SEATTLE – After Starbucks purchased ad space in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and USA Today announcing that they would prefer people stop bringing guns into their cafes yet will not actually ban firearms from their stores, the company has amended the policy. Hence forth, while patrons carrying guns will still be welcomed, they will only be served decaffeinated beverages.
The new policy is aimed at riding an even finer line than ever between the competing agendas of the gun control and gun rights advocacy crowds- neither group of coffee-drinkers the Seattle-based chain wishes to drive away. “We want to give responsible gun owners the chance to respect our request,” said Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz in a letter provided to CBS News. “Enforcing a ban [on firearms] would potentially require our partners to confront armed customers, and that is not a role I am comfortable asking Starbucks partners to take on.
“However,” he added. “If the armed customer is not highly caffeinated, the potential for conflict is greatly reduced. It’s really a win-win.”
Starbucks has long had a corporate policy of deferring to local laws with regards as to whether or not firearms were welcome in their cafes. However, they were moved to action in the past few months when gun rights advocates began holding “Starbucks Appreciation Days” during which gun owners have swamped their area Starbucks proudly brandishing their guns.
Schultz has said they were moved to clarify their position on guns because the Starbucks Appreciation Days “have made our customers uncomfortable.”
“Look, we get that you love your guns, and we get that you legally have a right to carry your guns,” explained Schultz. “We just feel that it’s our right not to have the people walking around our stores with loaded guns all hyped up on caffeine.”
Shannon Watts, founder of the gun reform group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, was not impressed with the new policy. “So they won’t sell a gun nut a venti cap double espresso with an extra shot of jolt cola,” she fumed. “What about the donuts, the marble breads, the pastries? You think all that sugar won’t drive someone to open fire on a busload of school children? Why do they insist on turning their coffee shops into war zones?”