Well, it was bound to happen eventually. Extremists on both sides thrust Starbucks unwillingly into an issue despite their request to be left out. Now the company has ratcheted up its request to stay out of the Second Amendment debate by asking gun owners to leave their openly carried firearms out of its stores.

In an open letter penned to both sides, CEO Howard Schultz reiterated the company’s long-standing position.

Our company’s longstanding approach to “open carry” has been to follow local laws: we permit it in states where allowed and we prohibit it in states where these laws don’t exist. We have chosen this approach because we believe our store partners should not be put in the uncomfortable position of requiring customers to disarm or leave our stores. We believe that gun policy should be addressed by government and law enforcement—not by Starbucks and our store partners.

However, as he points out the debate has become uncivil. Open carry activists have staged Starbucks appreciation days that don’t accurately portray the company’s position. And the anti-gun crowd has disrupted business by “soliciting and confronting” customers and employees.

This whole thing reminds me of when I was a child and my brothers and I would bicker near my father. Dad didn’t care about our argument. He just didn’t want to hear it. Instead of getting himself involved and trying to solve our problems, he simply told us to get away from him.

Moms Nag StarbucksTo be clear, this is not a victory for Shannon Watts and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America no more than Starbucks’ stance was a victory for open carry activists.

However, this is a victory for concealed carry. I think his letter pretty plainly states that the open carry of firearms into his stores creates an environment they don’t want. He doesn’t call for an outright ban, but asks we leave them out of the store hinting at the idea that if “nobody can see ‘em, nobody will care.”

This is exactly the position Buckeyes for Concealed Carry took on the issue eighteen months ago.  We utilized a gun control group’s boycott of Starbucks to call a ban on campus concealed carry to task. Our position was simply that if a private company can get it right and leave concealed carry up to legislators, why can’t our university?

Campus concealed carry is not an issue a university should take a stance on. I encourage public universities to take Starbucks’ stance. Leave the campus carry debate up to legislators.

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