This probably isn’t going to be a popular opinion, but here goes.
Starbucks was never really for us or against us. They were selling coffee, and wanted to stay out of politics. So they said “follow the law, and we will respect it.”
Fortunately for us, that was a win for the pro-gun side.
Unfortunately for us, a de facto win was taken as Starbucks trying to place themselves in the middle of a debate, exactly what they were trying to avoid.
So what happened? People started open carrying in large groups, not only handguns, but long guns. Now the antis have something to actively protest. Now Starbucks has active protests, and no matter who’s side you come down on, that isn’t good for business. A small percentage of Americans on both sides feel strongly about gun rights, most of the rest rank it in there somewhere as something maybe they have an opinion about.
Take an issue that I feel that way about, maybe right-to-work. I fully support right to work legislation, but if I walked into a coffee shop and found an active political debate going on, I would probably go find myself another coffee shop. And I feel more strongly about right-to-work than many Americans feel about guns.
A lot of this comes down to what Uncle said: Don’t Scare the White People.
Or Don’t Scare the Suburbanites.
What we have here is a bunch of people that decided that the way to appreciate someone staying out of a debate was to drag them into the middle of it. When Starbucks needed to find a way out of the middle of it, they couldn’t ban the anti’s non-guns. You aren’t going to get very far asking everyone to wear a gun. Can someone explain a better way out of this for Starbucks, other than a change in the wording to the letter, as Sebastian points out? And while I agree that requesting people not display their weapons would be much better, the whole tone of the letter is “take the politics somewhere else.” And I can’t really blame them for that.
Shoving anything in people’s faces generally backfires. This is another instance of that.
Further Reading: The Practical Tactical Podcast