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Open-carry supporters gather outside a Starbucks in Newtown, Conn. This week, the chain reversed a policy that had allowed customers to openly carry guns in states that allow it. (LISA WILTSE/NYT)
Open-carry supporters gather outside a Starbucks in Newtown, Conn. This week, the chain reversed a policy that had allowed customers to openly carry guns in states that allow it. (LISA WILTSE/NYT)

THE CONVERSATION

Sept. 21: This week’s Talking Point – Starbuck’s stand on gun-carry laws – and other letters to the editor Add to ...

Starbucks is taking a stand on American gun culture by asking its customers not to carry guns in its outlets. Readers, print and digital, consider the wider implications in a week that saw yet another ‘massacre du jour’

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Re: Guns ’n’ Lattes At Starbucks (Sept 19): I did a double take while having my triple Americano at Starbucks: What a relief that I will be able to have an Americano in America without fear of being shot.

One hopes this ban will one day extend to all public places in the United States, including the streets!

I guess NRA members will be having their coffee at another chain. Perhaps they could let me know which one so I can avoid it.

Jim Prowse, Ottawa

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Margaret Wente declares that “in spite of all the horrifying massacres, the gun-control lobby is losing ground.”

Today, the Second Amendment has nothing to do with protecting the good guy from the bad, as is evidenced with the latest “massacre du jour.”

It is about making money for gun manufacturers and political lobbyists, while wrapping the gun issue in an American flag – except it’s hard to see the Stars and Stripes through the arterial splatter.

Perhaps “God Bless America” should be rebranded as “God Help America.” And the sooner the better.

Blair Boudreau, Toronto

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Several times this summer in Victoria I observed agents from Canada Border Services wearing guns in Starbucks and at a popular drive-in restaurant near Beacon Hill Park. The firearms were not even covered, but hanging out of the holsters cowboy style. Such a casual display of power by border personnel taking a break so far from their post was offensive. I left without ordering.

Carole Costello, Victoria

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Why would you go to buy coffee with a gun? Actually, why would you go anywhere with a gun, besides hunting?

Ghislain Desjardins, Gatineau, Que.

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Nothing says “Accident waiting to happen” like a pre-coffee Starbucks customer who is armed.

Martha Watt, Toronto

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In the 18th century, Virginia lawyer Patrick Henry coined the quintessential American motto, “Give me liberty or give me death.”

Unfortunately, in the case of guns, there is no choice.

When you choose the liberty of unlimited gun ownership and carrying, you also get death. And the majority of Americans are obviously happy with the tradeoff.

Tim Jeffery, Toronto

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Having nicely sketched the American gun fetish, Margaret Wente concludes with a remark about “gun crime not rising despite soaring levels of gun ownership.”

The counties around Chicago have lax gun-control laws; guns tend to make their way from areas of low control into areas of high gun control.

Visit the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Violence Policy Center and see how patterns of suicide by firearms, the major form of gun violence, is on the rise in the U.S., especially among males in their fifties.

Both suicides and homicides are highest in areas that have the least gun control. Accidental woundings with firearms also go up with sheer numbers of guns and 10 per cent of the injured are children.

The loudly psychotic Aaron Alexis stood his ground and died with his Second Amendment rights intact, bringing down 12 of his betters and wounding or traumatizing many more.

Ron Charach, psychiatrist, Toronto

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If adults aren’t considered responsible enough to carry firearms, perhaps they aren’t responsible enough to bear children or vote.

Jefferson Glapski, Edmonton

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Scared the heck out of me in Montana. I’ve decided not to vacation in states that allow it.

Nat Jones, Maple Ridge, B.C.

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Every person I’ve met in the States who carries is probably among the most sensible firearm owners I’ve met, and not gun crazy, war-loving humans that they are always made out to be. They legally own the gun and have a huge responsibility carrying it.

Peter Küppers, Abbotsford, B.C.

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Yikes! I’d hate to be the barista who messed up a gun-carrying customer’s order!

Lisa Jordan Hammond, Oakville, Ont.

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Somehow, I don’t think radical gun owners are the chai latte types.

Bernard Gauthier, Waterloo, Ont.

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Good for Starbucks. Other retailers should follow suit.

Madeleine Menard, Casselman, Ont.

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If watching children getting mowed down in a school doesn’t change Americans’ attitudes, I doubt if anything would.

Shirley Blackwell, Port Rowan, Ont.

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I don’t understand why Starbucks’s request would cause controversy in the first place.

Most stores and restaurants have policies for things like not wearing shoes or a shirt. Why would not allowing guns be any different?

Angeline Castilloux, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

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ON REFLECTION MORE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Love will steer the stars

The Pope declares the Catholic Church should stop obsessing about abortion, contraception and homosexuality and be more welcoming; Iran’s new President says Iran will never seek to build a nuclear bomb and wants peace in the Mideast; John Baird and the Palestinian Authority’s foreign minister call each other “friends” after the Conservatives provide $5-million to kick-start a Palestinian economic-development fund.

Could it be – at last – the dawning of the Age of Aquarius?

Andrew Leith Macrae, Toronto

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Hijabs, miniskirts

Re Values Exodus (letters, Sept. 20): If teachers can transmit their values simply by the clothing they wear, what does that say about the values of a teacher who chooses to wear a miniskirt?

I’m not sure if this makes me a left-wing feminist or a right-wing libertarian, but I would prefer the government not be in the business of dictating what I wear.

Amanda Ross-White, Kingston

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Math: It’s ‘and,’ not ‘or’

Re Two-Tier Math (editorial, Sept. 20): Doing arithmetic without understanding how the process happens, and what the answer means, is not much use.

Understanding the process without having learned the tools (like the times tables) to get to the answer is no use at all.

Why is debate over education always framed as one or the other? Students need both halves and good teachers teach both halves.

Michael Moore, Toronto

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Hollywood vs. big oil

Re Hollywood Vs. Alberta? It’s Not A Fair Fight (Sept. 20): Good grief, what is Gary Mason talking about?

Talk about not a fair fight – everywhere I turn, I am inundated by image advertising from the oil industry about the “wonderful work” its members are doing in the tar sands. On TV, billboards, movies, newspapers, there is no escape.

The celebrities are only trying to help level the playing field.

Rebecca Moershel, Toronto

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