Friday, March 5, 2010
The open-carry gun movement has Starbucks in the middle of an arguement they don’t want any part of. Too bad, and too late, because they already are. They’re doing the legal thing by allowing those people who want to openly carry a firearm in states where it’s legal. What they’re also doing is creating unsettled customers. Is this a big deal in the 43 states where open-carry is the norm and gun culture accepted? I’m guessing not. But Cupertino is more a bastion of software than shoot-outs, so I can see locals being upset.
Supporters attempt to assuage public concerns that they’re there to shoot up the place. Realistic? Probably not, but one thing off the top of my head is that even trained police officers sometimes have trouble keeping suspects from grabbing their weapon. Not sure I trust *dad* to be exactly vigilant with a kid in one arm and an Espresso Macchiato in the other.
Worst-case scenario aside though, what if Starbucks... didn’t just make it their problem alone? While they can’t take themselves entirely out of the discussion, they sure can’t be the only chain going through this either. Align your PR message with others also dealing with this, thus taking the focus off yourself.