I have read and followed the philosophy and rise of Starbucks with more than a passing interest over the years. It has been a remarkable ground-breaking company laid bare by Howard Schultz’s well-worth reading accounts of the journey. That they have made mistakes and antagonised various groups along the way is not in doubt. They certainly have their detractors and sworn enemies but I still believe that Starbucks has done far more right than wrong; far more good than harm – and besides which, they serve a damn fine cup of coffee!
This week Schultz announced that Starbucks would be off-limits to gun bearers – a gun-free zone where mothers and children, amongst others, could enjoy their coffee without feeling as though they were in the Wild West. OK, this isn’t how he phrased it being ever more cautionary and diplomatic and he stopped short of calling it a ‘ban on guns’ – after all in much of the USA the ‘right to bear arms’ is enshrined by law and practiced as a matter of personal pride. This fixation with guns and rights, and the American mind-set around this emotional issue, is hard to fathom, especially when stacked against the backdrop of school shootings and civilian killings. Current news headlines are dominated by the tragic killing spree at the Washington navel base in which 13 people died. Perhaps this constitutes a different context to the other incidents, I don’t know?
However, my point is not to get into the whole gun-debate in the USA. I have done that before and quickly realised, like Piers Morgan, there is no convincing those who believe it their right to carry weapons in this democratic land of the free. I am just glad that I can now enjoy time in Starbucks and not see guns brazenly displayed in what I presume represents some kind of primal statement of manhood.
Nice one Howard and thank-you.