Slapping an Ally in the Face

Back in July a pro-gun Facebook page began to organize a Starbucks Appreciation Day to show support for Starbucks’ corporate policy to respect local laws by allowing legally armed citizens to carry in their stores. It’s worth noting that Starbucks didn’t come out and say they advocated the carrying of firearms, only that they would respect local laws and not post signs in their stores barring the practice.

Apparently that was enough to get our community motivated to inundate Starbucks stores across the nation with hundreds of people open carrying their firearms to “show appreciation” for Starbucks policy of neutrality.

Starbucks has been an unwilling participant in the ongoing national gun rights debate for many years. As recently as 2010 Starbucks was being used as a battleground for gun rights by both sides of the political debate. Looking at a press release dated March 16, 2010 we get a glimpse of where Starbucks stands on the issue.

We recognize that there is significant and genuine passion surrounding the issue of open carry weapons laws. Advocacy groups from both sides of this issue have chosen to use Starbucks as a way to draw attention to their positions.  

While we deeply respect the views of all our customers, Starbucks long-standing approach to this issue remains unchanged.  We comply with local laws and statutes in all the communities we serve.  That means we abide by the laws that permit open carry in 43 U.S. states.  Where these laws don’t exist, openly carrying weapons in our stores is prohibited.  The political, policy and legal debates around these issues belong in the legislatures and courts, not in our stores.   

At the same time, we have a security protocol for any threatening situation that might occur in our stores. Partners are trained to call law enforcement as situations arise. We will continuously review our procedures to ensure the highest safety guidelines are in place and we will continue to work closely with law enforcement.

We have examined this issue through the lens of partner (employee) and customer safety. Were we to adopt a policy different from local laws allowing open carry, we would be forced to require our partners to ask law abiding customers to leave our stores, putting our partners in an unfair and potentially unsafe position. 

As the public debate continues, we are asking all interested parties to refrain from putting Starbucks or our partners into the middle of this divisive issue.  As a company, we are extremely sensitive to the issue of gun violence in our society. Our Starbucks family knows all too well the dangers that exist when guns are used irresponsibly and illegally. Without minimizing this unfortunate reality, we believe that supporting local laws is the right way for us to ensure a safe environment for both partners and customers.  

I would like to point out that the position Starbucks has taken is admirable. It’s neutral out of necessity however it clearly states they will honor both federal and local laws governing the carrying of firearms. Good for them, I believe it’s a sensible position for a major corporation to take.

The press release also asks that parties on both sides of the debate refrain from putting Starbucks, or their partners (employees), into the middle of the “divisive issue”. They don’t want to be the battleground for the gun rights debate, they simply want to do what’s right by staying neutral and honoring federal and state laws.

To show our appreciation, our community does the exact opposite of what we’ve been asked to do by a 2nd Amendment friendly business. We organize a national rally to bombard Starbucks stores across the nation with armed gun rights advocates. As a result, their Facebook page has been absolutely overrun with posts from people on both sides of the debate posting their political views, links to news stories, images people walking around armed in front of coffee shops, etc. We’ve drug Starbucks smack dab into the middle of the debate and put them on the spot against their explicit wishes.

We didn’t show our appreciation to Starbucks, we slapped them in the face. The company went so far as to close their Newtown CT store in anticipation of the pending rally.

I see the whole “Starbucks Appreciation Day” as a misstep on our part. I’m all for activism and take part in it myself. I’ve been present at rallies where I’ve open carried — heck I even helped organize such rallies. But to go against the wishes of an ally like Starbucks and make their business a focal point in the national gun rights debate, when they’ve asked us not to do so, is irresponsible. As a matter of fact, because of our actions, I wouldn’t be surprised if Starbucks reconsiders their corporate policy. Let’s hope that’s not the case.

We can be vocal, we can even be loud, but we need to be calculated and purposeful in our actions. We also need to be respectful to businesses that support our rights and not go out of our way to burn bridges with them.

If you want to show your appreciation to Starbucks, buy their coffee and encourage others to do the same. If you want to organize a 2nd Amendment rally, pick a public area or a business that’s anti-gun. But let’s try to avoid alienating allies by drawing them into the line of fire when they’ve specifically asked us not to do so.

With all of that being said, I’m craving an Iced Latte.  Starbucks, here I come.


