Have the Starbucks baristas gotten less passive-aggressive lately? Maybe it's because they know that the customer at the counter ordering a tall half skinny half 1-percent extra hot split might be packing heat.
Since West Coast chains California Pizza Kitchen and Pete's Coffee and Tea banned those carrying firearms from entering any of their locations, gun rights advocates in California took to piling on all their ammo and heading to, of all places, Starbucks.
(Whatever happened to all those studies saying conservatives favored Dunkin' Donuts? Oh well.)
Predictably, the potentially lethal combo of guns and caffeine has spurred gun control advocates to respond. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence announced last month that it had collected 28,000 signatures on a petition urging Starbucks to ban firearms from the premises of their coffee shops, and held a press conference today in Seattle near the site of the original Starbucks.
(One also wonders if the recent shooting of four policemen inside a coffee shop near Tacoma, Wash. had any effect on the decision.)
As a response to the escalating tension from both sides, Starbucks issued a statement reiterating its stance—guns are allowed where state and local laws allow them, though it has asked both open carry and gun control advocates to "refrain from putting Starbucks or our partners into the middle of this divisive issue."
Good luck, Starbucks. Our favorite local barista (Hi, Tommy at Buffalo Speedway!) confirms that Houston stores follow local gun ordinances, which means licensed Texans can get packing (assuming they can carry both a weapon and a couple mocha frappuccinos.) We can't wait for all the Clint Eastwood wannabes to walk in with a six-shooter and quote Dirty Harry.
"I know what your thinkin' punk. Did I have six shots of espresso or only five?"