‘Boycott Starbucks’ Is a Waste of Time

Right. So. I love Starbucks. No, I don’t think they have the best coffee ever. Yes, I’m sure there are other companies and coffee shops who have not only better coffee, but more environmentally sustainable and small-farmer friendly practices as well. But I love Starbucks. I love my Venti Iced Mocha with only two pumps of chocolate and an extra shot of espresso. No whipped cream, stir it good please.

I happened to read THIS today, and while I try decently hard to not be drawn into certain debates, I sometimes forget that I’m a pretty opinionated a-hole a lot of the time (yes I support a woman’s right to choose, yes I support gay marriage, yes I support the legalization of marijuana, yes I support anti-bullying campaigns).

See…here’s my problem with this, and I’m definitely a ‘gun control’ advocate, but I think these ‘Moms’ would be better served taking up their cause elsewhere. Banning firearms in the coffee shop, any place of business really, will never stop a gunman intent on shooting the place up from bringing his weapon in. I don’t believe that if everyone else had a gun they’d stop him either.

I just have an understanding in reality that states: We have laws prohibiting senseless killing of other humans. They of course do not stop people from killing each other. Banning an open-carry from a coffee shop or any place of business does nothing to protect anyone.

The other realistic idea to be taken from this is that I would bet 99.9% of people who ‘open carry’ are more aware of their local and state laws than the rest of us when it comes to firearms. They have to be to know how to react when stopped by a cop or when a concerned citizen calls 911 because Johnny has a .45 strapped to his hip where everyone can see it. They have to know and understand the limitations of their open-carry rights.

This doesn’t mean one or more of them might not be a deranged lunatic with the intent to shoot up a place (or a spouse or a rival, whatever). It just means people who openly carry a firearm understand their rights and are more than likely going to be a bit more responsible.

Note I said ‘more than likely’ because it wouldn’t surprise me to see on the news a firefight breaking out between a random bad guy and an open carry guy (nor would it surprise me that the police were confused as to which one was the bad guy and shot the wrong guy or both of them).

This is what people don’t want to talk about when it comes to ‘arming everyone’. If a gunfight breaks out, how will I know if the guy shooting next to me is the good guy or the bad guy? It isn’t like we are all wearing team colors. What happens when the police and tactical squads show up? Are they going to take the time to argue with you that you are or are not the bad guy? I think they’ll just shoot you and worry about it later as their job is to stop the violence and bring the situation to a close as quickly and as safely as possible.

I suppose I’m an enigma as I definitely believe that no one other than soldiers and tactical units need a powerful AR-15 type of weapon as a personal firearm. They are the worst weapons for ‘home protection’ that you could buy other than say…grenades or an RPG. Or a tank, but a tank would actually be a killer home protection device. Anyway, the powerful rounds from these guns will go right through walls. Any walls that a house is made of unless you live in a concrete bunker. The high-velocity rounds will easily penetrate all interior walls and will still have enough energy to pierce the external wall. They even have enough kick left in them to pierce the neighbor’s wall and any bodies on the other side. I don’t like the idea of my neighbor spraying bullets for any reason. I can’t be in my basement 24/7.

For me, a nice shotgun is a perfect home protection weapon. Anything beyond a couple of feet and a nice cloud of buckshot will be forcing someone to visit a hospital (or a morgue, but I can’t say that I WANT to shoot anyone, let alone kill them). Six or ten feet of hallway or stairs and the person on the receiving end of that .12 gauge shell is probably going to wish they’d broken into a different home. You can fire it in total darkness and hit something (though this has its hazards of course). The pellets might completely pierce both sides of the interior wall, but unless your house is made out of cardboard, or unless you put the barrel 3″ away from the wall and fired, nothing is going to make it to the outside (keep in mind windows are another hazard to worry about).

A pistol works, but some pistols can do serious damage to innocents as well (any gun can, let’s be clear about that) by penetrating walls. However, trying to shoot a pistol and hit something in the dark with a single small bullet isn’t nearly as effective as sending out a cloud of small BB’s that spreads out quickly the further they get from the barrel.

