Starbucks, Like Robert Heinlein & William S. Burroughs, Knows That an Armed Society is a Polite Society


Full disclosure: I'm in a Starbucks even as I'm blogging this story about how the Seattle-based caffeine kingpin is er, actually, acceding to common sense in its decision to allow customers to pack heat in jurisdictions that allow that sort of thing:

The Seattle-based coffee giant was thrust in the middle of a gun-control debate it never wanted to have when it refused a request from gun-control groups to ban guns in its stores this winter.

The company gave short, curt statements as the issue gained traction over the past several weeks. On Wednesday, as gun-control advocates prepared a Seattle news conference in view of the original Starbucks store, the company spoke loud and clear: We've made our decision. Can we please move on?

More here.

Here's hoping that Starbucks sticks to its guns, especially given that there is no reason to believe that more guns in circulation per se increases crime. Indeed, a liberal carry policy, btw, would have helped avert one of the worst horror shows in American history, the 1991 mass murder in a Killeen, Texas restaurant by a deranged shooter (state law at the time precluded legal gun owners from bringing weapons into such places; one survivor said she would have had a clear shot at the killer had she not left her gun in her vehicle).

Early, unfortunate scene featuring thugs from the Members Only criminal syndicate in 1982's Sudden Impact, really one of the worst movies ever made, in which Clint Eastwood makes his own day:

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  1. “Starbucks put out a statement today saying they don’t want to be in the middle of this fight. Well, they are. They are the middle,” Brian Malte, director of federal and state mobilization at the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, a national gun-control group, told reporters at Victor Steinbrueck Park at Pike Place Market. “Why are they in middle? Because they chose — they chose — not to bar guns, so far, in their stores.”

    they chose — they chose — not to bar guns

    Shut the fuck up Malte.

    Stay home, you cowering pussy.

    1. If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

      In this case, by doing nothing, Starbucks made the CORRECT choice, but choose they did.

      1. Nice ref to Rush’s “Free Will”

    2. Note the emphasis is on “chose” not “guns.” What bothers these guys is not the guns themselves, but the choice they represent. The one thing that throws them into a tizzy is people making choices.

  2. I guess I know where I will be getting my coffee. What is funny is, that for all its image, every hipster doofus I know wouldn’t be caught dead in a starbucks. Starbucks has never really been that cool.

    1. “What is funny is, that for all its image, every hipster doofus I know wouldn’t be caught dead in a starbucks.”

      This may well be BECAUSE they are trying. Like the teenager who rolls his eyes when his dad “trys to relate” by acting more like a teenager. Respect comes from being oneself.

      I like their product (except for their dark roasts) but I understand why hipsters might not like them.

  3. Huh. I can’t say Sudden Impact is great, but “one of the worst movies ever made”? I can’t agree. Hell, that scene alone is pretty entertaining.

    Incidentally, the clip suggests that guns in the hands of customers may, in fact, be problematic ?

    1. Worst movies ever made? Worse than anything by Micheal Bay? Sudden impact is not Eastwood’s best. But worst ever made says more about the Jacket than it does about the movie.

      1. Indeed. It’s no classic, but you could have walked into any multiplex on any day of the last 10 years and found a worse movie.

      2. I like Sudden Impact, but I like just about every Eastwood flick, even the one with the orangotang(sp?). It’s awesome when they destroy a whole establishment when the robbers probably have gotten less than $100 out of the register. Acorn Cafe… connection? Just saying.

        Sorry Nick, but it’s the Members Only Mafia, or MOM for those in the know.

        1. Orangutan

      3. Uwe Boll exists.

    2. Over the last month I’ve watched the entire “Diry Harry” canon and I can state that, in my professional opinion, “Sudden Impact” is no better or worse than the rest of them.
      OTOH, it took Arnie to really pull off the Gargoyles sunglasses look.

