1. Schultz Holsters Mouth
Please, Howard Schultz. You can do more than shoot from the lip. We know you can.
The politically outspoken Starbucks (SBUX) CEO waded into the firearm firestorm Tuesday by sending an open letter to customers saying it would like gun rights advocates to stop holding "Starbucks Appreciation Day" events at his stores. Starbucks' current policy is to default to local gun laws, including "open carry" regulations in many U.S. states that allow people to bring guns into stores.
Nevertheless, the coffee-chain mogul did not go so far as to issue an outright ban on guns in his company's 13,000 U.S. stores -- as many other chains do -- because it would require unarmed staff to confront customers potentially packing heat. Instead, the company will "respectfully request" patrons leave their firearms outside when shopping in its stores."We found ourselves in a position where advocates on both sides of the issue were using Starbucks as a staging ground for their own political position ... I empathize with both sides" said Schultz, adding that Starbucks is "not a policymaker." Howie. Bubbeleh. We hate to remind you, but you can lay down the law in your own stores. It's your store, your policy. And while we know his aim is true, we wonder what happened to the straight-talking Schultz we used to know? You know, the guy who went national in his crusade to slash the national debt and the one who told off a shareholder who questioned Starbucks support of gay marriage at the company's annual meeting last March? Said Schultz at the time: "Not every decision is an economic decision." That guy! Come on, Schultzie. Clearly you are aware that 12 people were massacred in our nation's capital Monday because of lax gun laws. This is the week when you can actually accomplish something before the so-called second amendment advocates emerge from their foxholes to start screaming about slippery slopes and how Bambi's mother is too tough to kill without a Bushmaster XM15-E2S, the rifle which was used to mow down 20 innocent kids and 6 adults in Sandy Hook. Now is the time for you to get the drop on NRA numbskull Wayne LaPierre, before American attention spans expire and families turn their focus back to Dancing With The Stars. Make him realize that even if our kids are vulnerable in their schoolrooms and government workers are exposed in our Navy yard that hipsters, yuppies and struggling screenwriters can take shelter in one of your stores. "Safety and an Espresso." What's better than that on signs outside your stores? Much better than "No Bare Feet, Guns Frowned Upon." Don't you think? Look. We know that making Starbucks a gun-free zone won't stop insane, dangerous people like the Sandy Hook and Navy yard shooters. And we know it's a nearly impossible policy to enforce considering a large percentage of Americans are as addicted to Uzis as they are to cappuccinos. But if you can pry their assault rifles from their cold, dead hands and replace them with warm, mocha grandes even for a short while, that would at least be a start in ending this scourge now killing our neighbors and kids. Furthermore, Starbucks sales will probably improve as a result, just as New York City restaurants saw their business boom when Mayor Bloomberg enacted his smoking ban. At first they whined about the policy, now they cheer it because customers keep coming back. Trust us Howard. Your coffee-addicts will come back too. You are not being a "policymaker" by banning guns from your stores. You are being a smart businessman. Now go all the way. (Full Disclosure: The author's grandfather was killed by a bullet in his convenience store during a robbery attempt in 1948 at the age of 38, orphaning his mother and aunts. The author also drinks coffee. As evidenced by this column, probably too much of it.) -- Written by Gregg Greenberg in New York Follow @5gsonthestreet
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