MAC is an avid shooter, former MCSF Marine, NRA member, Oath Keeper and is commissioned as a Colonel by the Governor of Kentucky. Known for his videos on the Military Arms Channel, he also writes for The Bang Switch, for Shotgun News (Be Ready!) and freelances for Guns & Ammo. MAC has been a life long shooter who has an interest in all things that go "bang" but gravitates towards military type firearms.

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  • Vladimir

    Interesting commentary. Thanks, Tim.

  • icepick37

    Yeah, that’s kind of sad. Probably the effects of thoughtlessness or misunderstanding as opposed to malice, but still sad.

    • Matt

      My thoughts exactly.

  • JD

    Well said.

    • Zach S


  • Wrex Allen

    Wise words and exactly why I haven’t “actively participated” in such, myself. I wish more people would see some common sense in this position and respect it.

    • B E Smith

      I am a staunch supporter of 2nd amendment rights, and a firm believer in the right to carry. But I am opposed to “open carry.” I think the rally was well-intentioned, but ill-conceived. Open carry proponents should have honored Starbuck’s request, and not dragged the company into the debate of openly carrying a firearm.

      • Drawer22

        @B E Smith – I carry concealed and lawfully on a daily basis and almost everywhere (though I must admit that I am puzzled at having a permit to “permit” a Right!). When in my own residence, the residences of other supportive people, or in areas where it openly carrying is expected, I often carry openly. Too, as a law enforcement officer (LEO), I have carried both openly and concealed.

        How one can be “for” lawfully carrying concealed and “opposed” to lawful and considerate open carry is beyond my ability to understand. That you would oppose openly carrying by LEOs is, in my opinion, irresponsible, as is your opposition to carrying openly on a firearms range. (How does one shoot a concealed firearm without damaging the clothing or accessory in which the firearm is concealed?) For you to impose your opposition to my carrying concealed in my own residence furthers the stance of those who would violate the privacy of all law-abiding citizens.

        That said, on the subject of putting Starbucks on the line between sides of this issue because that corporation has a perspective in accordance with law is overtly irresponsible, albeit likely with the best of intentions.

        Cogito, ergo armatus sum.

  • Ceramicgod

    Open carry activist idiots.

    They’re more hindrance than help, the majority of them are just looking for trouble yet see themselves like Martin Luther King jr.

    • Cyko

      Wow… I haven’t seen your name in a long time. Still in AZ?

    • JD MAK

      Agreed. They do a lot of harm to our image and do nothing to help. They make us all look like nutjobs.

    • Bill Starks

      Really? what have you done lately to help gun rights?

      • JD MAK

        What he has or hasn’t done for gun rights is irrelevant and has no bearing on the validity of his statement. His comment either stands on its own merits or it doesn’t. On a related note, poor ideas don’t suddenly become good ideas because they are done in the name of a worthy cause. The road to hell and all that…

        • Bill Starks

          Open carry is not the be-all-end-all any more than concealed carry is. In the CC crowd there just as many “idiots” as Ceramic put it. There are folks who have been CC’ing for years and still don’t know the laws of their own state create just as much bad publicity. The bottom line is that this argument is made by people who don’t, cant, or haven’t carried openly; those of us who do so on a regular basis have an entirely different experience. JD says what I have done for gun rights is irrelevant, I disagree.

          • JD MAK

            Disagree all you want; your argument is nonsensical. This is a perfect example of why critical thinking and logic need to be taught in schools, starting at middle school.

    • Southern

      Agree 100% We are not Code Pink, we are law abiding citizens.

  • Boxx

    Interesting commentary but the pro gun rally is straight out of the anti’s publicity page It was never conceived as a Rally it was simply go buy a cup of coffee to support their position of following the law . Now the newtown pro gun rally was actually announced by the the anti gun website there was never rally’s planned anywhere go check the MMAGC website By the way the local starbucks here was quite happy sales were as of 2pm over 1400% higher then the previous friday there was no rally the rally idea was publicity stunt by the anti gun crowd and you fell for it just as the newtown starbuck fell for it

    • MAC

      Telling everyone to show up their local Starbucks on the 9th certainly sounds like a rally to me. While the FB page didn’t come right out and say “please open carry”, what did we expect? People to show-up with concealed weapons and not make a political statement? Of course not, that’s why you see literally hundreds of pictures posted on Facebook of people walking around with firearms on display. It was clearly a nationwide rally and people obviously took it that way given their actions.

