I think what they have done is a perfectly reasonable reaction.
I say that as an open carry advocate and 3-venti-per-week customer.
My recollection of how this has gone is something like this:
A couple of years ago, CSGV decided to make a stink about Starbucks not banning guns. We responded with the first “Starbucks Appreciation Day.” Starbucks came out with a statement that basically said, “We follow state law. That’s it. We’re not changing our position on that.”
Then a year later, it happened again. Might have even been an anniversary of the first Starbucks Appreciation Day. Starbucks response was a little more firm. “We follow state law and are not changing our position on that. However, please leave us out of this fight. We want no part of it.”
Then, for the third year in a row, it happened again. CSGV plans a boycott, grassroots activists arrange a buycott. This time, knowing that the two prior years’ attempts at boycotts were soundly defeated, there was some jackassery. A couple of dudes brought in ARs. Some were planning on going to one in Newtown. That store shut down to prevent the meeting from happening, because they KEPT SAYING “KEEP US OUT OF IT.”
So Howard Schultz responded in a reasonable manner. He has more firmly asked to be left out of this political fight. That’s all. There’s no way that a barista can tell an anti-gun activist from a soccer mom, but they sure as hell can tell an open carry troll from a police officer. It takes at least two parties to fight. If you remove one party, then there is no fight.
Look at what they’re actually doing. They’re not banning firearms. This is not policy, it’s a request. He specifically says that no one is going to call the police if you open carry, and they’re not going to ask you to leave or put up legally binding signage.
They’ve respectfully asked to be left out of it. Repeatedly. Nicely. They are becoming more firm in their requests. If this is ignored, expect a new policy banning firearms and a big ole “WIN!” sign for CSGV, who will take that to MacDonald’s and Wal-Mart and Home-Depot and…well you get the point.