Starbucks Sucks

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guns stink. children kill children. police kill innocent people who appear to be brandishing guns.

hooray for mayor bloomberg, who urges our president to start enforcing gun laws. i contribute money to the brady campaign to end gun violence. google it.

you put guns in people's hands, they use them. is this somehow our wild west fixation? europeans know we're crazy when it comes to guns. why aren't second amendment gun crazies strict constitutionalists when it comes to amendments guaranteeing rights for women and minorities?

i can't imagine why people need guns, but frustration, anger and feelings of impotence and powerlessness must be part of the mix. i'm confident that owning a gun and bullets won't stop this country from adopting socialist principles, nor will it stop bankers from stealing from the working classes.

starbucks stinks in more ways than one. before guns became the issue, my beef with starbucks had to do with the standardization of coffee houses, which used to be eccentric, fuzzy havens for people who read and played guitars or just listened to music. now, starbucks is one more piece of the giant corporate mall.

we've all heard by now that 38 states have open-carry laws for guns, and that frustrated people are now swaggering into starbucks in at least two of those states, openly sporting guns. some cafes and coffee houses in northern california, such as peet's coffee and tea and california pizza kitchen, have responded to customer complaints and petitions. these sensible and courageous establishments refuse admission to the gun-toting folks.

not starbucks.

permit me an aside: the only stinky smells i've come across in manhattan are occasional wafts from the open back door of starbucks at west 60th street, just west of broadway. the odor is soured milk and old garbage. the only other time i smelled anything this bad was in the waste-strewn alleys between cairo's open sewers.

back to guns.

i say boycott starbucks until they pass this rule of decorum: "no unconcealed or concealed weapons allowed." i bet crazy people can't walk into starbucks flaunting genitals or even bare feet. the buck (as it were) should stop with guns.

i'm betting it's scary to confront an "open-carry" zealot. does starbucks even ask these misguided folks to show gun permits?

god help us to nullify the second amendment. will gun-owners openly start carrying guns into chase banks and subways and whole foods markets? please, please support the brady campaign and prevent gun violence. they've delivered thousands of petitions to starbucks in seattle. the life you save may be that of someone you love.

my mother's sister had a huge farm with cornfields, woodlands and cows outside philadelphia. my uncle and male cousins laughed at my visceral shivers when they loaded shotguns to kill deer. one of my cousins died in his early 20s in a shotgun accident. it was totally unnecessary. afterward, nobody removed the prickly deerskin that covered the back of the living room sofa, but i never sat there anyway.

until two years ago, i had a lovely jerrybuilt 18th-

century farmhouse in the middle of 2,000 acres of someone's farm in sullivan county. i began thinking of selling my house when the farmer's sister told me proudly that she'd shot a huge buck in my backyard. "he put up a big fight," she said, "but i nailed him." i didn't ask her if she planned to eat the deer meat. my uncle and aunt never did.


susan braudy is the author and journalist whose last book, family circle: the boudins and the aristocracy of the left, was nominated for a pulitzer by publisher alfred knopf.

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