A lot of corporations are weighing in on the Starbucks news of following the law when it comes to the open carry of handguns in its coffee shops. Starbucks has stayed neutral and has not given in to the pressures of the anti-gun movement now beginning to punish them for standing their ground. [See Safer Starbucks and the anti-gun’s what-if about food poisoning of customers, an underhanded disparagement.]
At worst, the positions are divided throughout various industries following the news. Industries tend to study other businesses’ solutions to various problems all the time, and Starbucks has become a very helpful case study in standing your ground and not being bullied. They are getting the credit for just that from various firms. You couldn’t buy this kind of friendly publicity for professional integrity.
The security business sees it as a problem involving political demonstrations. Loss Mitigation Specialists see it as a PR problem with the potential of spilling over onto company property or forcing an issue. Well, how Starbucks handles it sets the example, doesn’t it? That’s why companies look to other companies for how they handle it.
The Motley Fool sees remaining neutral as smart. In states where the open carry of a sidearm is affirmed by law, remaining neutral keeps guns on the hip and utilizes an interesting unseen asset for companies.
But the real question is whether businesses are safer or at greater risk with unknown customers and employees carrying open or concealed handguns. But safer from what: visitors who may go postal, or political demonstrations and unwanted boiling over like the last scene in Blazing Saddles? It could be publicity as long as you spell their name right, or it could be a pain in the neck. It could also be reduced to a non-issue from now on as the anti-gun become toothless and powerless after all — ignored as a nuisance themselves.
Nuisance. In this case, Starbucks has done a much larger public service than serving the interests of the community on guns on campus; it has revealed anti-gun nuts as a nuisance itself.
More to come in Part II.
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How does gun control make our streets unsafer and unsafer? See Safe Streets In The Nationwide Concealed Carry Of Handguns now available as an e-book.