KING 5 in Seattle reported today on the Brady Campaign’s petition to ask Starbucks to keep guns out of its coffee shops — a petition with over 25,000 signatures and counting — and quoted John Pierce of OpenCarry.org as applauding Starbucks’ non-responsive answer thus far.
From theKING 5 story:
“It is refreshing to see yet one more company not requiring law abiding gun owners to go to the back of the bus,” says Pierce. “Importantly, Starbucks joins most American corporations in deciding not to discriminate against lawful gun carriers.”
Notwithstanding that Peet’s Tea & Coffee and California Pizza Kitchen immediately made their “No Guns” policies clear after the Brady Campaign’s California chapters protested “open carry” gun activists at those establishments, you may have noticed Mr. Pierce’s bigger mistake.
While trying really hard to pose as a “victim of bigotry” with his best Rosa Parks impression (someone who faced genuine discrimination), Mr. Pierce forgot to blur the distinction between gun owners and gun carriers. Whoops.
Come on guys, if your “bigotry” play is going to work you can’t make rookie mistakes like that. Unsuspecting onlookers might run this thought experiment and see that you’re all full of beans
Say you are a business owner, and you want to provide the safest and most comfortable environment for your staff and customers in order to grow your business and make money.
Which of the following hypothetical statements to prospective customers make sense, and which are to be rejected as wrong and discriminatory?
1. “You can come in, but you have to leave your skin color outside.”
2. “You can come in, but you have to leave your sexual orientation outside.”
3. “You can come in, but you have to leave your religious affiliation outside.”
4. “You can come in, but you have to leave your gender outside.”
5. To the paraplegic: “You can come in, but you have to leave your wheelchair outside.”
6. “You can come in, but you have to leave your gun outside unless you’re a police officer.”
Clearly, the first five statements are racist, homophobic, religiously discriminatory, sexist and discriminatory against the physically challenged and are unacceptable.
Why? Among other reasons, they are all impossible to comply with. All of those traits are immutable characteristics of individuals and cannot be separated from the person. It is impossible to comply with those statements because if you exclude one, you exclude both.
The sixth and last statement, however, obviously does not fall into that category, because guns can be separated from people. A gun is a thing outside human identity.
And by accidentally acknowledging this obvious fact, Mr. Pierce let his (Freudian) slip show.
The business owner who says, “You can come in, but you have to leave your gun outside unless you’re a police officer” says nothing about the gun owner but everything about carrying the gun on their property.
A business owner can decide to invite every gun owner in the zip code to take advantage of a store-wide sale and say that they can’t carry their guns in the store, and be entirely consistent. There is no such thing as “discrimination against guns,” only against people. Let’s say it again: Guns don’t have rights because guns are things.
Believe it or not, even the NRA knows the difference.
When Senator and presidential candidate John McCain spoke to the NRA convention in Louisville in May 2008, the Secret Service barred all guns from the convention hall. (NRA accepted that policy for a presidential candidate speaking to its own members, but apparently doesn’t think that’s such a good idea for a mom picking up her coffee at the local Starbucks with kids in tow.)
At the end of the day, “open carry” gun advocates understand as well as NRA strategists the silliness of their claims of “bigotry” and “discrimination” after business owners enforce “No Guns Except For Police” policies around their customers, and on their private property.
Some gun advocates are just better at hiding it than others.