      Had the FB page asked that people only go buy a cup of coffee as they normally would, that would have been one thing, but that’s not what happened. Here’s what the FB page said that organized the event:

      “We ask that if you choose to carry a firearm during this event that you follow all local, state, and national laws; and if you choose not to carry that you wear pro-gun rights apparel.”

      If you don’t carry a gun, at least wear a pro-2A shirt. That sounds like encouragement to carry a firearm to me — which was the purpose of the event.

    • idobleedbluebrobar

      I saw it as you saw it Boxx… go buy something at Starbucks that day to say thanks and show support. I never saw this as some big organized rally. It was advertised as such and while some may have misunderstood it to be as such, most people I know who went understood it to be the same as you and I. Heck, even MAC said “it was intended to be a ‘thank you’ for their support”. That is how I saw it too… a thank you… not some big rally or activist movement. I think some people took it way out of context.

  • Brian

    Thanks Tim. As always, your view points are so spot on and well written. Thank you.

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  • Kevin W

    Well stated, as usual MAC

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  • Craig Smith

    Well said.

  • Gee William

    A-Men. I agree wholeheartedly Tim!

  • http://Facebook Paulie

    Please blame the anti-gun morons for this, they started the rally here in newtown.

    • JD MAK

      By asking us to blame the gun grabbers for some gun activists’ poor choices, you’re making the assertion that our response was limited only to carrying firearms which is plainly not true. There were other, less volatile (and much more effective) options. Swatting flies with sledgehammers rarely works. Those who took a bad idea and ran with it should accept responsibility and own up that their poor tactics and lack of strategy are hurting the cause.

  • JD MAK

    I’ve been WAITING for someone to blog about this! Well stated, well written. thanks and keep up the great work sir.

  • 33AD

    Queue the face palm.

    Well said.

  • Steven

    you’re just halfway there Mac. the next issue has to be the open carry movement. it happens in gun friendly states and mostly its the decent LEO’s that are given a hard time by the open carry advocates. quite honestly i’m waiting for a concealed carry holder to end up shooting an open carry guy because he accidently flags someone with his AR and the concealed carry person acts in defense of what he perceives is a hostile act.

    the bigger point is that this movement makes no sense. it antagonizes people in the middle, rallies the anti’s and gives little to the gun rights cause.

    thats what needs to be addressed. but walking around with open handguns/rifles and baiting responding officers is not helpful…not by a long shot.

    • Bill Starks

      @ Steven… CC vs. OC – you guys are worse than the anti-gunners. A CC’er might shoot a OC’er – since when have you seen a Open Carry person handling their weapon in public? What makes no sense is that the 2 groups can’t come together on one front. There are issues on both sides but that doesn’t mean one is better than the other.

  • Charlie Kilo

    On those lines of being purposeful and calculated, we should drop the “W” word.

    • Drawer22


      • Charlie Kilo

        Weapon, as opposed to firearm, gun, pistol, rifle, Kimber, Glock, Springfield, etc. Weapon is indescript and conjures the incorrect mental picture.

  • Buck

    Buy their coffee (if you like it), and drop a note to both the local store and corporate supporting their stance. Well written and thoughtful article.

  • tucsonsduke

    I’m surprised though, when gay rights activists (Whom I also support) held appreciation days at Starbucks, the CEO of Starbucks openly supported it. Why hasn’t he taken the same stance with gun rights? This is another divisive issue that they chose NOT to stay neutral in.

    I’m not saying that the gun rights activists did the right thing, or that the gay rights activists did the wrong thing, but Starbucks supporting the RKBA and just not banning the RKBA are two different things.

    • JD MAK

      I don’t see a double standard at work here. Gay rights activists weren’t having gay sex at Starbucks. That’s why it’s easier to openly support them than to support over-the-top gun owners who “go all the way” and open carry in a coffee shop. Some will say it’s a poor analogy, but it’s the best I can come up with.

      • PavePusher

        To finish your analogy, no-one was… shooting their guns… at Starbucks. So the parallels are pretty good, actually. Openly gay people, openly armed people. No-one whipping out their junk, no-one whipping out their gun.

        • JD MAK

          Now we’re getting into the realm of the absurd. You can’t equate the two, yet I see you also equate carrying books with open carry of firearms, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

          • PavePusher

            Why are Constitutional Rights not “equitable”? You use the same protest the Anti’s do and, like them, don’t explain it.

          • DutchmanGoesShoosting

            @PavePusher: “No-one whipping out their junk, no-one whipping out their gun.”