  4. Worse than Bronco Billy?

    1. It is not even the wrost Eastwood movie. And frankly, I would rather watch Sudden Impact than be subjected to Million Dollar Baby again. At least Sudden Impact didn’t leave me wanted to kill myself.

      1. Speaking of which, by that same standard, Im not sure Ive ever seen a movie worse than Leaving Las Vegas.

        1. Now that’s where I must respectfully disagree. I think the state of cinema would be much better if it had lots more Elisabeth Shue. Now granted, since she’s married to the director of “An Inconvenient Truth”, she may also be a screaming liberal. That’s okay. If she does a preachy movie, you can rent the DVD and mute the volume.

  5. “…one of the worst movies ever made”? It isn’t even the worst Dirty Harry movie, Nick.

    I mean, have you SEEN “Exterminator City”? Or “Urban Justice”? Or “F/X 2”?

    1. Exterminator City. Holy moley, I thought I was the only one who’d suffered through that thing. Well, okay, the first 5 minutes because that’s as much as I could take. It was even worse than Absolution, which is going some. Sudden Impact isn’t within a light year of that bad.

      1. My own benchmark for the worst film I ever saw is Eraserhead, David Lynch way back in 1977. Sudden Impact has more than a few entertaining moments, including the one in the clip.

  6. Dudes, let’s not get caught up in jumping all over Nick for a little hyperbole. I think we can all agree that Mr. Holland’s Opus is one of the worst movies ever made.

    1. There are so many bad movies, how can any one be the worst?

      1. Have you seen Glitter? I HAVE.

        1. Why would you do something like that?

          1. It was a weak moment in his life ProL, the pills just weren’t dulling the pain as much as they used to. Cut him some slack.

        2. Woah! That’s totally badass, dude!

        3. The tragedy of 9/11/2001

      2. Highlander 2: The Sickening

        “There should have been only one!”

        1. Damn, you’d owe me a new keyboard if I hadn’t been reading this on an Iphone.

          Good one.

    2. Talk about hyperbole! I hope you were joking about “Mr. Holland’s Opus”. I know a LOT of people who would strongly disagree with you about that. The acting was superb in it and the story line was good.

      1. The story line was good? Good? Matt, you should probably just become a hermit or something now.

        1. Why do I get the impression advice from Warty is like VD—-you can live without it.

      2. And I hope you’re joking, because that movie is the worst shit since…Dreyfuss’ previous masterpiece, Another Stakeout. Seriously, dude: you honestly think Mr Holland’s Anus was good? Really? Really?

  7. “After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn’t do it. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military.” -William S. Burroughs

    1. He may have been a creepy pedophile and a somewhat unpleasant person in lots of other ways, but WSB really pretty right on with his criticism and observations of society.

      1. It’s a shame none of them made into that puddle of dated slang that comprised his books.

    2. Didn’t Burroughs shoot his wife in the head?

      1. My question, too.

        1. Yes, I did, during a drunken game of “William Tell” at a party in Mexico City.

          1. yes but it was an accident, it haunted him his whole life.
            Burroughs definitely had many libertarian views. even Kerouac supported Goldwater. I hate it how some of my friends try and write the beats off as all leftist hippies.

          2. He’s the primary inspiration for Colonel Gentleman, aside from Sean Connery.

    3. Well said Hacha Cha. I never really thought about it just exactly in those terms but the way you stated that is very good. A society where the only people are allowed guns are police and the military is usually ruled by a dictator. At the very least it is a society where most personal freedoms as we know them in America are nonexistent. And if it isn’t a dictatorship then it will be a society being overrun by criminals (think today’s British society)

      1. If guns are banned only outlaws will have weapons.

        If marriage is banned only outlaws will have in-laws.

  8. “Let’s not argue about ‘who killed whom.'”

    If we take all the weapons away, men will love each other like brothers.

    1. Exactly. That’s why there’s no violence in prisons.

  9. Because we all know that Starbucks is a hotbed of gun related crime. And I’m sure these idiot gun control jihadis don’t realize that a Starbucks ban on guns would make those stores more appealing to armed robbers.

