The decision by Starbucks to welcome guns in its restaurants where the law permits represents a public health risk. While food-borne illnesses are estimated to kill 5,000 Americans each year, more than 30,000 of us are killed annually by firearms. Guns represent a public health threat at least as great as food poisoning.
President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
March 8, 2010
Why gun-control activists are targeting Starbucks
[Typical half-truth stuff from the anti-gun crowd.
First off, Starbucks does not have a policy to “welcome guns in its restaurants”. They have a policy of letting local, State, and Federal law be the determining factor as to whether customers may carry firearms in their restaurant. This is no different than a policy to not discriminate against mixed race couples who enter their restaurant unless the law prohibits mixed race couples from dining in public.
Second, 30,000 people are not killed annually by firearms in this country. The truth is that about 15,000 people kill themselves with firearms. In addition to that huge fraction of misrepresented deaths he is deliberately misleading his readers by including in those 30,000 people who were justifiably killed by police and private citizen defending themselves or other innocent life. Some of those people successfully defending themselves were in restaurants similar to Starbucks.
Third, Mr. Helmke makes a very large unsupported claim here by saying “Guns represent a public health threat…” Food poisoning from public restaurants has no upside. No one that I know of is advocating for more food poisoning. Carrying guns in public restaurants does have a potential if not actual upside and because of this there are people advocating for carrying guns in public in and outside of restaurants. It certainly isn’t obvious to everyone, as it is with food poisoning, that guns are “a public health threat”. Before making such a claim he should be able to show the studies that agree with him. While there are some studies that agree with him there are also numerous studies that disagree. And even the “Brady State Rankings” on gun restrictions by his own organization show no correlation to violent crime rates. I find it very telling that even when the rule-maker and scorekeeper get to make the rules and compute the score after the game is over they still don’t end up with a winning result.
Three sentences, three half-truths. That is a score worth publicizing.–Joe]