Starbucks, whose website is presently down, has entered the American gun debate by asking customers to leave their firearms at home. As more a gesture than anything, Starbucks employees won't say anything to customers who don't abide by the gun request, and no signs will be posted concerning the new stance.
“We are going to serve them (gun-toting customers) as we would serve anyone else,” Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said, adding that "there are going to be people on both sides who will be disappointed or angry, but we’re making a decision we think is in the best interests of our customers, employees and the company.” The majority of domestic Starbucks stores lie in states with open carry laws, and pro-firearm activists have long used the coffee huts as “a political stage for media events misleadingly called ‘Starbucks Appreciation Days’ that disingenuously portray Starbucks as a champion of open carry,” according to Schultz.
While nothing specific was mentioned regarding what might have prompted an actual stance on the open carry matter, it's a good business practice to disassociate a product with gun violence, especially with the recent Navy Yard shooting.
Schultz adds, “I want to make it very clear that Starbucks is not a policy maker and as a company we are not pro- or anti-gun. However, there have been a number of episodes over the course of the last few months that have put us in a position to take a big step back and assess the issue of open carry.”
In related Starbucks news, it was recently found that a shop in Hong Kong was using toilet water to brew its coffee. A spokesperson for Starbucks explained that the particular Starbucks location used the toilet water because it was the closest source.
Starbucks is based in Seattle, and presently operates 20,891 stores in 62 countries
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.