    Brian Malte: you deserve an ass-fucking by the rusty-scythe of righteousness!

  10. All right-thinking Americans agree: Starship Troopers was The Worst Movie Ever Made.

    1. Not even close. Nudity makes up for a lot of shit.

      Which is why Showgirls isnt the worst movie ever either. But still close.

      Really, Elizabeth Berkely over Charlize Theron? No wonder Verhoeven screwed up Troopers, he clearly has no taste.

      1. Charlize Theron is too classy looking to play a poor, white trash chick trying to make a big.

      2. I don’t think that it was really possible for Verhoeven to grok “Starship Troopers”. Reportedly, he didn’t even finish the novel, claiming that it bored and depressed him. Well, duh. The form of government practiced in the novel must have seemed horribly strange to his leftist palette, perhaps even more strange than Reagan.

        I liked the novel. I’m not sure how personal liberty can be married up with the requirement of federal service for enfranchisement, but it was an interesting concept to ponder for a while.

        Oh, and sorry, robc. I promise that I’m not stalking you. You just keep saying interesting things. ;D

    2. I just watched Troopers again last weekend.

      Can’t say it’s the worst movie I’ve ever seen, in fact as outer space shoop ’em ups go it ain’t half bad. But any resemblance to the Robert A Heinlein novel of the same name appears to be entirely coincidental.

      But then, Starship Troopers is far from Heinlein’s best work, IMHO.

      1. starship troopers is hilarious.

        showgirls, on the other hand, is one of the darkest films of the last 25 years. the life and death of the american dream machine.

    3. Obviously you are unacquainted with ‘Boxing Helena’.

      I’d keep it that way.

  11. Washington State is kind of an outlier in terms of where it belongs on the political spectrum, isn’t it? I think its’ kinda thought of as being almost Canadian in terms of being a blue state, but wasn’t it the first state to go “shall issue”?

    I think it would be pretty weird to go against customers in your own back yard.

    P.S. I can’t stand the taste of coffee. Even coffee flavored ice cream, it’s the only flavor I won’t eat.

    1. Kind of like Vermont. All kinds of bad, big-govt liberalness, but concealed carry is legal. No permit necessary.

    2. Washington State is kind of an outlier in terms of where it belongs on the political spectrum, isn’t it? I think its’ kinda thought of as being almost Canadian in terms of being a blue state, but wasn’t it the first state to go “shall issue”?
      Close. Vermont never criminalized concealed carry. New Hampshire passed a law in 1923, and Washington a nearly-shall-issue law in 1961. Georgia’s 1976 law became the shall-issue model. My History of Concealed Carry.

    3. The culture of the Pacific Northwest is pretty libertarian, so I’m not all that surprised that WA would have a more liberal (in the classical sense) policy on gun ownership.

  12. Didn’t Burroughs shoot his wife in the head?

    He didn’t take her to Starbucks to do it, though, did he?

    I rest my case.

  13. There is simply no room left for ‘freedom from the tyranny of government’ since city dwellers depend on it for food, power, water, transportation, protection, and welfare. Your right to live where you want, with companions of your choosing, under laws to which you agree, died in the eighteenth century with Captain Mission. Only a miracle or a disaster could restore it.

  14. Good for Starbucks for not caving and supporting 2nd Amendment rights.

    That being said, fuck Howard Schultz for causing my beloved Sonics to go to the hell hole that is Oklahoma City and denying me the chance to watch Kevin Durant. The only consilation will be watching Durant bolt from there as soon as he can. Starbuck’s will never see another dollar from me!

    (I know, they’re quaking in their boots for fear they will go out of business without my support)

    1. I’d rather have gotten rid of the Seahawks, but hey, take what you can get, I guess.

  15. Hey — who hasn’t wanted to shoot a Starbucks barista in the face every once in a while?

    1. I’ve met a few Starbucks baristas where I’ve wanted to shoot something onto their face with my “gun”, but I’m guessing that wasn’t where you were going with that comment.

