The popular chain coffee shop, Starbucks, is known for a lot of things, but up until recently guns were not one of them. Some patrons of the Seattle-based coffee shop have recently started exercising their rights to carrying guns while they enjoy a cup of coffee. While the Starbucks customers have been expressing their right to bear arms, as allowed by the Second Amendment, there has been some resistant to Starbucks.
Liliana Segura, of AlterNet, painted a bleak picture and wrote, “So you're at your neighborhood Starbucks, maybe with your kids, and you notice a man sitting at the next table with a revolver strapped to his waist. The man next to him has a pistol. In fact, you realize as you look around, there's a table full of gun-toting customers just a few feet away, sipping coffee and doing nothing to conceal their deadly weapons. Aside from steering clear -- or else getting the hell out of there – what can an unarmed citizen do?”
Well, not much. (Except maybe relax and consider that the establishment you're in is at the moment quite safe from armed robbery and other violent crime. Go ahead, buy Junior another triple mocha latte.) Thing is, Starbucks does “not have a corporate policy regarding customers and weapons,” according to a spokesman. Segura explained that some states, such as California, have an “open gun” policy and many people in California are gathering at Starbucks to openly exercise their rights.
Of course, such unfettered enjoyment of a constitutional right doesn't sit well with liberals, who consider the mere sight of a legal firearm an affront to their delicate sensibilities. CBS reported that The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is encouraging the members of their organization to sign a petition that would ban guns from Starbucks. The organization also has held protests at Starbucks.
Paul Helmke, who is president of the Brady Campaign, and Dennis A. Henigan, of the Huffington Post, clearly were not on board with Starbuck's policy. They wrote that it “should be deeply disturbing to the vast majority of its customers. Starbucks has apparently chosen to allow civilians to carry semi-automatic pistols and possibly even assault weapons into its stores. Such a policy is disturbing to law enforcement officials as well as Starbucks patrons.” Maybe Helmke and Henigan just find the Second Amendment disturbing too.
Regardless of the policy, Helmke and Henigan weren't in favor of allowing anyone to carry guns and sarcastically stated that, “Welcome to the "open carry" movement, an effort by "gun rights" extremists to foist their interpretation of the Second Amendment on the rest of us by openly carrying handguns in public places.” As opposed to criminals, who conceal their weapons.