So you might think…this guy Travis, he’s a gun nutter. Not true. I do love my video game guns (I have several favorites in Borderlands 2 and Rainbow Six Vegas 2 *FNC!*), but I’m not really a fan of real life guns. Oh, don’t get me wrong, there’s something very powerful, very intoxicating about pulling the trigger of a gun. You realize with awe (if you are sane anyway) that you have the power to destroy a life. Not just a single life either, many, many lives, even if you only pull the trigger once. Killing another human being not only robs that person of their life, it robs their friends, family, loved ones of that life as well. It’s really what I consider ‘stealing’ more than ‘murdering’.

But own a gun at my home? I don’t see the need for it. Maybe if I lived in Dopetown or some dangerous area, I would think differently. But I have lived in those places before, and I never had the notion of getting a gun to protect myself then either. I live in a safe place, and if someone breaks in, they better be able to defend themselves against an enraged hockey player with a hard wooden hockey stick from a guy who also played baseball his whole life. That would be me. I’m not a tough guy at all, so I tend to believe I could easily be overpowered by someone who was a ‘pro’ at such things. Your typical doper or burglar…I’ll bet on myself.

But my point is…I sincerely believe in an American’s right to own a firearm. It says so right in the Constitution. The Supreme Court has upheld that right. Why bother fighting such a thing? In terms of specifics though, things are a bit muddier for me. I don’t believe we need AR-15’s. They serve no purpose other than killing other humans. I definitely believe in hunting rifles though. I definitely believe in handguns/pistols. Of course shotguns too. Grenades, explosives, rocket-propelled crap, machine guns, .50cal sniper rifles…not so much.

Should we all be allowed to open-carry? Shrug. Sure, why not? If you know the law. If you aren’t a criminal. If you aren’t a douchebag who treats others like shit or bullies them or does anything a responsible gun owner would NOT do. Too many that oppose guns believe the gun rights people are all hillbilly, redneck, buck-toothed, inbred assholes who believe in ‘MURKA! and want to have armed gangs patrolling the streets looking for troublemakers.

Too many of the gun-rights side believe that Obama is coming to take their guns (hint: he isn’t, stop your bullshit right now), that our government is wanting a nationwide registry so they can come and take those guns (hint #2: they don’t…can you imagine how fast a major civil war would erupt if the neighbors saw the black vans coming around to take the guns of every citizen? The instant word got out on twitter or other social sites, it would be…very bad considering there are more guns in America than Americans).

Guns are our right. However, that right doesn’t have to include ALL guns, and it would be good to restrict such powerful, life-ending devices to people who aren’t insane, criminals, probably a few more groups who also shouldn’t be owning a firearm.

And of course “banning guns or certain guns will just leave the citizens powerless against armed thugs or our own government” will be thrown out there. Guess what? We already have laws that say criminals can’t have guns. HELLO? MCFLY? When has that ever stopped a criminal? I mean…their very descriptor suggests they don’t follow laws…why would they follow that one law that keeps them from getting a firearm? This is really a non-factor as far as I’m concerned. It’s that lesson in English class where you have to pick out the irrelevant parts of the paragraph that don’t move the direction of it forward.

But hey, that’s just me. I appreciate the power of firearms. I’m respectful, even frightened of them, though I love to shoot one off at the range or out in the desert. I don’t hunt, but I completely support hunting. I don’t have a gun at home, but if I did buy one, it would be a shotgun. Guns aren’t inherently bad. It’s people who are inherently bad (and stupid, and irresponsible, and unable to accept responsibility or blame).

But seriously. I love Starbucks. I’m not going to boycott them just because they are following the laws of their city/state. People who open carry don’t frighten me. They don’t even concern me. People who show up to movie theaters with crazy hair and a duffel bag full of weapons and tear gas frighten me. People who show up to a school or an office and start laying waste to everyone they can, those people frighten me.

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