      1. Pump action soaker guns don’t need to be registered

  16. Starbucks can do math, so I’m sure they realize that the number of CCW permit-holders vastly exceeds the number of gun control pants-wetters.

    1. Actually the incidents that prompted the anti-gun whining involved legal open carry, not concealed carry.

      But the math still works. Tick off 80 million gun owners, or the few Brady folks left.

    2. I assume the management at Starbucks is pretty liberal, and sympathetic to the gun banners point of view. I’ll bet, though, they had a moment of clarity when considering how in the hell they would actually go about banning guns in their establishment. In the unlikely event that there actually was an incident of someone carrying a gun into Starbucks, they’re going to ask a twenty-something barista to politely ask them to turn over their gun so he can put it behind the bar?

      1. You’re right. There would be a ton of legal/safety issues if they chose or were forced to be a saloon.

  17. Durrant is staying in OKC. They will sign hin now, before the new collective bargaining agreement and he will make 30 million extra for staying and not waiting until he is a free agent.

    And OKC is not a hell hole. At least it is not filled with Asian gangs and dirty hippies.

  18. Hey, Seattle isn’t a bad city.

  19. All right-thinking Americans agree: Starship Troopers was The Worst Movie Ever Made.

    Whilst Starship Troopers was indeed horrible, we’re talking Independence Day level horrible, it doesn’t hold a candle to Batman and Robin in terms of overall craptacularness and inducing mental trauma to the viewer.

    1. The Avengers, Spawn, Wild Wild West, and Major League 3: Back to the Minors. Oh, and The Big Hit.

      1. You take that back! Wild Wild West has a crippled Kenneth Branagh in a steam powered wheelchair threatening to rape Selma Hayek with a mechanical penis. What the hell else do you want in a movie?

      2. Plan 9 from Outer Space – We had to force ourselves to sit through just so we could say we had seen the worst movie ever made.

        1. Try Manos: The Hands of Fate. Even worser than Plan 9.

          1. Manos doesn’t hold a candle to Monsters a Go-Go.

  20. Hmmm… in NC, many businesses put signs in their windows prohibiting concealed carry on their premises. I wonder how customers would react if businesses began advertising something like:
    Law abiding gun owners welcome in our store.

    1. And armed robbers would be comforted by the fact that the establishment is totally gun free.

  21. Guns & Ammo Magazine has an article in the April issue called “Horsepower by the Handful” about high-power revolvers and revolver cartridges, which goes into quite a bit of detail about Harry Callahan’s “most powerful handgun in the world”. Hint: the .44 Magnum wasn’t quite there even then and it sure isn’t now.

    1. To be fair, Harry was bluffing Garak, so some exaggeration should be expected.

  22. Why do the movies never mention the tragic hearing loss that Harry Callahan must surely suffer from? He never wears ear protection, and seems to shoot his loud handgun a lot.

    1. “I know what you’re thinking, ‘does his character shield cover hearing loss or not’.Well, in all the excitement, I just clean forgot. So you’ve got just one question to answer: Do I feel lucky or not? Well, do you punk?…Do you?…Do you?….?”

  23. First, Seattle Mayor Greg Nichols tried to ban guns from city parks. He got shutdown. Now, the gun grabbers come to Seattle to go after Starbucks, and they get shut down as well.

    Is it my imagination, or is there suddenly a growing respect for the Second Amendment?

    1. A lot of Democratic politicians from rural areas have learned that gun control is a political loser.

      My mother-in-law was a Democratic politician in Washington state, and her campaign brochures pretty much always featured her toting a gun while wearing camo.

      Took the Republicans forever to finally unseat her from a Republican-leaning area, because her support for gun rights got her plenty of conservative votes.

