May be issuing gun permits to the blind isn’t as crazy as it sounds…

Blind man beaten on camera in Philadelphia while bystanders watch | abc13.com.

ABC 13, KTRK asks what would you do? The Philadelphia Police Department is dumbfounded as to why no one stepped in to help this blind man as he was beaten. Well, it really shouldn’t be a surprise. We’ve told people not to get involved. “Leave it to professionals,” they say. And sadly, if you do step in and the bad guy happens to be Latino or black, you’re a racist unless you too are black or Latino…unless your name is George Zimmerman in which case, you are really screwed.

No, it’s in your best interest to let that guy get the snot beat out of him and/or watch him die from a safe distance. Calling 911 might get the fire department and EMS here to scrape the victim onto a gurney or into a bag so the blood can be blasted away by fire-hose but, the beating itself will most likely be over before the police arrive. They might catch the guy as he’s leaving but, all of that assumes someone actually bothers to call 911 which is sometimes an adventure onto itself.

While we’re at it, pop-culture says you should be sure to be a crappy witness that only gets half the story for your Facebook post. Record only that half of the incident on your cell phone before you post it on YouTube. But again, whatever you do, don’t get involved. That’s what the police are for. They will show up just in the nick of time with a SWAT team to kick the bad guy’s butt.

People don’t like to hear it but, we as a nation are doing our best to become a society of obedient sheep unable and unwilling to defend themselves and dependent on their favorite political shephard. No one stepped in to help because we are told over and over again to just leave it to the professionals. All too frequently, people trade their privacy and personal freedom (especially the freedom to defend ourselves by any means necessary) for “safety” the government cannot and is not interested in providing.

The harsh reality people consistently, willingly fail to accept is, WE ARE ON OUR OWN! The police do not have a duty to protect you. Ridicule Iowa for allowing the blind to carry a gun if you like but, chances are, the blind man in the above video could have used the Braille method to aim his gun and shoot this criminal off of him! It may be that issuing gun permits to the blind isn’t as crazy as it sounds.

McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts announced their carry policies on Friday…

Time will tell how long it lasts but, like Starbucks in 2010, both McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts have stated they will abide by the laws of the local jurisdictions of their stores. Business Insider asked the companies for statements of their firearms policies following the Starbucks fiasco last week. Neither is known for being particularly “pro-gun” and I don’t expect either of them to start sponsoring shooters or matches anytime soon. However, as was the case with Starbucks, it’s a bold statement to say, “we’re going to follow the law” rather than publicly endorsing one side or the other in the current political environment.

-Gary

Ex British PM Tony Blair’s daughter held at gunpoint – CNN.com

Ex British PM Tony Blair’s daughter held at gunpoint – CNN.com.

Depending on your perspective, the fact Tony Blair’s daughter was held at gunpoint demonstrates several things. First; it demonstrates that crime and violence know no race, creed, religion, or economic status. Two; given the first, they can occur anywhere, anytime, to anyone. And third; that gun control, even in the United Kingdom represents is an abject failure of public policy.

I meet people from the UK on a fairly regular basis in the US as they often go to gun ranges as a sort of tourist attraction. There aren’t many gun ranges in the UK and the few that exist, are generally only for the rich and well connected. Even then, it’s almost exclusively rifles and shotguns that must be used, maintained, and stored securely AT THE CLUB. Legal possession of firearms in the home in the UK is EXTREMELY rare. The police don’t even carry guns except for specialized units who are only authorized to access or use those guns under very specific conditions. Even then, those units do not regularly carry said guns.  Given all of this, one would think there is zero gun crime in the UK. And yet, we have the headline above…Tony Blair’s daughter, held at gunpoint.

Rewind to yesterday, I watched a recording of CNN’s new iteration of “Crossfire” in which they had yet another debate about gun control. This one sparked by the traged at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday. The talking points were predictable, especially the lies/delusional musings of the anti-gunners.  But notably, they had Colin Goddard, Virginia Tech survivor and advocate for the Brady Campaign as well as Mayors Against Illegal Guns facing off against Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America

Newt Gingrich led off the discussion by asking Goddard what law would have prevented the Navy Yard shooting. Goddard immediately deflected and failed to answer the question saying we shouldn’t base our policies on the last mass shooting because, “…those people are already dead.” “We have to do things to prevent the next group of people from getting shot and killed.” What’s important is, “…what measures will stop the most number of dangerous people from easily obtaining firearms in the first place,” he said.

