Bitter feels that the 7% same store sales increase stat is misleading because Starbucks’ overall profits were down. The increased sales at the remaining stores was most likely a reflection of patrons of the closed stores shifting to the still open ones. She makes a good point, and I agree that spinning a loss as an increase is misleading which is a tactic best left to the anti’s…however I would submit that the decision to close those stores didn’t happen during the few months that this controversy has been going on. The economy is still struggling and “gourmet” coffee is still a luxury item. Although there’s no evidence that their stance re the gun issue has helped their bottom line, I’d say there’s also no evidence that the Brady Campaign hysterics have hurt it either.
I started to write this as a comment to Sebastian’s post but realized it was quickly spiraling out of control so I decided to move it over here as a post.
The basic gist of his post is that the Brady Campaign has started a fund raiser using the Open Carry debate as a lever to pry money from like-minded hoplophobes.
Their goal is very modest at $10,000. Sebastian contends that this could be used as a litmus test for us to decide whether open carry is a good thing, or bad thing for our cause.
He clarifies in comments:
We have a choice in the kinds of methods we use to support our cause, and it’s worth knowing which ones work for us, which ones don’t really matter either way, and which ones work against us.
To which I reply:
You make it sound like the gun rights community is one big top-down organization. Like all “we” have to do is prove that they’re using this as a wedge issue and it’s making them money, issue the orders and everyone will stop open carrying.
That’s simply laughable.
I personally don’t care if they raise a million dollars using scare tactics about open carry, that doesn’t legitimize the argument that we damage our rights by exercising them any more than if they never make a dime.
There are at least 10,000 people in the country who would donate a dollar (or 1,000 people who would donate ten) to the Brady Campaign over this issue even if open carry were strictly illegal and it never happened in public. Using their ability to raise a paltry sum like that is hardly a valid litmus test.
Heck, all it would take is one guy with Paul Helmke’s income to stroke a check and the goal would be met…especially now that you’ve just publicly implied that all Petey Hamm or Helmke would have to do to convince you to continue criticizing open carry is to stroke that check and “prove” that the issue has traction…and you already know that they read your blog.
How about this for a litmus test for the effectiveness of the hoplophobes playing Chicken Little over open carry:
[Link removed due to being reported as being infested with trojans and malware]
Starbucks same store sales up 7% in defiance of Brady Campaign attacks.
Their hysteria is exactly what plays against them. Every time they cry out in horror and breathlessly predict blood in the latte…and time passes…and nothing happens…and people get back to their lives…their hysterics are exposed for exactly what they are.
All their antics do is get the issues into the public consciousness and force people to think about things they normally don’t even take the time to consider. Like, for instance, if open carry in Starbucks is such a bad thing, how come there HASN’T been all the gunfire and bloodshed that they’ve been predicting for months? Hmmmm.
Unbiased observers might even be prompted to google the issue and see if there are other perspectives out there and lo and behold, due to the power of alternative media, are, for the first time, exposed to the truth about the lawful ownership, use and carry of firearms.
Of course, the argument could be made that the introduction of the bill banning open carry in California is defacto evidence that by forcing the issue the open carriers in California have damaged their cause…but have they really?
First, will the bill pass? If it doesn’t, I’d say it sends a pretty strong message that, even in the state ranked Number One in gun control by the Brady Campaign, such issues don’t have much traction.
Second, if the bill DOES pass and becomes law, what will the ramifications be? Remember 1994? That might just be exactly the catalyst that California needs to sweep the anti-gunners out of office in the next election and really make some true progress toward freedom in that state.
The gun issue may not be enough in and of itself, but add in the general dissatisfaction with the Democrat party right now, California’s financial woes and tax issues, throw in a little egregious gun control on top of all that and the stage could be set for a political bloodletting of biblical scale.
Regardless of how all that plays out, I don’t think it is even vaguely legitimate to intimate that this minor fund-raising effort on the part of the Brady Campaign should dictate our behavior.
My behavior will never be dictated by the hysteria and fears of others. I can’t control them and their emotions, so they are simply not my concern.
A Right that we are afraid to exercise is not a right at all.