Dear Mr. Schultz,
Long ago I was taught not to kick somebody when they’re down. So, naturally I’m obligated to lift you up prior to taking you to task for your recent open letter concerning Starbucks’ gun policies to coffee snobs everywhere. So be it.
Mr. Schultz, I love your coffee. Starbucks offers premium quality coffee at affordable prices. De-lish. Every day, I visit a nearby Starbucks location comically testing out new aliases to see if I can catch an unsuspecting barista off-guard. I confess, I’m addicted.Starbucks is my mistress, and I know I’m not alone.
I have a love-love relationship with all of your baristas who energetically mix whatever Frappuccino concoction I feel like trying off of the ever-expanding Starbucks Secret Menu with a smile while simultaneously asking where I got the idea to blend my Java Chip with Cinnamon Dolce and Toffee Nut syrup. Putting aside the inconsistencies with how much I’m charged from store-to-store or even barista-to-barista for the same drink, or the lack of disability friendly access and seating at the vast majority of locations I’ve been to here in D.C., the effort that goes into making Starbucks that elusive “third place” you strive for is paying off.
Having said that, your open letter published this morning by The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal among others is appreciated, but ultimately meaningless. In the wake of Monday’s events at Navy Yard it’s certainly timely, and I would argue, politically motivated. There have been numerous occasions for you to voice your concern, yet you waited. The truth is, a polite request like this will fall on deaf ears. Even worse, so would an outright ban assuming you were willing to enforce it, which you made clear you are not. If someone lawfully or otherwise wants to enter your store with a gun, they will. That won’t change.
On the subject of respecting “open carry” laws, I’m reminded of the lyrics from Chris Rock’s 1999 No Sex In The Champagne Room where he muses, “Don’t go to parties with metal detectors. Sure it feels safe inside, but what about everyone else waiting outside with guns? They know you don’t have one.” I am not by any stretch of the imagination a card-carrying member of the NRA, but I do know that for many people, particularly in states where open carry is permitted, the desire to feel safe will trump the need for a daily caffeine fix every time.
You are correct that no action you take will satisfy everyone. Social media has already erupted in backlash, but that was bound to happen no matter what position you took. However, walking the line on this issue with a polite request of this sort seems disingenuous at best and politically motivated at worst. Take a stand, Mr. Schultz. Pick either side of the fence, just don’t sit on it.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, my Frappuccino is waiting.