The article, titled “An Open Letter from Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks Coffee Company”, is nested on appealing to customers to desist from bringing firearms into Starbucks stores and outdoor seating areas irrespective of the current laws adopted by individual states regarding the issue of owning guns in the public, commonly known as “open carry” laws (Schultz para. 1-4). As demonstrated by the author, the issue of having guns in the public is going against the company’s vision and values, not mentioning that it is sucking Starbucks partners (employees) into a debate that should be rightfully addressed by the government and law enforcement agencies.
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The pertinent theme in this article, it seems, is that the open possession of guns by customers in Starbucks stores is creating an unsettling and upsetting environment for many of the company’s customers who normally visit the stores to enjoy the peace and pleasure of coffee and community (Schultz para. 2). Additionally, the management has noted a situation whereby pro-gun activists continue to use the company’s stores for media events that deceptively portray it as a champion of the “open carry” law, while anti-gun activists take advantage of the situation by soliciting and confronting the company’s customers and employees (Schultz para. 5).
It is my view that the reasons behind Schultz’ attempt to respectively request that customers no longer bring guns into Starbucks stores or outdoor seating areas are valid and justifiable, particularly upon the consideration that the stores exist to provide every customer with a safe and comfortable respite from the concerns of daily life (Schultz para. 2). However, the request is not grounded in law as some states in the United States permit the possession of guns in the public (Korwin 8-10), hence pro-gun activists and customers are likely to ignore the request or even switch their loyalty to other coffee stores.
The company, in my view, can handle the situation better by rolling out awareness campaigns on gun exposure by customers while in Starbucks stores and the importance of desisting from progressing pro-gun or anti-gun debates while in open spaces. Many customers are mature and willing to listen to the concerns raised by Starbucks management on the gun debate, hence the issue of requiring customers to disarm or leave the company’s stores as suggested by Schultz should not arise.
To conclude, it is important to note that security concerns are fundamental for any enterprise to flourish in an extremely competitive business arena. However, the importance of customers should not be taken for granted, hence Schultz should consider using other means to drive his point home other than requesting customers to disarm or leave the company’s premises. A good starting point would be to conduct awareness campaigns to reinforce the prudence use and exposure of firearms by customers.
Korwin, Alan. Gun Laws of America. 2nd ed. 2007. Phoenix, AZ: Bloomfield Press. Print.
Schultz, Howard. An Open Letter from Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks Coffee Company 2013. Web.