Many people who love guns and coffee particularly appreciate Starbucks. In the 12 states with unfettered rights to “open carry” a gun, including Virginia, and the 16 others that are mostly open carry, Starbucks has rebuffed attempts by gun control activists to keep guns out of the national coffee shop chain.
So on Friday, 2-22 (for the Second Amendment), gun rights supporters are holding “Gun Owners Support Starbucks Day,” and will be drinking their joe while openly packing their heat. In Northern Virginia, this is being organized by Ed Levine, who already has an “I Love Guns and Coffee” website (there are two) and mints a guns and coffee challenge coin, seen above. He wants 2-22 to be an annual day of support for Starbucks by gun owners.
Levine, an executive member of the Virginia Citizens Defense League and founder of Virginia Open Carry, said the point of the Starbucks day is “to show the general public that good guys carry guns too. Because all they hear about on the news is that someone got shot. You’ve got to quit creating gun-free zones. Schools, colleges, universities where a good guy can’t carry a gun is where the bad guys have a field day. This is just to show when you carry, you’re not only expressing your rights, but to show good guys carry.” Levine will be hanging out at the Starbucks in Cascades, in Sterling, on Friday and will be flush with $2 bills.
Starbucks first got drawn into this debate several years ago, and has tried to stay steadfastly neutral. Spokesman Zack Hutson told me Thursday that “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,” which is both employees and customers.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz told ABC News in 2010, “I’m not a politician. I run a coffee company and we’re trying to abide by the laws in which we do business.” A spokeswoman for the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence said the group had no comment.
Here is the Facebook page for the 2-22 event, here is Levine’s “Guns and Coffee” page, and for t-shirts and coffee mugs and tire covers supporting guns and coffee, you can go here. And below is a video of Levine discussing how and why this national day came to pass.