I have seldom been less impressed with carry advocacy strategies then I am with the appeal to civil rights; it smacks of Reductio ad Hitlerum. The Starbucks question is purely a question of property rights: individual businesses have the right to prohibit or allow carrying firearms on their premises. Buckhorn Grill, Peet’s Coffee & Tea and California Pizza Kitchen have just as much right to ban carrying firearms, as Starbucks has in permitting it. Individual consumers have the right to patronize those businesses that operate in a manner closest to the consumer’s desire.
Burger King has every right to serve their burgers in a manner I find overcooked, and tasteless. In response to their decision, I eat elsewhere. Similarly, if you don’t like that Starbucks allows firearms, don’t go there.
That being said, this latest attempt at “gotcha” deserves a second glance, as Brady’s examples are notable for their shallow reasoning and naive approach.
Leave your skin color outside
Skin color is an unchangeable physical attribute, but race is more than just the color of one’s skin; a Scotsman is just as caucasian as a Brit, but it would be a mistake to call him English. Native language is an element of one’s race, and what would we say about an establishment that required customers to speak only English while on the premise? Can we not see that this is just as racially discriminatory as refusing service based on skin color?
Leave your sexual orientation outside
Again, this is a naïve example as it assumes that mere preclusion is the extent of discrimination. Consider the US Military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy: you can be homosexual, provided you don’t act on it or discuss it. Would the Bradys allow a business the same option? “You may shop here, but you may not discuss, display, or in any other way indicate a homosexual sexual preference.” I would hope they would see that this is the same as banning gays from the shop.
Leave your religious affiliation outside
It bears mention that religious affiliation is not an immutable attribute, people convert to a new religion every day. Would the Bradys allow a shop to say “Jewish patrons are welcome, provided they not wear a yarmulke” or “Christian patrons are welcome, provided they do not display a cross”?
Leave your gender outside
How about, “female patrons must be accompanied by their husband or a male relative?” This allows women access, but is obviously sexist. Better yet, “female patrons must wear skirts or dresses” which allows women access, provided they change their physical appearance.
Leave your wheelchair outside
What about refusing access to service animals, such as seeing-eye dogs? We could argue that it is unsanitary to have the animals near food preparation, and ban them as a health risk.
Leave your gun outside
Forbidding CCW permit holders from carrying in the store is analogous to requiring Jewish patrons to remove their yarmulke before entering, or prohibiting hijabs.