            I thought the problem IS that people are open carrying into Starbucks. Exposed bang stick hanging out in the crisp air. That seems more like whipping out junk than even gay pride.

            A constitutional right does not mean, in any way shape or form, that we can flagrantly disregard the wishes of those who respect our own.

            • PavePusher

              Whose wishes, where? Citation, please? Has SB’s said they don’t want open carriers in their stores? If so, I missed it.

          • DutchmanGoesShoosting

            “But to go against the wishes of an ally like Starbucks and make their business a focal point in the national gun rights debate, when they’ve asked us not to do so, is irresponsible.” – MAC

            Learn to read.

            • JD MAK

              YOU learn to read. I was responding to Pavepusher, NOT MAC.

            • PavePusher

              Where/when did they make this statement?

          • DutchmanGoesShoosting

            “YOU learn to read. I was responding to Pavepusher, NOT MAC.”

            Irony, much? I was responding to Pavepusher, not you. We’re on the same side bro.

            • JD MAK

              I received an email notification that you were responding to me, but I figured out your error after pushing “Post Comment”. Excuse the pissy attitude, it was late at night and I was tired of arguing with impossibly stubborn people.

          • DutchmanGoesShoosting

            @PavePusher (‘@’ added so there will be no sequel to JD MAK UNCHAINED):

            PavePusher wrote “Where/when did they make this statement?”

            Again, read the article…….. I’m not going to chew your food for you pal.

          • DutchmanGoesShoosting

            “Excuse the pissy attitude, it was late at night and I was tired of arguing with impossibly stubborn people.”

            No worries, the same happens to me. The internetz, what joy, right?

            Ever since I’ve stopped checking “notify me of follow-up comments” life has been gr8 B)

  • ShootistBob

    If these zealots wanted to use a commercial enterprise for a rally, they should have picked one that was already publically involved with gun issues, like Walmart. But the rallies should have been held at the Walmart stores that don’t carry firearms or ammo, to point out to their corporate headquarters that they shouldn’t let anti-gun advocates dictate their corporate decisions.

  • patrioticduo

    So the minority group that are gun owners are not supposed to exercise one of their Constitutional rights because you think it is going to annoy Starbucks. Rubbish! A 2A right is a right that doesn’t need to worry about feelings. And political correctness to protect the feelings of a corporation is nuts. I didn’t go to the Starbucks rally but if Starbucks wants to straddle the fence when they came out in support of gays then I have no problem with American gun owners lobbying them for support. This isn’t about slapping Starbucks in the face since Starbucks didn’t come out in direct support of 2A rights at all. They hedged by respecting the law.

    • MAC

      No one said “don’t exercise your Constitutional rights”. Gun owners do that every single day across the US including in Starbucks stores. This whole episode had absolutely nothing to do with “lobbying them for support”, it was intended to be a “thank you” for their support. You might want to read the first link in the article to get a better understanding of the event.

    • ShootistBob

      I live in the only state that still doesn’t allow concealed carry yet, but I spent 6 months on assignment in Minneapolis 9 years ago. Every time I walked the Skyway, most of the businesses had No Concealed Carry Allowed On Premises signs in their windows, even MacDonalds. One of the few exceptions was Starbucks. To publicly declare Starbucks as pro-gun is a disservice, since it might drive away customers who don’t support our Second Amendment rights.

  • Don

    Yes, this will end poorly for us.

    I think the tactical issues of open carry mirror the social issues quite well. If you present yourself in an in-your-face manner then you make yourself a target. If you remain covert, you aren’t as much of a target. Showing your whole hand from a position of disadvantage is stupid, in self-defense and in activism.

    Starbucks has stayed out of the gun debate. And that’s good enough, and hell, that’s the model behavior we should want to achieve from more stores and movie theaters and stuff like that. Rubbing it in everyone’s face is going to eventually force them to enter the debate. They’re not going to like being forced into a political issue, and therefore those that force them are not going to like the outcome.


    • Mike

      well said

    • PavePusher

      I can only assume you never openly carry books in public, or vote in public? Because that would be “in-your-face”, right?

      • Don

        I can only assume you openly carry books in public for personal defense and to provide a stopgap against tyranny.

        • PavePusher

          You are entirely (if, I think, accidently) correct. I carry (and read) books in public, because knowledge is certainly an additional defense, and most certainly a stop-gap to, if not an outright attack on, tyranny.

