Thursday, March 25, 2010

JMO - Mr Schulz

Mr Schulz, the CEO of Starbucks, apparently doesn't know the laws of the state in which he resides, Washington. At the annual shareholders meeting in Seattle yesterday, he addressed a number of issues, one of which was the recent decision by Starbucks to allow people to walk into any Starbucks in Washington with a loaded gun. Yes, loaded.

Orignally Starbucks was responding to the pressure from gun owners in what's called "open carry" states, states which allow people to openly carry weapons in public without a permit, but the law differs by state if the gun can be unloaded or loaded. And the laws allows businesses to prohibit carrying guns on their premises, which several national chain stores have done, such as Peet's Coffee and Tea.

During the meeting Mr. Schulz told the crowd he supported the law which allowed the open carry of unloaded firearms in Starbuck, which is the law in most states which allow them, but not all. Washington is one of the exceptions, which apparently his staff forget to advise him about before he opened his mouth.

So, now he supports the open carry of loaded weapons into Starbucks and prohibition of any individual store from prohibiting such act. In other words, he would rather endanger the vast majority of his customers by one person with a loaded weapon, and remember it could be anyone legally allowed to own one, than the far larger number of employees and customers.

This means the baristas and staff at Starbucks, along with the customers, will not know if someone carrying a loaded weapon into a Starbucks is simply carrying it for show, and why escapes me because you don't need one in public - remember no one including the police, actually wants you using it since the police and us don't know or trust you, or carrying it for a purpose.

Mr Schulz opened his mouth, rather stupidly, and I won't suggest someone actually stick a gun in it because that would be cruel and mean. Honest maybe, but I wouldn't want to promote violence. We have enough already with the many crazy legal gun owners who want to prove a senseless point. Senseless because you can't actually use a gun except in self-defense. Yup only to protect yourself or your family if attacked.

You can't withdraw and use the gun outside of that. You are not authorized to use it for the protection of anyone else's life, other than your family, or property other than your own. That's what the police are for. Not gun owners. And you can't transport any guns without a permit from the local and state government (depending on the roads or highways). Sadly that law is rarely enforced, and only when stopped for other purposes.

So, am I boycotting Starbucks as I promised? Yes and no. I use their store no more than once a week now. I will find and use any other coffee place, cafe or barista before I go to Starbucks. I go weekly because on some days because they are the only one open in the early morning within short distance of home.

I hope Mr Schulz changes his mind someday and allows Starbucks stores in each state to set rules for the carrying of guns in their stores. In doing so he will protect his employees, the customers and prevent any potential stupid or senseless act by someone with a gun. And Starbucks will likely gain more customers than they would lose from gun owners. That's common sense and good business.

But then no accused Mr. Schulz of having either common sense or good business sense. He's never demonstrated that he has either.

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