The Complementary Spouse and I intend to celebrate both Valentine’s Day and gun rights by meeting at Starbucks after work for a nice coffee drink as part of Starbucks Appreciation Day. I also plan to stop by the bank to get some $2 bills to leave in the tip jar.
Those calling for the boycott aren’t exactly happy that their attempt at publicity has been turned back on them. The National Gun Victims (sic) Action Council released a letter yesterday from a group of professional “peace activists.” They freely acknowledge that those of us who believe in our rights will be sipping our coffees, teas, and hot chocolates today at Starbucks and that we will be creating a bump in sales for Starbucks.
We also hope to say “thank you” soon for leadership on the legislative front¬–the kind of leadership you are exercising with respect to marriage equality. So far, your publicized rationale in defense of welcoming guns in your stores has (been) simple: you state that Starbucks is just following the law, state by state. That means that in 43 states you welcome openly carried guns and other firearms, while saying ‘yes’ to concealed carry in 49 states. But the law in all 50 states allows you to ban guns from your stores. Starbucks can do more than choose between competing laws. Starbucks can help change the law! Starbucks can use its corporate clout, in cooperation with others to challenge the powerful gun lobby, end the impasse in Washington that has blocked any meaningful gun violence prevention legislation in the 18 years since the Brady Bill was passed.
What they are having trouble comprehending is that support for marriage equality and gay rights doesn’t automatically correlate into support for gun control. Indeed, if they had looked at the plaintiffs in a number of important gun rights cases, they might have understood that many gay men and women have rejected being kept defenseless. That the right to self-defense and self-protection is a human right seems to have eluded the gun prohibitionists and the professional peace activist groups.