          Well, done, even if you were attempting to be facetiously sarcastic.

          • Don

            Well then I guess a gun and a book are the same and your argument is no longer fallacious.

            • PavePusher

              No-one has claimed the objects are the same. The analogy is about the moral and legal equivalence of the exercise of the Right. You are attempting to use the tactics of the Anti’s: deflection, avoidance and appeal to emotion.

          • Don

            Right. No. You original argument is based on the presupposition that the exercise of all rights are morally and legally equivalent. You selected the metrics of morality and law to define equivalence but ignore both the metrics of practicality and implication, which is a is a half-truth argument.

            Most entertainingly, your construction of a guilt-by-association ad hominem against me through the false accusation of argumentum ad passiones is itself a red herring!

            But thanks for trying.

          • DutchmanGoesShoosting

            This is the most ridiculous thing I have read on this entire board. Your false analogy is laughable. I think regardless of anyone’s gun politics, we can all bloody well agree that a pistol/rifle is lethal and a book is not. There are social rules, ramifications and consequences that accompany carrying a firearm but not books nor voting, such as muzzle discipline & when to display your firearm (NOT while saying grace at dinnertime or in front of a law enforcement officer)

            It’s bad enough that you make such a ludicrous analogy, but for you to try to save it with some bogus, incoherent explanation of “moral and legal equivalence of the exercise of the Right” without even elaborating makes it very clear that your argument is unsound to begin with. You can’t prop up your poor analogy with fancy words.

            Also, “deflection, avoidance and appeal to emotion”? Brah, really? These aren’t even real fallacies. Every time you reply to anyone who holds a different view on this thread, by (without fail) accusing them of “using the tactics of the Anti’s” or resembling Anti’s in some way, your ad hominem reasoning is transparent to the rest of us.

            “I carry (and read) books in public, because knowledge is certainly an additional defense, and most certainly a stop-gap to, if not an outright attack on, tyranny.”

            This is such an absurd stretch that it’s impossible to read this with a straight face. Like, are you really serious? If so, then I have a letter for a Nigerian prince for you…

            • PavePusher

              Wearing/bearing a sidearm is not equivalent, in intent, to “displaying” a sidearm. That seems to be the fine, but distinct, point that many here, including yourself, seem to be missing.

              “There are social rules….”, which you can list, and explain how they are accepted by everyone, everywhere, right? No, you are simply trying to impose your version of morality on everyone else. But it doesn’t work that way.

          • DutchmanGoesShoosting

            Your argument is getting increasingly threadbare. If you think pointing a gun at someone at a range won’t get you into a heap of trouble, well, good luck with life…

            • PavePusher

              What the heck are you talking about? Why would I point any gun at any person at a range? Where did you get that from?

          • DutchmanGoesShoosting

            ““There are social rules….”, which you can list, and explain how they are accepted by everyone, everywhere, right? No, you are simply trying to impose your version of morality on everyone else. But it doesn’t work that way.”

            Last time I checked, pointing your muzzle in the safe direction, away from other shooters, is a universally accepted social rule. So before you keep ranting on about how I’m foisting my version of morality upon you and how social rules are subjective, how bout you taste them apples?

        • PavePusher

          Constitutional Rights are Constitutional Rights. They are all equal. There are no metrics involved. If one requires camouflage, they all do.

          • JD MAK

            Strawman much? Nobody on ANY of these threads is arguing that it is not our Constitutional right to open carry. You’re shifting the goalposts whenever you see a valid argument closing in on you and it’s tiresome-not to mention troll-like. The bottom line is this…just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean it’s always a good idea to do it. Many of us are inclined to believe that open carry is unnecessarily provocative at times and can and does often reflect negatively on all gun owners. I’ve seen and heard numerous negative comments from folks who are put off or threatened by someone walking around them in a public place with an AR slung over their back. It’s all about using common sense and carefully gauging your audience. If you don’t give a damn how your behavior impacts on others, then that’s on you, but don’t expect the rest of us to put a sock in it just because you want to play macho man ’cause the Constitution says you can.

  • Terry Zach

    I totally agree with the opinions of this article. Proper advocacy is a delicate balance. patrioticduo did a very good job of proving this point. To paraphrase; They didn’t make a decision I agree with so they’re pussies. I’ll show them with my macho gun waving idiocy. Why not go to Switzerland and tell them what a bunch of pussies they are? Sound ridiculous? That’s because it is. Personally I can’t stand Starbucks, won’t spend a dime there but that doesn’t mean I disagree with their best effort at neutrality. Being belligerent is easy, any idiot can do that. Yea I’m looking at you *duo. Neutrality is damned hard.

