A national gun control organization wants Starbucks to take a stance on its gun policy.
Paul Helmke, president of Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, told KIRO Radio's Dave Ross on Wednesday there has been a recent surge in customers carrying unconcealed weapons into California stores.
Helmke explained that people in large groups are banning together and carrying their guns unconcealed into businesses to flaunt their Second Amendment rights.
The U.S. Supreme Court decided in June 2008 that bans on handguns is unconstitutional and the Second Amendment guarantees the right to own a gun for self-defense.
"Really, what's happened since that Supreme Court decision is the gun lobby is pushing more of this 'let's take more guns more places with more people,' instead of trying to figure out how do we make sure there's background checks on all sales," said Helmke.
Helmke said they asked area businesses to decide whether to allow gun carrying customers into their stores or refuse them business. The policies are similar to those not allowing topless or shoeless customers through the door.
"When Starbucks was asked about it, they said they don't have a policy on it and they follow state law," said Helmke. He added, "That bothers people that go to these restaurants and it concerns us because we believe that it actually raises the chances there's going to be some gun violence, or a mistake or a confrontation."
California Pizza Kitchen and Peet's Coffee have both decided they won't allow people to openly carry guns in their businesses.
"We're concerned that Starbucks isn't listening to its customers who would like to get a coffee without somebody carrying a gun," said Helmke.
He admitted they haven't been able to measure an increase in gun violence since a recent push to 'pack heat' in public, but cited past studies that show the more guns in a home, community, etc. increases the chances for gun violence.
"More guns usually leads to more gun violence," said Helmke.
So here we go again. Ignoring years of actual data, Helmke the talking head just makes crap up in an effort to gull people into doing what he and his ever-shrinking band of elitists want them to do. "More guns usually leads to more gun violence," he says. Really? I keep waiting for someone in the media to ask him to prove that, because gun ownership is at an all-time high right now (Thanks, Obama!) and more states allow concealed carry of firearms than at any time in the past 50 years, and the nation's violent crime rate is dropping and has been for years. Clearly there are more guns out there, but violent crime is down, not up as Helmke and other prevaricators (that means "liars" for those Helmke supporters who might read this) suggest.
Right now, I applaud Starbucks for not caving into Helmke, unlike California Pizza Kitchen and Peet's Coffee. It's great that Starbucks recognizes state law and doesn't have a problem with it, and it's telling that Helmke and his group express disdain for this and other businesses who merely follow the law. In Helmke's worldview, it appears that the only good laws are those which totally step on honest people and deprive them of the right to make their own choices about self-defense. And that's all that gun control laws do; criminals couldn't care less about laws--or store policies--when it comes to their weapons.
It's a fact of life that bad people will always have weapons regardless of laws or store policies to the contrary. It follows that they will always have an advantage in areas that mandate that the good people cannot be armed. Places that demand that their customers render themselves defenseless will always be looked upon favorably by those with evil intent, and that's why we see so many mass shootings in places like schools and damned few in gun shops or police stations. If there's any such thing as karma in the world, one of these days Paul Helmke will find himself cowering before an armed bad guy with the police nowhere in sight. And if he's really lucky, there might be a law-abiding armed citizen nearby who saves his worthless fat ass and teaches him the wisdom of taking responsibility for his own safety and not working full-time to deny others that option.
As for me, I value my life so I shall go armed.
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