Two weeks after gun rights supporters brought weapons into a Newtown Starbucks, community members published an open letter to the coffee company asking Starbucks to ban guns in all its stores.
The letter was published by the Newtown Coalition For Corporate Responsibility and backed by the Newtown Action Alliance, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and the National Gun Victims Action Council.
Its dozens of signatures include those of Gov. Dannel Malloy, Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, State Rep. Elizabeth Esty, Newtown First Selectwoman Patricia Llodra, Starbucks employees, family members of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims, religious leaders and Newtown residents.
The letter reads:
“…your core customers are people like us who have come to understand how guns jeopardize the stability of any environment. They are people who have come to understand that to prevent another Sandy Hook, we as a society must prioritize the sanctity of human life over the individual’s ‘right to carry.’”
It goes on to thank Starbucks for closing early in Newtown when gun rights advocates hosted “Starbucks Appreciation Day” and brought guns into the store at 34 Church Hill Road.
Starbucks has said that the company does not endorse gun appreciation events but that its long-standing policies remain unchanged.
The letter asks Starbucks to take action.
“While we thank you for preventing gun carriers from senselessly inflicting further emotional trauma on our town by closing your Newtown location early last Friday, August 9th, we ask you this question: what about tomorrow and the day after that? What do you say to your customers in Wyoming, Texas, and Florida; where guns have injured three innocent people at Starbucks in the past two years?”
The letter requests that Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz venture to Newtown to discuss the potential for policy change... over a cup of coffee, of course.
Anti-violence advocacy groups are also encouraging community members to sign a petition posted by Moms Demand Action.
According to the site, representatives from Moms Demand Action will hand-deliver the petition to Starbucks headquarters in Seattle, Wa.