To the Editor:
There was a popular TV show, “Have Gun Will Travel,” in which the main character, “Paladin,” was a gun for hire… and he traveled. The Connecticut Citizens Defense League (CCDL) evoked “Paladins” to travel from across the State of Connecticut, and neighboring states, and descend upon Starbucks in Newtown on their self-declared “Starbucks Appreciation Day” Friday. The appreciation is for Starbucks corporate policy of allowing guns in their stores. It is beyond the pale to imagine that any gun carrier would have the gall to place Newtown in the cross hairs of their gun carrying pride day. Yet they came, not only to their neighborhood Starbucks, but traveled miles to put their guns in front of Newtown children and adults.
The only reason the Newtown Starbucks closed early Friday was to avoid the conflict sure to happen between gun-toting strangers and the locals. The CCDL had called for a show of gun force at 6 pm on Friday, at the Newtown Starbucks. In fact, the Newtown Starbucks allowed guns during the day, and it was documented nationwide.
It is difficult to even imagine contemplation of such acts of terror, but they actually occurred. If you think the words “acts of terror” are inappropriate, think again. In a society that now readily scans people at public venues, we can have a latte ordered by some unknown entity with a gun waiting on either side of us on the line, in a town that has endured a massacre from legally registered weapons. That is terror in my book! Mr or Ms Gun-toter may have the requisite paperwork to carry a deadly weapon, but that is no guarantee of safe handling.
In Newtown, we support local businesses, especially after 12/14, but this is different! Starbucks must change their corporate policy. Newtown Middle School students regularly walk to Starbucks after school. High school students get their coffee there also. Parents of elementary students bring the kids along when the get their coffee or iced tea. Our schools struggle to create safe environments, free from all non-law enforcement guns. Children still quake at any sound that can be mistaken for gunfire. The sight of a gun can unleash deep wounds and trauma in children and adults in our town. Say N! No Guns In Starbucks … period!
I will never set foot in a Starbucks again, until such time as the corporate policy changes. We must boycott Starbucks nationwide, especially in Newtown, to send a message. Keep this in the news. Protect our community from the “Paladins” who … “Have Guns … and Will Travel.”
Richard A. English
3 Curry Drive, Newtown August 11, 2013