Okay everyone, try not to pick any fights at Starbucks today because it is officially "Gun Owners Support Starbucks Day." Yes, the Washington Post reports that gun owners in Virginia have organized an day of appreciation for Starbucks' policy on guns. While Virginia seems to be the central location for the appreciation day, gun owners in other states with open carry laws are encouraged to join in on the fun or whatever.
And this is some serous organization. Ed Levine, organizer of the Virginia appreciation day (and not of Serious Eats fame), sells guns-and-coffee swag on his Guns and Coffee website, and people are posting photos of their guns at Starbucks on the event's official Facebook page. That page also explains the significance of appreciation Starbucks on February 22 — 2/22 is for the 2nd Amendment, get it? They also urge fellow gun owners to pay with $2 bills, helpfully illustrated with a photograph of crisp bills lined up on a table.
That said, the Starbucks policy toward guns is actually pretty neutral. As a Starbucks spokesman explains, "our longstanding position is to comply with local laws in the communities we serve. We think that's the right way to ensure a safe environment for our partners." But this all came about years ago when anti-gun activists pushed the chain to ban guns from their stores in states with open carry laws. Starbucks refused, with CEO Howard Schultz telling Nightline at the time, "I'm not a politician. I run a coffee company and we're trying to abide by the laws in which we do business." That stance has turned Starbucks into some sort of hero for the pro-gun movement, with Starbucks Appreciation Days popping up in cities across America last year, according to the LA Times.
But for those considering joining in the appreciation day, first consider watching in a video for last year's event in which Levine discourages big gatherings of gun owners. After all, he points out, Starbucks never sought to become a battleground for the hot button issue. Here's that video:
Video: Gun Owners Nationally Support Starbucks on 02-14-2012