"We are not pro- or anti- gun, but recently activist groups on both sides of the gun debate have politicized our company and brand for their own benefit while putting our partners in a position of conflict." -- Starbucks Q&A
"Starbucks isn't anti-gun, they're anti-dumbass. Stop using guns to make a political statement - that's not what they're for!" -- James Yeager
"Too few of us have fought the fight the right way and have now started to lose because our enemy led us to our own trap." -- Travis Haley
"Don’t blame Starbucks, and don’t blame liberals. Blame stupid gun owners." -- PracticalTactical Podcast
I'm not sure how/why Starbucks became the rallying point for folks wanting to open carry firearms to make a political statement, but come on, it's a coffee shop, not a gun show.
Neutrality on the issue makes sense - you don't want to upset any customers - but patience and neutrality can only go so far. Once it starts hitting the bottom line and things like brand and shareholder value getting negatively impacted, most any business is going to react this way.
Heck, Starbucks actually handled it fairly diplomatically--they've politely requested people not bring weapons into their shops, versus attempting some sort of outright ban.
Folks, even if it is your 2nd Amendment right to run your Saturday errands around the suburbs with an AR-15 on your back, it doesn't mean you should. It's not responsible and it's not the kind of image and representation that's going to help us further the cause.