    • PavePusher

      Except that Open Carry is not at all “macho gun waving idiocy” or insulting people or being belligerent. But I suspect you knew that…

      • JD MAK

        “Except that Open Carry is not at all “macho gun waving idiocy” or insulting people or being belligerent…”
        That’s just your opinion, and yours is just one amongst billions on this planet. Most folks (gun rights advocates included) interpret open carry as unnecessary macho gun waving idiocy and the people who engage in such behavior as being ignorant, immature and belligerent. Sugar coat it all you want, open carry is interpreted by many as an intentionally intimidating and aggressive act. Is it your right to open carry? Sure, but it doesn’t make someone any less of a bonehead for doing so in venues or situations that don’t call for it. There’s a time and place for everything and open carry advocates often miss the mark when it comes to choosing the right venue to exercise their “rights”. If you’re out to shove the 2nd Amendment in other people’s faces, great. You do that, but you’re turning off the millions of citizens (VOTERS) who are sitting on the fence on the subject of gun control and convincing them that we are a bunch of irresponsible nuts. I fail to see how this simple concept is so difficult for you to grasp.

        • PavePusher

          Then “most folks” are incorrect, and catering to their erroneous assumptions and unsupported accusations won’t remedy that.

          Interesting how you adopt the ‘arguments’ of the Anti’s. Why is that?

          • JD MAK

            Interesting how you adopt the tactics of the Anti’s by using strawman arguments and ad hominem attacks. Why is that?

          • JD MAK

            Basically, you’ve set yourself up as the ultimate authority on all things pro-2nd Amendment. anyone who disagrees with you on any point concerning this subject is automatically pegged as using the tactics or arguments of the “Anti’s”. Seems you’ve got some serious issues that need to be worked out. “My way or the highway” might work with your dog or your kids, but it sure as hell isn’t going to fly with independent thinking adults. Take your attempts at bullying to a school playground. It doesn’t work here. Nobody is impressed or intimidated.

            • pavepusherPavePusher

              Actually, I’m advocating for anyone to carry any lawful way they want to. You folks are the ones trying to supress or discourage one method in favor of another. Several people have tried to attribute various motives to me with no evidence to support their claims. Others have attempted to define open carry as ‘waving guns around” and “in your face”, common tactics of the Anti’s. It seems some have devolved into outright ad hominems, yet another commonality with Anti’s. It’s quite puzzling to me, the vehemence with which one part of our community will attack another, making wild accusations and baseless claims. IIRC, Jim Zumbo made this error some time back, but it seems some are determined to repeat the error.

              On that note, I think I’ll bow out and let you have the final word. Have a good day and carry on.

            • JD MAK

              “Actually, I’m advocating for anyone to carry any lawful way they want to. ”

              And so am I. I’m also advocating to maintain my constitutional right to free speech. I have a right to criticize others as long as I am not engaged in libel or slander. If some of us see harm being done to the right to bear arms by a few individual’s’ actions you can be damned sure some of us are going to call them out on it. Again, there’s a time and place for everything, and many (not all) open carry advocates seem to have issues with such concepts as timing, common sense and restraint. You come off more as advocating that anyone who disagrees with you should just shut up or put up, or risk getting labeled as an “Anti”.

              “You folks are the ones trying to supress or discourage one method in favor of another.”

              Suppress a method of carry? No. Discourage and criticize? Absolutely, and it’s our constitutional right to do so. It’s hypocritical of you to bleat about one right while ignoring others.

              “Several people have tried to attribute various motives to me with no evidence to support their claims.”

              To you specifically? I don’t know about that, but some general sweeping comments about macho posturing, etc. have been made. Are these helpful to the conversation? Probably not and I accept my share of blame for contributing to that tone. Mea culpa, my bad. HOWEVER…
              Time after time, you accuse anyone that does not agree with you as being one of the “Anti’s”. A clearer case of the pot calling the kettle black cannot be found. You can’t have it both ways.

              By all means,exercise your right to open carry anywhere the law says you can (and I’m sure you will), consequences be damned. Just don’t be such an accusatory whiner when others exercise THEIR right of free speech to criticize those who make gun owners look aggressive, ignorant and juvenile.

