The Brady Campaign recently began targeting Starbucks, hoping to force the coffee retailer to prevent its law abiding customers from lawfully carrying a gun for self defense. Starbucks responded that it is in the business of selling coffee, rather than gun regulation, and wishes to leave gun regulation to the government. Undeterred, anti-gun Starbucks employee Erik Forman made the following anti gun statements, with which I find myself in disagreement:
“I think the policy shows complete disregard for the safety and sentiments of their workers.”
Here, Mr. Forman first suggests that Starbucks is endangering the safety of its employees, by simply following state law and declining to enact its own anti gun policies. I wholeheartedly disagree, and more on the fact that banning guns wouldn’t make Starbucks a safer place for its employees or customers can be seen below. However, the key point here is that the state, rather than Starbucks, is in the best position possible to enact laws to protect public safety. Having a myriad of businesses each produce their own public safety rules would just lead to confusion, wasted resources, and injustice. Starbucks wisely chose to stick to selling coffee, just as the states in question wisely choose to enact laws that permitted concealed and/or open carry. [Note: I am not in any way conceding the point that the states or the federal government should or do have power to prevent the carrying of firearms for self defense by law abiding citizens.]
In the same statement, Mr. Forman also suggests that Starbucks should turn away law abiding, paying customers, simply because some of its employees don’t like guns. That would be a poor business decision. Instead, if a Starbuck employee doesn’t like that the company serves customers who are fully complying with the law and pose no danger, then that employee should find another job.
“The only thing worse than a yuppie upset with how their frappuccino turned out is a yuppie with a gun who’s unhappy with how their frappuccino turned out.”
In this statement, Mr. Forman trots out a rather tired anti gun argument (and offers no proof to back his statement). He suggests that a gun turns an otherwise law abiding person into a killer, who will open fire over a trivial matter such as the taste of their coffee. That is simply untrue. Instead, the statistics show that those who lawfully carry guns are considerably more law abiding than the average citizen. Moreover, the fact is that such armed citizens have a track record of successfully defending themselves – and store employees – against violent criminals.
It is also worth noting that even if Erik Forman’s statements were true, it doesn’t follow that having Starbucks ban guns would improve safety. That is because a person who is willing to commit a serious crime such as murder wouldn’t think twice about breaking a coffee store’s rule about carrying a gun. Instead, banning guns would just ensure that the violent criminals had a monopoly on guns, with the same sort of tragic results we’ve seen time and time again in “gun free zones.”
Please contact Starbucks and thank them for not bowing to pressure from the Brady Campaign.