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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Drink up with your Valentine at Starbucks

Drink up with your Valentine at Starbucks

February 14th, 2012 by Dave Workman

Today is supposed to see the launch of a boycott by gun prohibitionists against Seattle-based coffee giant Starbucks because that business has the audacity to serve all customers rather than become a pawn in a game of social bigotry targeting legally-armed citizens.

Northwest rights activists on at least four popular firearms forums have clearly indicated they will be countering this boycott with their business. It’s a text book example of the “Money Talks, B.S. Walks” principle.

The firearms community, exemplified by Gun Rights Media, Seattle Guns, Open Carry Washington in Redmond, Lacey and Silverdale, and Northwest Firearms members, will put their money where their mouths ar. Meanwhile, the hysteria mongers led by the so-called National Gun Victim’s Action Council (NGAC), a Chicago-based group claiming to be “a network of 14 million gun victims,” wants to make Starbucks a surrogate for its promotion of prejudice.

Vancouver, WA resident Heidi Yewman sits on the NGAC board. She is, according to her profile, a graduate of Columbine High School and author of Beyond the Bullet: Personal Stories of Gun Violence Aftermath.

The first attempt to sway Starbucks was short-lived and was followed by a string of quarterly reports that showed the company’s profits steadily, and in some cases dramatically, increasing. Instead of turning their backs on Starbucks, it looks like more Americans developed a thirst for Starbucks coffee, and that must include legions of people who don’t feel the least bit endangered by patronizing a business where other customers just might be armed. Recently, CNBC reported:

Starbucks reported quarterly earnings and revenue that beat Wall Street's forecasts on Thursday and raised its full-year guidance although its outlook remains below analysts' expectations…

Net income rose to $382.1 million, or 50 cents per share, from $346.6 million, or 45 cents, a year earlier. Revenue rose 16 percent to $3.44 billion from $2.95 billion a year ago.

Starbucks has simply maintained the good business practice of serving coffee to people who want to buy it. The company operates its stores and serves its clients in accordance with state and local laws, and that includes serving people who may be openly or covertly carrying firearms, depending upon those statutes. There has not been a rash of incidents inside Starbucks stores, as this column noted, and the publicity, while possibly annoying to Starbucks owners and investors, has hardly interfered with their bottom line profits.

The ringleader of this effort, Elliot Fineman, declares in a press release that by “allowing guns to be carried in thousands of their stores,” Starbucks boosts the risk for customers to become victims of something called “gun violence.” There must be some distinction between that and “knife violence” or “baseball bat violence” or other forms of violence, but this column has seen no supporting definitions

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