With another mass shooting about to inevitably shove gun control back into the national conversation, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is begging you: Please, leave Starbucks out of it. "I am writing today with a respectful request that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores," Schultz writes in an open letter published in several newspapers, including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Starbucks, he complains, has "been thrust unwillingly into the middle of this debate."
But Schultz stops short of actually banning guns, in part because he doesn't want to ask employees to "confront armed customers." He tells CNN that Starbucks is "not pro- or anti-gun," but believes that guns "should not be part of the Starbucks experience." The move isn't a direct response to the Navy Yard shooting, he tells Reuters, adding that he's "not worried we're going to lose customers over this." (Read more Starbucks stories.)