In other words, he didn’t have an answer because the reality is, as even LZ Granderson of CNN pointed out, gun control is not the answer. When Chicago was brought up as an example of a city that until very recently, had a near total ban on all modern long arms and handguns and in which nearly all such guns are illegally purchased, Goddard laid his cards on the table saying, “…all illegal guns began their life as a legal gun…”  He contends that requiring background checks for all sales would cut off the flow of illegal guns.  And that brings us back to the UK.  Surely, an outright ban has cut off the flow of illegal guns…right?

Nope, If Chicago and Washington DC weren’t good enough examples, then few things demonstrate the failures of gun control better than the rise of violent crimes in general, especially those involving firearms, in Great Britain.  Civilian gun ownership, especially in the home, has been all but completely outlawed. As mentioned before, with limited exception, not even the police have or carry guns.  And yet even Tony Blair’s progeny cannot escape the fact that if you outlaw guns, only the outlaws will have guns.

-Gary

An Open Letter from Howard Schultz, ceo of Starbucks Coffee Company | Starbucks Coffee Company

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Posted by Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and chief executive officer

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.

Sincerely,

Howard Schultz

via An Open Letter from Howard Schultz, ceo of Starbucks Coffee Company | Starbucks Coffee Company.

More on thoughts on Starbucks policies.

I made a post about Starbucks last night that has generated far more traffic than I anticipated and ruffled a few feathers. Here’s the deal. As I said before, it really should come as no surprise. Starbucks, up to this point, has been neither friend nor foe to the firearms community. Because they chose to openly state they were going to obey the law, they started taking heat from anti-gun folks who believed the company to be a largely liberal-leaning organization.

That was bad enough but, then a bunch of folks decided to poke the anti-gun folks in the eye by staging “Starbucks Appreciation Days.” That wouldn’t be a problem except that it unlike the Chick-fil-A appreciation days for their Christian stance, it actually ended up driving more customers away from Starbucks than it brought in. Counter protests and social media campaigns by the anti-gun folks did nothing to help matters.

In the end, the company’s operations were being impacted and they were loosing money when these events happened. It’s a publicly traded corporation that has to answer to its shareholders. The company is trying to take a stand to answer shareholder concerns and yet stay out of a very public debate. Unfortunately, any public stance they take is going to be a problem for one side or the other. Quite honestly, if they’d simply chosen to say nothing publicly, they would have been better off all the way around.

Read the CEO’s letter. And the memo to their employees. They have not banned guns but, if you actually look at what’s being addressed here, it’s the open carry issue. While not banning firearms outright but, they still ask that that firearms not be brought into the store and one can infer that the mean those carried openly as they have no way of knowing a gun is present if said gun is concealed. They go on to instruct their employees that people are still welcome even if carrying a firearm (again, the only way they’d know is if you did so openly) and that they should not confront anyone who is carrying a firearm nor should they ask that person to leave because they are carrying a firearm. While some will see it as a wishy-washy policy, in essence it says, “please don’t bring your political fights to our stores.”

Furthermore, Starbucks specifically instructs their employees to leave customers alone unless they are disruptive. The instructions go on to say that even if someone is carrying a firearm and a customer becomes offended by this, Starbucks has instructed their employees not to ask anyone to leave. Again, only if someone is being disruptive should they be asked to leave.  That’s a policy common to all establishments open to the public. Most would consider reasonable regardless of political stance. In fact, it’s a policy that could result in the anti-gun party being the one who is asked to leave.

As members of the firearms community, we certainly can choose to boycott Starbucks. But if I didn’t make this clear before, that’s a numbers game we will not currently win. Everyone has to make their own decision. Some folks will actually continue to patronize Starbucks while others take umbrage and take their money elsewhere. I’m not a Starbucks customer because I’ve never gotten into the coffee addiction so this policy has no impact on my life.  But as I’ve watched the Open Carry movement, I am constantly reminded of scenes of the 1960s and the height of the Civil Rights movement when similar actions by the Black Panthers led to California beginning it’s slippery fall into being the anti-gun state it is today.  All I can say is tread lightly. We have every right to swing our fists in anger but, that right generally stops at the next guys nose and he’s got every right to ask that we not swing our fists in his shop.