      1. prolefeed, I’m not quite a single issue voter, but respect for the 2A is in my top 3, after “only have laws that will be enforced” and “if you’re not gonna enforce it, abolish the bureau that’s supposed to.”

        ICE, you’re first in my “sights”…

      2. “My mother-in-law was a Democratic politician in Washington state, and her campaign brochures pretty much always featured her toting a gun while wearing camo.” Are you sure your not confusing the campaign with the wedding photos?

      3. There are more sociopaths in the Pacific Northwest than in any other region of the country. I’m not sure exercising freedom of conscience is necessarily a bad thing.

  24. Uh, William Burroughs shot and killed a woman in Mexico while playing with guns…..

  25. 1. “Starship Troopers” was a good novel made into a terrible silly movie by Hollyweird.

    2. Killeen demonstrated that an endangered crowd needs to fight back with whatever it has handy. Tableware, flatware, chairs, tables, hot coffee could have been used but survivors told of ducking under chairs & tables, not fighting back. PCW firearms are good yet not the only defensive weapon available.

  26. I don’t know, I kind of liked the Starship Troopers movie. Silly, yeah. Book was better, yeah. But it was ok, hardly the worst movie ever.

  27. The best clip illustrating the benefits of an armed society is in a movie from the late 80s or early 90s. Unfortunately, I cannot remember the title or much else about it. In it, two guys enter a bar with guns and announce a robbery. There is a pregnant pause before every last patron in the room simultaneously draws a weapon on them. Turns out the bar was a cop hangout. It was a funny scene in an otherwise forgettable movie. Anybody know the title?

    1. Code of Silence with Chuck Norris.…..oplay=true

  28. Starship Troopers. A Libertarian book about earning the rights of citizenship, made by a Dutch director and a bunch of Hollywood writers. And you’re wondering why the military are shown to be a bunch of Nazis? You expected, what exactly?

    Well at least the book was good. How many crappy books, are made into crappy screenplays, which morph into even crappier movies? Been to the multiplex recently?

  29. I love Robert A. Heinlein. Many of his ideas, most notably the quotes of Lazarus Long, shaped the way I think. He had a strange mix of mostly perennially conservative and some early “liberal” views (especially on sexuality). It was his common sense conservatism that appealed to me.

    But, I don’t know why the author would even mention a degenerate loser like William S. Burroughs. Maybe he should have gone with Edgar Rice.

    1. probably because burroughs was known for his rather rigid stance on bearing arms. and for his interesting/tedious descent into gun and weapons porn, particularly in “the western lands” and “the place of dead roads”.

      not that you’d know these things, mr. young adult fiction. 🙂

      1. Acid Damage, stop beating up on the young’uns.

        1. i don’t think there’s many heinlein fans under 30, though. unless he’s had a resurgence recently?

          1. My 19 year old daughter (away at college) just asked me for some of my Heinlein books… will see what she has to say.

  30. Edgar Rice BURROUGHS, that is.

  31. I’ve seen this movie a ton of times, but never before noticed that the name of the establishment is the “Acorn Cafe”.
    In 1982, apparently, you had to actually enter their premises to be robbed (notwithstanding Clint’s heroics). Now they can fleece you while you relax in the comfort of your own homes, thanks to our ever viligant Congress’s largesse. Ah, progress.

  32. Callahan used .44 Special level
    handloads; Far easier to control
    recoil and get the second shot off.

  33. everyone knows ‘the enforcer’ is the weak link in the dirty harry series. tyne daly as harry’s partner? ’nuff said.

    also, it’s called a magazine, not clip.

    and starbucks is at least better than 7-11 or other gas station quality coffee, on account of the minimum standards of cleanliness they adhere to.

    that said, if i went into a starbucks in lakewood CO with my H&K peeking out of my unzipped jacket, someone would surely call the police. Colorado has common sense gun laws combined with many whiny liberal weenies.