        • DutchmanGoesShoosting

          Exactly, just look at photos of open carry advocates invading the civic centers and courtrooms in Oregon. I don’t understand why some of these advocates can’t seem to figure it out that walking around a public space with a rifle slung to get your political point across can be interpreted as intimidating legislators/other voters into passing advocate-friendly laws. After all, does a stranger wearing a long face and a black rifle with a fat magazine look like he’s there for polite chit chat?

          People need more common sense nowadays. I.e. they need to stop fulfilling stereotypes of thugs with guns.

          Also, when you pull the switch, the thing goes bang. The projectile leaving the muzzle is often in excess of 343 m/s. People are understandably wary of that. (It’s a survival instinct.) Which is why openly carrying firearms is no way similar to openly carrying books (referring to PavePusher’s earlier argument). And open carrying as a form of protest can’t seriously be not seen as threatening in some form, subtext or not.

          • JD MAK

            “And open carrying as a form of protest can’t seriously be not seen as threatening in some form, subtext or not.”
            You hit the nail on the head, and this is what has been missing from my comments…discussion of open carry AS A FORM OF PROTEST.
            There’s a substantive difference between regular everyday open carry and open carry as a form of protest. While I’m no fan of the former, I can live with it and recognize it as a legitimate right.
            It’s the latter that concerns me.

  • Chuck Reynolds

    YUP! explained well. thanks

  • Mike

    Agree 100%

  • JP


    Great article.

    One question though, I noticed that you yourself were posting replies to some of the “non gun friendly” posters on the Starbucks FaceBook page.

    In this article you make it sound like we should not have done this, but you yourself were engaged in some of the postings?

    I am a long time subscriber of your YouTube channel and a dedicated fan. I don’t mean disrespect to your channel, I just am confused on your position with this article.


    • MAC

      I didn’t comment on engaging anti-gunners in debate in this article, I believe we need to meet them head-on. This article is about showing up at your local Starbucks carrying firearms and holding rallies when they’ve asked us not to. Yes, I responded to some of the stupid posts made on the Starbucks page and probably will again in the future. I see that as a totally different issue.

      • lhtwist

        @MAC, I’m inclined to agree with the inference made by JP in regard to your comments on Starbucks’ FB page as doing exactly what you were advocating against in this article.

        Engaging in political conversations there, for whatever reasons, on what was no doubt intended to be a page about coffee, is definitely placing Starbucks squarely in the middle of the debate. Intentional or not, comments from both sides probably constituted a majority of the entries for many days, giving the appearance to the general uninformed public that Starbucks’ focus was firearms rather than latte.

        Perhaps it would be better to leave the anti’s to their rants on Starbucks’ FB page while the rest of us sent an apology and note of appreciation for their continued neutrality to their corporate address.

  • MawiG

    I grew up on SoCal in a relatively Liberal environment. I moved to Texas at 19 and I wasn’t anti-gun but I wasn’t pro-gun either. What really made me change my mind wasn’t the open carry rallies, people confronting cops with an AK on their back. It was YouTube channels like HIckok45, MAC, and regular ol’ Jo’s at the gun store. I’ve been in discussions (Arguments) where emotion gets the best of people but initiating a conversation about guns with people who dislike or have an irrational fear of one isn’t with one glaringly obvious with an abrasive attitude. I know by and large the gun community are just regular folks who believe in freedom and want to protect themselves and I think portraying that image will go further than “I’ma Cary my AK, 1911, and 5 mags to Starbucks on main street and get mad at anyone who questions me”. Just saying

  • Justin Hohn (@JustinHohn)

    Exactly correct, MAC. Far from congratulating a business for respecting the law, we are punishing them for it.

    Businesses like Starbucks NEVER benefit from taking ANY political position. They will always alienate one side or the other if they do. Starbucks is a different business than MagPul.

    Forcing politics on a business that doesn’t want it is NOT a way to thank them for being apolitical and simply following the law.

  • Blehtastic

    Unless every Barista is getting stock options, calling your employees partners is asinine.

  • ViROID

    As I don’t drink coffee, I am not typically a Starbucks customer. However, I do make it a point to stop by and purchase an overpriced iced tea on these ‘Appreciation Days’. I do not open carry because I don’t want to incite any anti’s who might be trolling, I would rather avoid them and go about my day as a peaceful, law abiding citizen.

