Newtown Starbucks Lands in Middle of Gun Rights Debate

The renewed debate is born out of posts calling on gun rights groups to hold a "Starbucks Appreciation Day" in Newtown Friday.

Starbucks is located on Church Hill Road in Newtown, Conn. Credit: Davis Dunavin
Starbucks is located on Church Hill Road in Newtown, Conn. Credit: Davis Dunavin
An online back-and-forth has drawn the town's Starbucks into the ongoing debate on gun rights in America — and a Newtown-based organization is calling it "reprehensible."

The debate was renewed today when "Concerned Citizen" posted a Facebook status from an alleged Connecticut Citizens Defense League member to the Boards on nearby Ridgefield Patch, claiming a Ridgefield resident and other CCDL members would be at the Newtown Starbucks between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 9. [The post has since been deleted by the user.]

"Really makes me sad that instead of demonstrating at their own Starbucks, there are people who feel the need to go to Newtown to terrorize that still shell-shocked and traumatized community," Concerned Citizen writes. "This is beyond insensitive."

"This has nothing to do with terrorizing anyone," writes Matt Bottali, the author of the Facebook status. "This is about showing that those of us who carry a firearm or are firearm enthusiasts are good, honest people, we have families we want to protect and are nothing to be afraid of."

In response, activist group Newtown Action Alliance issued a statement Thursday afternoon urging gun rights organizations to stay away from the coffee shop's Newtown branch.

"Our community is still healing and we find it reprehensible that they are picking Newtown to rally," writes NAA co-founder Dave Ackert. "It is disturbing to think that tomorrow night you and your children may be sitting in Starbucks when people carrying guns walk through the door."

The Starbucks in Newtown is about 19 miles from the Starbucks in Ridgefield.

Starbucks Policy on Guns

Activists on both sides of the gun debate have cited Starbucks' policy, which is, according to the company's website:

"We comply with local laws and statutes in all the communities we serve." 

Starbucks spokesperson Danny Cowan told Patch the company does not endorse "Starbucks Appreciation Day."

"Our stores are gathering places for the communities we serve," said Cowan. "We respect the diversity of our customers. We realize there are deep-standing passions on gun ownership. We abide by the laws that permit open carry. However, where those laws do not exist, open carry in Starbucks in prohibited ... We encourage both customers and advocacy groups on both sides to share their input with their public officials. We are extremely sensitive to the issue of gun violence in our society, and we believe by supporting local laws is the best way for us to provide a safe environment for both our partners and customers."

An official at the Connecticut Citizens' Defense League was not available for comment at present. Based out of Groton, the organization is a "non-partisan, grassroots organization devoted to advocating rights affirmed by the Constitutions of the United States of America and the State of Connecticut," according to their website.

"We welcome anyone who believes that the defense of our constitutional rights is critical to the longevity of our freedom and to the success of this nation, and in particular that the rights to self defense and to keep and bear the arms to actualize that defense, are fundamental and undeniable," they write.