    1. Colorado has open carry.

  34. Once upon a time some Starbucks “partners” (employees) were shot and killed in a hold-up, in DC, I think. Mr. Schultz took it personally. Maybe it had some part in their decision-making.

  35. Reminds me of story told me by a dear friend (retired Major-USMC) from Arkansas.
    One morning he runs up the street to his favorite donut shop for a bag of cinnamon/sugar donuts. Greets a few friends. As always – armed, like most Arkansans.

    Young black guy ahead of him on line pulls out a gun and announces a robbery.

    Clerk smiles, says “you sure are one dumb sumbitch, boy”

    Robber turns head enough to see 5 guns pointed at the back of his head.

    Gendarmes arrive, laugh at utter stupidity of robber and cart him off.

    An armed society is indeed a polite society.

    1. What color and age was your friend? Also what color and age were his friends he met up with? Also the color and age of the clerk and gendarmes please.

  36. worst film ever MR. Mikes Mondo Video

  37. Although the location of the “Sudden Impact” scene is now a Mac-D’s, some of us still call it the “Make My Day Cafe”.

  38. Hollywood hates Heinlein; The movies
    morph the morals of his stories into
    See also the Lynching of Dune. 🙂

    1. Look at Asimov–there’s yet to be a decent movie from one of his books.

  39. many many bad movies have been mentioned here, but by *far* the worst one has not. “Battlefield Earth” is definitely a top 3 contender for worst. movie. ever.

    1. Well, it was made from the worst book that I have ever personally read. It must have taken me 3-4 months to finish. I can only come up with two reasons why I did it. 1) Masochism is genetic, and 2) I kept waiting for it to get better, and it just never, never did. Horrible waste of paper.

      1. Well, Ernie, I admire your ability to stick with it to the end! Hope the library was able to recycle it for ya.

  40. Worst movie ever? Prospero’s Books

  41. The “arguments” made by the anti-gunners are, as usual, just emotional caterwauling devoid of intellectual content. To me, that’s really funny, because those are the people who pride themselves on their intellectual superiority.

  42. and colorado has open carry in SOME municipalities, not all- you better know the law wherever you go

  43. See, the way I figure it, it’s called “concealed” carry for a reason. When done properly the firearm is “concealed.” Meaning nobody knows you have it. Meaning that the little sticker of a gun in a circle with a line through it is pretty meaningless. Meaning that Starbuck’s policy won’t make one whit of difference to me one way or the other, anymore than any other retail establishment’s policy makes one whit of difference to me.

    Sorta like “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

  44. As I have mentioned to a friend of mine (2A issues are our benchmark regarding whether or not a politician can be trusted to govern, not rule), the Progressive liberal church has been defiled by my fellow citizens interested in self-preservation. While I support thier intent,I question thier rationale for openly carrying a firearm in an urban/suburban enviornment. The exercise of legal rights does require a modicum of common sense judgement.

    Having said that, there is much to be said for concealed carry by those professional enough to understand that concealed means hidden until the handgun is in your hand at a time when you are legally and morally justified in using deadly force to resolve a life threating situation. Overt carry outside of appropriate environments (hunting, field use, range use) only serves to frighten and annoy the general sheeple. These sheeple fondly believe only the police and military should carry handguns. Yet, they too carry thier handguns for SELF-defense, not protection of the general public. Add that to the concept that SCOTUS has decided that civil authorities are under no obligation to protect any ONE person against anti-social behavior and you may see why I chose to be responsible for my own well being.

    The other day, I went to a Starbucks on an Interstate rest stop for a beverage. I only realized that they supported my 2A rights when I left the establishment with an overpriced caffinated drink. With my handgun properly and legally concealed on my person. BTW, no one knew or was frightened by my presence. Actually in my home state, carry of a handgun in the open may lead to a charge of Brandishing (a misdemeanor at best, felony at worst and grounds for revocation of your carry license). The only time open carry is tolerated is at a firearms range or while hunting (and you want to conceal the thing when you leave the woods).

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