Earlier this week, this column noted yet another attempt by gun prohibitionists will be launched to bully Starbucks into refusing service to legally armed customers, and yesterday, the Seattle Times reported that the Seattle-based coffee giant has posted yet another profits gain.
Starbucks’ profit climbed 10 percent to $382.1 million for the first quarter ended Jan. 1, on revenue that grew 16 percent to $3.4 billion, the Seattle-based coffee chain said Thursday.
It added 241 new stores during the quarter, its biggest quarterly growth since the summer of 2008.
The consumer products division, which sells everything from bottled Frappuccino to Starbucks’ new single-portion packs for Keurig coffee machines, saw a 72 percent boost in revenue to $335.8 million.—Seattle Times
Proof positive that the first campaign against Starbucks, mounted in 2010 by the Brady Campaign and locally Washington CeaseFire because Starbucks allows open carry patrons to buy their brew, apparently to the alarm of anti-gun-rights extremists was a loser. For anti-gunners, anyway.
This time around, the boycott will be launched on Feb. 14, St. Valentine’s Day, and according to members of six different gun rights forums – Open Carry.org, WaGuns.org, Shooters Northwest.com, GunRightsMedia.com, Northwest Firearms.com and SeattleGuns.net – that will be a good day to visit a local Starbucks and coffee-up.
The boycott is being organized by an outfit based in Chicago calling itself the National Gun Victim’s Action Council. They and other gun prohibitionists are particularly alarmed by citizens who open carry, which is legal in many, if not most states. But it’s not just the open carry crowd they want banned, it is anyone with a legally-carried firearm, even if it is concealed and nobody can see it.
“Starbucks allowing guns to be carried in thousands of their stores significantly increases everyone’s risk of being a victim of gun violence. Open and conceal and carry are among the reasons there are 12,000 gun homicides each year in the U.S. If we had England’s gun laws we would expect 375 gun homicides each year—97% less than we have. England’s gun laws are based on protecting public safety, ours on maximizing sales for the gun industry.”—Elliot Fineman, CEO of the NGAC.
Gun rights activists understand that what groups like NGAC and Washington CeaseFire hope to gain from such boycott efforts is to have private businesses serve as their surrogates. Banning patrons from businesses simply because they are exercising a constitutionally-protected civil right amounts to social bigotry. Try that against any other group, be they racial minorities, gays or whatever, and it would create a political and media firestorm.
The firearms community appears to be organizing its counter measure at this point, and it boils down to cash-paying customers versus non-paying social do-gooders who are trying to discourage people from spending their money at Starbucks. From a purely business standpoint, if you were trying to make a profit, who would have your ear, people who spend their money in your store, or people who try to scare consumers away from your store?
Since the first attempt at demagoguery failed so miserably in 2010, Starbucks profits have consistently improved. While firearms enthusiasts could hardly claim all the credit and remain credible, it would certainly be fair to say that their business has not hurt.
Watch for a healthy bottom line sales day on Feb. 14, and for the foreseeable future.
FRIDAY NOTES: Jim Shepherd at the Outdoor Wire said some very flattering things this morning about this column, for which we are humbled and very grateful. If you are an outdoorsman or woman and want to keep up on outdoors news, subscribe to the Outdoor Wire. Shepherd is one of the hardest-working outdoors journalists on the planet, and if it’s happening, you will read about it in his on-line reports.
Don’t forget the 25th annual Washington Sportsmen’s Show running through this weekend at the Puyallup Fairgrounds. Look in particular for the Northwest Sportsman exhibit.
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