If you notice a few extra sidearms at your local Starbucks while getting coffee today, don't be alarmed. The gun carriers are just there to show their appreciation.
That's right, according to some gun advocates, Friday is national Starbucks Appreciation Day. A Facebook event describes the day thusly:
Starbucks is allowing us to lawfully carry firearms in their store. Recently, they have been the target of unjust attacks from certain groups that do not support our right to bear arms. We will thank Starbucks for standing up for our right to bear arms by going there on Friday, August 9th.
We ask that if you choose to carry a firearm during this event that you follow all local, state, and national laws; and if you choose not to carry that you wear pro-gun-rights apparel.
As of Friday morning, the event has more than 3,300 attendees. And already this morning, people are getting into the mood:
The "appreciation" here stems from Starbucks' policy of respecting state gun laws in its stores, including open-carry laws in the states that have them. Starbucks does not, however, allow its employees to carry guns, or allow guns at company headquarters in Seattle.
This isn't the first Starbucks Appreciation Day—and past iterations haven't just been about gun rights. In August 2012, gay-marriage activists staged a National Starbucks Appreciation Day, in support of the coffee-chain backing marriage-equality efforts.
Not everybody is in a celebratory mood on this Starbucks Appreciation Day. That's especially true in Newtown, Conn., where some gun activists are planning to bring guns into the local coffee shops. In a statement, a spokesman for the Newtown Action Alliance said:
Our community is still healing, and we find it reprehensible that they are picking Newtown to rally. It is disturbing to think that tomorrow night you and your children may be sitting in Starbucks when people carrying guns walk through the door.
Starbucks has not endorsed the day of appreciation, but it issued a statement noting that its policies have not changed.