Connecticut law allows the carrying of handguns with proper permits, according to the National Rifle Association.
porter gladstone jr August 10, 2013 at 12:48 AM
And if any other pro gun people want their starbucks or coffee place or any other meeting place constantly visited by extremist groups--sign up here--and please--be honest about where you live-so that we can get some pro-gay rights groups into your hood. After all its their Constitutional right to march peaceably--and to express their views. Lets have it all You Constitutionalists who cant understand why people dont want you in their starbucks. Come on....be real just once show some compassion or empathy or realism rather than showing how awesome squirrel hunters you all are.
Val August 10, 2013 at 08:58 AM
Umm....why not just have your peaceful rally in another town?
Val August 10, 2013 at 08:59 AM
Oh and instead of rallying against those that are responsible gun owners.......rally against those that need psychiatric help? It's the people behind the guns that ultimately hurt others.
Bodie August 10, 2013 at 09:45 AM
Comes close to being one of the MOST insensitive display/s I've ever heard off
Malcolm Little August 10, 2013 at 01:36 PM
Sadly there was yet more shameless political exploitation of the victims in the Sandy Hook Elementary School A member or supporter of a group called Moms Demand Action reportedly said this according to the News Times "I was nauseated by it," said Heather Smith, who works with both Moms Demand Action and the Newtown Action Alliance to support stronger gun laws. "Heartlessness has hit a new low. I consider these people terrorists." Now do you think this type of language to describe civil polite law abiding members of our community is intended to help heal and bring peace to the community or not ?
Sanchez August 12, 2013 at 03:39 PM
Bodie opines "Comes close to being one of the MOST insensitive display/s I've ever heard off" you are so right. THE most "insensitive display/s" was when the hoplophobes exploited the parents of the dead children and paraded them around like an old circus side show.
Bodie August 12, 2013 at 04:05 PM
Like Zimmerman in Fla. you folks are wannabes that couldn't make the grade, as low as it is, to be a cop. If you like playing with guns join the military.
taxpayer August 12, 2013 at 05:07 PM
Hey, Porter Gladstone jr. Watch what you say. As the mother of a special needs child (who has a heart of gold ...something you sorely are lacking) I find your comparison of sanchex to her or others like her deplorable. Shame on you.
JED August 12, 2013 at 08:46 PM
FRIGGAN ENOUGH of the bickering. You do no service to the victims or Newtown. Leave us the H alone! We can heal/ deal with this ourselves in our own way and time.
Pancho Sanchez August 12, 2013 at 11:03 PM
We can heal/ deal with this ourselves in our own way and time. As long as you keep feeling sorry for us, and give us more tax money. And pay for us to fly to DC.
Clare August 13, 2013 at 10:40 AM
Sanchez, it kills you that the families of the victims go down to Washington and Hartford because they actually want to make changes to archaic gun laws. So you like to say that they are being "paraded around" like some trained bears by the democrats against their will. too bad it just isn't so. They are all adults with their own minds and feelings. And rather than spew filth on the social media like you, they are out there working so the deaths of those babies and teachers aren't forgotten in the rhetoric of goons on the right. God love them!
Clare August 13, 2013 at 02:40 PM
Dear Sweet Sanchez, my post defines your nazi stance on guns and your response merely reinforced it. Thank you very much for your invaluable help.
Sanchez August 13, 2013 at 02:44 PM
Clare, "nazi stance"? Can you be any more ignorant? the Nazi's TOOK the guns like you want to do. Go that way when you got nothing else.
Pancho Sanchez August 13, 2013 at 03:18 PM
clare wins by throwing down the nazi card first !!!!!!!!
Clare August 13, 2013 at 07:45 PM
Ahhhh, Sanchez I know I could trip you up that Right Wing CRAP that the Nazis took guns. If you actually knew anything at all about history, you would know that Hitler did NOT take guns away from anybody. But you fell into it and it just shows how ignorant you really are since all your history seems to come from the Dredge Report. As World War I drew to a close, the new Weimar Republic government banned nearly all private gun ownership to comply with the Treaty of Versailles and mandated that all guns and ammunition "be surrendered immediately." In 1938, under Nazi rule, gun laws became significantly more relaxed. Rifle and shotgun possession were deregulated, and gun access for hunters, Nazi Party members, and government officials was expanded. The legal age to own a gun was lowered. Jews, however, were prohibited from owning firearms and other dangerous weapons. Therefore, your are a Nazi. Live with it you ignorant fool.
Clare August 13, 2013 at 07:46 PM
20 Angels.....lol
Pancho Sanchez August 13, 2013 at 08:56 PM
clare, no no no, you have failed !!!!!!!!! you say the Nazis didn't take guns away but then say they prohibited the Jews from having them !!!!!!!! Nooooooo !!!!!!! this means you are the ignorant fool, not poncho sanchez !!!! btw, 'your are' reminds me of Scooby Doo saying ruh-roh !!
Sanchez August 14, 2013 at 07:51 AM
