jim Childers of Whidbey Arms. "It is up to individual people to show up and express their opinions. This is a rally not driven by any national organization."
However, the rally has hit a national hot spot when Starbucks Appreciation Day hit Newtown, Connecticut. As the scene of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre last December — where 20 first graders and six adults were killed — the Newtown Action Alliance has asked gun owners to halt Starbucks Appreciation Day in Newtown because of the still fresh trauma that lingers in the town.
"Our community is still healing and we find it reprehensible that they are picking Newtown to rally," the alliance said. "It is disturbing to think that tomorrow, you and your children may be sitting in Starbucks when people carrying guns walk through the door." We will not know the full effect the rally has on the community until later today.
Currently, Starbucks adheres to the laws of the twelve states that have unrestricted open carry laws, and the 16 others which impose few restrictions. Because of their nonpartisan view as a corporation and their fulfillment of current legal obligations and freedoms, Starbucks has taken a refreshing stand to have no opinion on the matter and simply thank the supporters it does have.