This exchange happened to me recently at my local neighborhood coffee shop.
Owner: What do you write about?
Me: Firearms. I write about guns from the perspective of a novice.
Owner: Oh. I totally support the second amendment.
Escorts me and my drink outside. Points to a sign on the window. A gun with the circle and thick red line through it.
Owner: You can carry a firearm in here. But then I’ll ask you to leave. And you’ll have to leave.
Note: I didn’t have a gun on me. Note: I had seen the sign, and had no intentions of doing anything but respecting his wishes, whether that meant leaving the gun in the car or going to another shop.
His hand is on my shoulder. His tone is nice. It always is. But I had just been kicked out of a coffee shop for writing about guns in the most micro-aggressive way possible.
I went back last weekend. I simply couldn’t go another moment without coffee, and my usual options are too far away to walk. I arrived during the middle of a tea party full of old women in fancy hats.
The previously nice shop owner wouldn’t look me in my eye. He skirted past me with a tray full of petit fours and watercress sandwiches and other old people-tea party stuff.
He was afraid. Not afraid of a gun, but afraid that he would have to ask me to leave because of the gun. The gun that I didn’t have. Afraid of the scene that might be created in front of the old women and the frilly hats and the fancy little cakes, all over a gun that wasn’t there.
Below is a post that I wrote for my blog, Chadvs.com in 2013. Other assholes in other coffee shops; not because they exercised their rights to carry in a Starbucks, but because they were so… assholish about it.
JITTERY GUYS WITH GUNS: LOOKS WHAT’S GOING DOWN AT STARBUCKS
Guys with guns. They need more caffeine.
The CEO of Starbucks politely asks that you leave your Glocks, Sigs, Ak’s and Ar’s in your car next time you visit them to purchase one of their fine snacks or signature coffee beverages. Apparently, Howard Shultz thinks that some of their customers might feel uncomfortable around responsible gun owners.
“…guns should not be part of the Starbucks experience,” he whispered, while peeking nervously through his office blinds. “Especially when kids are around.”
It is not known whether he considered keeping some weapons behind the counter, for people who might feel out gunned.
Their previous policy had been one of open carry. Meaning, if it’s legal in your state then you are welcome to come in with a gun on your hip like Rick Grimes. This is, by the way, the policy of most businesses. But like most things, some people had to get together and ruin everything. The above pictures were snapped at a Starbucks Appreciation Day. Not the kind where they give out coffee and coupons. The kind where dudes are strapped, and women put iced lattes in their cleavage so that they don’t have to put down either of their guns, even for a second.
This is why it is so hard to be pro gun. Because there are people out there who are always trying to turn things into a thing. Don’t get all tactical at the Starbucks! Drink your coffee and then leave!
By the way. If you insist on scaring the hell out of everyone during you next visit to Starbucks, you should know that they aren’t very enthusiastic about enforcing their policy. Their baristas aren’t going to tell you to go. They won’t call the cops or give you any less than the exemplary service that you have become accustomed to. Just know, they will be giving you one hell of a side-eye.
What do you think about coffee shops that don’t want to serve you if they know that you have a firearm? I had no intentions of going back, not because of his policy towards guns but because of his no tolerance policy concerning guys who write about guns.