Well, Starbucks can’t seem to make anyone consistently happy.  At least anyone with excitable political views.  They do keep making money however. (SBUX up about 55% in last 2 years).

For the longest time it was hip among the Left to eschew Starbucks; they were polluting all the high traffic areas with look-alike stores making look-alike coffee specialty drinks.  Call it the “too much like Wal-mart” problem, but it was cool to scorn Starbucks and their regular customers.

But wait, Starbucks actually looks out for their employees, providing much better benefits than typical behind-the-counter grunts.  An impressive list: Retirement plans, sick leave, vacation, management opportunity.  Fortune rated Starbucks one of the best companies to work for in America. So that’s way better than most employees get at, say, Wal-mart or Staples.  So, good for Starbucks, from the Left.

Then Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz came out strong in favor of “gay marriage.”  Wow, Yay for him and Starbucks (says the Left); and then he and Starbucks get the scorn of the Social Conservative Right.Female_homosexuality_symbol.svg

Now Starbucks has announced that they will permit firearms in their stores — even open carry — if the weapon is carried by a person  consistent with the jurisdiction’s laws and regulations.  So now it’s all “how evil is Starbucks?” on the Left and “Rah-rah for Starbucks” from the liberty wing of the Right and the NRA crowd.

If the two ladies behind the counter serving coffee are married to each other, does that make coffee taste any better, or worse?  If the CEO supports same-sex marriage, does that really affect anything either?

For me it’s simply about cost for value, taste and convenience.  Starbucks is kind of expensive, so I don’t go there often.  But it’s convenient, so I do pop in from time to time — and now I (sheepishly) admit that I have the Starbucks app on my smartphone.

And to be honest, if it turned out that someone in Starbucks was packing, that would actually make me feel quite a bit more safe. [I am not a gun nut, own no guns and am not an NRA member, although I do occasionally enjoy squeezing off a few


rounds].  Gun owners are easily the most reserved, practical, careful and responsible people I know.  Consider the average coffee shop, especially a Starbucks.  It’s a place where reasonably affluent people lounge around chatting, surfing the web and generally not paying attention to the commotion around them; as such, they present a rather soft target for a whack-a-doo or a terrorist to shoot up.

Arizona has rather liberal gun-carry laws, even open carry.  I’ve been hiking near Phoenix and come across others who are open carrying.  Didn’t cause me the least bit of stress or concern.  Had a nice talk with one fellow about picking encelia for use as a spice in cooking and for medical use (good for skin and minor wounds); he was carrying several stalks he had “harvested”, and quite proud of it — taking several minutes to explain to me how to spot it and how to cook with it.

This is all fine with the classical liberal.  Pretty much live and let live.

bis bald!

Joe Girard

(C) 2013