I am a Nazi with a capital N. You just lost all credibility Clare. Not one shred left. The rabid vile rhetoric is a sign of a sick intolerant mind. "The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing." Adolph Hitler 2 2. HITLER'S SECRET CONVERSATIONS 403 (Norman Cameron and R. H. Stevens trans., 1961) ____Clare, when you are in a group of people with many you do not know do you talk to them as you do to people here and call them Nazi's and other names? Is this who you are?
Thomas Paine August 14, 2013 at 09:14 AM
poncho sanchez, hitler didnt want to disarm anyone but the Jews and the Poles...Clare's a libtard sock puppet !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mike August 14, 2013 at 09:24 AM
I read these posts and can see that Newtown and Sandy Hook seem to be in the grips of a permanent state of fear. Neighbors turning against each other, one side because they fear the existence of guns could further endanger them - the other side because they fear the absence of guns could further endanger them. In the weeks immediately following the shootings I watched (and participated) as Newtown pulled together - chose love. Strangers supported one another in their grief as the victims' families laid their loved ones to rest and donations poured in to help these families in their time of need. After the press left, the town was left with their grief, their fear and about $20 million dollars and the fighting began. I'm saddened by what Newtown has become and genuinely believe that the town is in danger of becoming defined by and addicted to its grief.
Clare August 14, 2013 at 10:07 AM
Quoting Hitler now? I rest my case. BTW, my heart isn't broken by your comment because I don't post here to try to be credible with goons like you. As a matter of fact, you posting that just made my day. Thank you, little boy.
Sanchez August 14, 2013 at 10:15 AM
I think Clare, by her vile hateful rhetoric, must have slept in parks a few years ago and called herself an Occupier. How is quoting Hitler somehow wrong Clare in the context of you calling me a Nazi?
Sanchez August 14, 2013 at 10:17 AM
Clare opines "my heart isn't broken" You have no heart. No credibility. No civility.
Sanchez August 14, 2013 at 12:07 PM
I will offer any of you hoplophobes a 3'x5' yard sign that says "THIS HOME IS A GUN FREE HOME"
Sanchez August 14, 2013 at 12:31 PM
Here are 4 of my fellow Nazi's Clare. Look at these disgusting people. ____Katelyn Francis, years old13 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZE-EDGw2vo ____Tasha Hanish, 2010 USPSA Tactical Multi-Gun Women's Champ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgIqJYTidkE ____http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6CBKUM9gk8 3 Gun Champ loses to his 9 year old daughter ____http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvbkCif-Ixs And this old Nazi who could be anyone's grand mother. ____http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xB7iz1HTh9U What vile disgusting people eh clare?
Sanchez August 15, 2013 at 09:30 AM
Request for gun permits in Newtown set to double last year's numbers: police Police said the Connecticut town — where 26 students and six staffers were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School during gunman Adam Lanza's massacre — has already had 211 permit requests this year, a number far above the 171 requested in 2012 and the 99 in 2011. And the surge appears to be fueled by worried residents like 66-year-old Nancy Ellis, a soon-to-be gun-toting grandma who claims Connecticut’s draconian new gun control laws are infringing on her constitutional rights. “The fact that they were reeling in and squeezing more laws made me think, ‘You know what? I want my gun permit,’ ” said Ellis. “I want to exercise my right.” Ellis, who has not yet purchased a weapon, said she’s a responsible person who has taken shooting lessons. She said she wants a gun to protect herself. nydailynews.com/news/national/request-gun-permits-double-newtown-connecticut-article-1.1426754#ixzz2c2nqYGvz
Sanchez August 15, 2013 at 09:31 AM
As suspected, nothing but ad hominem attacks from clare.
Ted McGwallis August 15, 2013 at 10:30 AM
Clare, you first referred to Sanchez as being a Nazi. How do you possibly expect anyone to take you seriously? Seriously, do you think Hitler wanted anyone other than his troops and puppets to have guns? That makes no sense whatsoever. I'm quite sure Sanchez is not a Nazi, based on his comments. But to throw down the "Nazi card" onto someone is the final desperate act of a failing argument.
Clare August 15, 2013 at 02:07 PM
Oh grow up and stop your whining. He's a gun nazi not a Nazi. Do you all require a full explanation of every little nuance? You are ALL so boring with your shallow, one-note lives. Get out and read more and not that far right, conservative crap you have been reading.
Ted McGwallis August 15, 2013 at 03:39 PM
Clare, your words to Sanchez - "Therefore, your are a Nazi. Live with it you ignorant fool. " You did call him a Nazi, capital "N". As far as reading goes, perhaps you should take your own advice and get out more often, instead of responding to Sanchez or to me for that matter. It seems rather apparent you are not here to actually comment, but more so to name-call and boss others around. Sorry to see that, because Free Speech is a treasure, not a tool.


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