    • Mandy

      I bought a Spinach and Feta Breakfast Wrap there which was very tasty. You don’t have to buy coffee or tea to support them. They also have great food items.

      • DutchmanGoesShoosting

        There is also an “Evening” chain in Seattle, Portland, Chicago, LA, Atlanta, and D.C. Wine and appetizers.

  • M Jarvis

    So MAC, after all was said and done – how was the iced latte?? ;)

    • MAC

      I love Starbucks Iced Latte’s…

  • Jeff Pederson

    The conservative/republican side has been doing this with a lot of issues and we really need to stop the knee jerk reactions to things and think about the issues a little deeper. You can’t just scream “Because… America!” for every issue, it just makes the liberals think we’re even dumber than they already do. It’s the Adam Kokesh thought process (or lack of thought) that is ruining our cause. Think rational,think logical.

  • dan

    Does no one open carry on any regular visit to starbucks…and if so there should NOT be any extra concern by anyone business or patron…..

  • D. Hide

    For my 2 cents, I have no issues with anyone who wants to open carry (though I would recommend a more tactically-sound option) and that is not the concern that was addressed here, I think. The concern that was addressed here was the involuntary involvement of a neutral entity against their wishes, a situation that arose as a result of certain actions on the part of some gun rights activists.

    To that end, I agree with MAC in this article. We done screwed up. We shouldn’t purposefully organize in front of a Starbucks for gun rights activism purposes if we can help it. They obviously don’t mind us as customers, and that’s the whole point when dealing with an establishment of business.


  • Suburban

    It smacks of desperation when any company that doesn’t wish to trample our rights, not even fight for them, and yet gets hoisted up on shoulders and carried like a champion. The bar has been set pretty low.

  • lhtwist

    Excellent point, too bad it didn’t get broadcast before the damage was done. I too hope this doesn’t force Starbucks to reconsider their position.

  • 100atr

    Not that I am into coffee, but I can only say “BOYCOTT”.

  • ghostwheel

    I moved to Hawaii for the coffee.

    Coffee is life!

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  • snowshredder

    I don’t understand why you want to open carry and show off that you are armed. I hope you train, because when the shit hits the fan you are the first person the bad guy will shoot.

    • Drawer22

      @snowshredder – In theory, you are quite correct. However, criminals are not always as observant as professional observers routinely are. Too, assuming an observant criminal sees an open carrier, it could keep a crime from being committed, depending on the determination of the criminal to commit a crime at that time. Having carried both openly and concealed, both have their place, though now, as a civilian, I consider it appropriate to carry concealed most of the time.

      De Oppresso Liber

    • pavepusherPavePusher

      And I’m sure you can cite to empirical or statistical evidence that your claim is true, yes? We’ll wait….

      In the meantime, perhaps you can pick some other Constitutional Rights that should require camouflage?

      • Drawer22

        @pavepusherPavePusher –

        Yes, I can. Please hold your breath in perpetuity

        Were your arrogantly insouciant question worthy of any thought, I’d answer it, though it appears obvious you lack the intellectual capacity to grasp an intelligent response.

        Have a nice day.

        De Oppresso Liber

    • PavePusher

      One wonders why the criminals allowed these two open carriers to live….

  • enscriptchun

    Great editorial, MAC. As someone raised in Seattle, I haven’t been always the biggest fan of Starbucks, but I do appreciate their firearms policy. It’s a shame the gun community didn’t think this “day of appreciation” through a little bit more.

    Another case of gun owners shooting themselves in the foot metaphorically. And hopefully, not literally.

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  • Brian
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  • Colin Peterson

    Well, you hit the nail on the head with this one! Better go buy a lottery ticket…

  • CeramicGod

    Like every corporation needs to take a stand on your personal pet political issue?

    They were doing what a legitimate business should be doing: run their business and staying out of politics.

    The open carry activists dragged them into this battle against their will and so their hand is being forced…they’re not saying you can’t bring in a firearm, they’re now merely requesting you don’t.

    Why do you think that is?

    A portion of the open carry “activists” are nothing more than rabble rousers who do nothing more than look for trouble…well they found trouble now where THERE WASN’T TROUBLE BEFORE.

    As the rabble rousers get riled up and now target Starbucks for anger, expect that policy to change entirely to posted no gun signs entirely in the future.

  • Holyface
    • Craig Smith

      Nothing shocking at all, in fact completely expected.

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  • NWGlocker

    Prophetic, even. Hat’s off to you, Tim.