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March 2, 2010

The gun movement we started hearing about in our East Bay suburbs is now gaining nationwide attention

In Los Angeles! Virginia! The U.S. Supreme Court! Starbucks nationwide!

Back in January, we started hearing about members of Open Carry. Locally, this consists of a loosely organized Bay Area-based group that advocates the open display of firearms--that is, the display of unloaded firearms, as allowed by state law.

OpenCarry.org (which displays the photo shown here on its website) describes itself as "a pro-gun Internet community focused on the right to openly carry properly holstered handguns in daily American life." Open Carry demonstrations, which consist of people striding around in public places with their unloaded guns and ammunition clips strapped to their belts, have been popping up around the country for the past couple years.

There was a demonstration at a Livermore coffee shop in January. Then, Open Carry members came to Walnut Creek on February 6. They thought about meeting up at California Pizza Kitchen in Broadway Plaza, but CPK said they would prefer that these gun-toting guys go elsewhere. The Open Carry members received permission from Buckhorn Grill in Plaza Escuela, and about 100 Open Carry members, and their families, showed up...

The media, including yours truly, was there.

Buckhorn Grill later sent out an e-mail to customers, apologizing for their decision to welcome the Open Carry members.

Peet's Coffee and Tea also said no to Open Carry members--but not Starbucks. In fact, Starbucks has won many fans on the Open Carry side of the debate for its corporate policy, which effectively allows Open Carry members to wear their guns in their stores.

According to an Associated Press story, published Tuesday:
"Even in some 'open carry' states, businesses are allowed to ban guns in their stores. And some have, creating political confrontations with gun owners. But Starbucks, the largest chain targeted, has refused to take the bait, saying in a statement this month that it follows state and local laws and has its own safety measures in its stores."

This story depicts an Open Carry member walking into a Starbucks in Virginia, "handgun strapped to his waist," and ordering "a banana Frappuccino with a cinammon bun."

This story goes on to point out that the fight for retailers' support nationally heated up in January when "gun enthusiasts in Northern California began walking into Starbucks and other businesses. ... As it spread to other states, gun control groups quickly complained about the parade of firearms in local stores.

But Starbucks' choice to serve Open Carry guys is attracting fierce opposition by gun control groups. Among groups fighting the Open Cary cause is the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. According to the AP, the Brady Campaign has circulated a petition that attracted 26,000 signatures demanding that Starbucks "offer espress shots, not gunshots" and declare its coffeehouses "gun-free zones."

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I encourage all those opposed to these people to do the following:

1. call the police to report them. After all, you don't know whether they are armed or not, so we should all assumed people with guns on them are armed and dangerous. This additional burden to the police department will, over time, cause them to complain to their superiors, who will in turn complain to local governments so something can be done.

2. With a friend carrying a video recorder, approach them and verbally piss them off. For example, ask them whether they are carrying a gun to make up for their small penises. Get them riled up so they do something stupid, then send the tape to the media, post it to youtube etc. In case they do not do something stupid, well, at least you had the opportunity to make fun of them, so it's a win-win.

Anonymous said...

You people are really obsessed with the gun carrying folks, aren't you?

I'm always left wondering why liberals are so hateful.

I wasn't even particularly for the open carry folks, but I can't stand to see people's rights get trampled.

I already won't go back to Buckhorn Grill (because they wimped out on their original position) and will have to forgo Starbucks as well if they change their position.

Anonymous said...

East Coast Pizza on Broadway in Walnut Creek welcomed Open Carry per CC Times on 2/28
http://www.contracostatimes.com/search/ci_14489574?nclick_check=1

David said...

Anonymous post #1 (you can use your real name). Why don't you call the police and videotape the real criminals, remember there was a car-jacking here last week. Maybe you can videotape and call the police on those people who do not pick up after their dogs? That is actually illegal. Pretty sad that your lose-lose joke of a solution will tie up resources and waste time on something legal.

Anonymous said...

Whereas I own a gun and have it properly stored in my home away from those who should not have access to it and

Whereas I grew up in Texas where deer rifles and shotguns were routinely kept in the gun rack including on school property and

Whereas I support the right to own guns therefore

Be it resolved that I cannot condone the carrying of weapons in public when it is not obvious to me if the person carrying the gun is legal or not, I will dial 911 when I see anyone displaying a weapon in a public place that I feel puts me, my family, and my community members at risk.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:08

It seems telling how you must have a need to label things to make them fit into your universe. How do you know that "liberals" object and "conservatives" encourage flaunting guns in public places?

Why do you call people who exercise their First Amendment right of free speech in voicing their dislike of displaying guns in public as hateful?

Why do you think business owner do not have a right to set up rules for service in their establishments? It is not illegal to walk barefoot and to wear no shirt, but many businesses refuse service to customers without shoes or shirt.

crazyguy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Big Gay Al said...

Just a little FYI, they only carry UNLOADED pistols in California, something about the state law saying you can only OC an unloaded gun.

However, in Virginia, Indiana, Michigan, and many other states where OC is legal, our guns ARE loaded.

AKA Soccer Mom said...

Dear 1:24 p.m.
You want to rephrase what you wrote, because it went over the line. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

2:57

They carry unloaded but they can carry ammunition. Therefore the gun can be loaded very quickly.