September 18, 2013

What's that tune I hear?

This recent mass shooting at the D.C. Navy Yard didn't affect me in any meaningful sense. I didn't care about it (though I felt momentary disgust) and I didn't watch any of the news coverage. I've had enough exposure to shootings, thank you. I'm moving on. You may ask why.

Here's my answer -- As long as this country continues to do nothing to control the "loose guns" situation, mass shootings are merely the background music of American life. Shootings? Meh. Let's go get some pizza.

It will continue, it will get worse and the United States won't do anything to stop it.

Hey, I know what would be fun. Let's go get some ice cream!

Update: Germany's Spiegel Online takes on the issue. An excerpt:
The tragic shooting in Washington feels all too much like deja vu. But President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats no longer even attempt to take on the real issue: America's unhindered gun mania.
Funny how they can see it clearly while we can't. Shame on Democrats. Shame on Republicans. Shame on all of us.


Artichoke Annie said...

I couldn't agree with you more. This idiocy has numbed me. I see a street in America, Main St. it is called, only two remaining people on earth. The music cues...simultaneously the two reach for their holsters on their hips and draw their guns, raise their hands and fire. The End

A civil approach for a very uncivil society:

Dear Fellow Americans,

Few topics in America generate a more polarized and emotional debate than guns. In recent months, Starbucks stores and our partners (employees) who work in our stores have been thrust unwillingly into the middle of this debate. That's why I am writing today with a respectful request that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas.

From the beginning, our vision at Starbucks has been to create a "third place" between home and work where people can come together to enjoy the peace and pleasure of coffee and community. Our values have always centered on building community rather than dividing people, and our stores exist to give every customer a safe and comfortable respite from the concerns of daily life.

We appreciate that there is a highly sensitive balance of rights and responsibilities surrounding America's gun laws, and we recognize the deep passion for and against the "open carry" laws adopted by many states. (In the United States, "open carry" is the term used for openly carrying a firearm in public.) For years we have listened carefully to input from our customers, partners, community leaders and voices on both sides of this complicated, highly charged issue.

Our company's longstanding approach to "open carry" has been to follow local laws: we permit it in states where allowed and we prohibit it in states where these laws don't exist. We have chosen this approach because we believe our store partners should not be put in the uncomfortable position of requiring customers to disarm or leave our stores. We believe that gun policy should be addressed by government and law enforcement—not by Starbucks and our store partners.

Recently, however, we've seen the "open carry" debate become increasingly uncivil and, in some cases, even threatening. Pro-gun activists have used our stores as a political stage for media events misleadingly called "Starbucks Appreciation Days" that disingenuously portray Starbucks as a champion of "open carry." To be clear: we do not want these events in our stores. Some anti-gun activists have also played a role in ratcheting up the rhetoric and friction, including soliciting and confronting our customers and partners.

For these reasons, today we are respectfully requesting that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas—even in states where "open carry" is permitted—unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel.

I would like to clarify two points. First, this is a request and not an outright ban. Why? Because we want to give responsible gun owners the chance to respect our request—and also because enforcing a ban would potentially require our partners to confront armed customers, and that is not a role I am comfortable asking Starbucks partners to take on. Second, we know we cannot satisfy everyone. For those who oppose "open carry," we believe the legislative and policy-making process is the proper arena for this debate, not our stores. For those who champion "open carry," please respect that Starbucks stores are places where everyone should feel relaxed and comfortable. The presence of a weapon in our stores is unsettling and upsetting for many of our customers.

I am proud of our country and our heritage of civil discourse and debate. It is in this spirit that we make today's request. Whatever your view, I encourage you to be responsible and respectful of each other as citizens and neighbors.


Howard Schultz

writenow said...

If all the firearms in America would suddenly become 1000°, the problem would be solved. Alas. Hi Annie! K