Crimson Trace

August 23, 2013

News Trumps Travel

Today I'd planned to recount some of the anecdotal items I'd collected during my 5,541 mile trip completed late this afternoon. When you talk with hundreds of people over the course of thousands of miles, there are always a few stories that "stick".

This trip was no exception, but there are other things going on that are more time-critical than recounting my journey. Those stories can wait - and probably need a bit of reflection to be properly put in perspective.

Tomorrow, it seems gun owners may be in the position to actually help a company with what it calls a gun-neutral policy. Starbucks finds itself in the figurative gunsight of the "Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America". This non-profit has interpreted Starbucks policy of following local regulations when it comes to the matter of concealed carry not as "neutral" but "pro-gun".

Now, "Moms" is calling for a boycott of all Starbucks tomorrow (Saturday, August 24) -and hoping to collect 25,000 signatures they hope to personally present to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. In other words, "Moms" hopes to put the figurative gun of public opinion to the head of a company that actually prides itself on advocacy.

While Starbucks says they don't want their stores to become "staging grounds" for either side of the issue, the company says "our policy is not changing."

I think a gun-neutral position is smart for the company, but it seems that some groups are determined to make guns a polarizing issue. That, I don't like- no matter which side of an issue you fall on.

So....we may find it advantageous to show up at a Starbucks (or two) this weekend, order one of their innumerable combinations of coffee and simply say "I wanted to thank Starbucks for not taking a side in the gun debate. I think it is a personal choice, not a political one."

Feel free to put that into your own words- but speak them if you have the opportunity.

And a later word last night of a precautionary safety notice for Smith & Wesson's extremely popular M&P Shield pistol. According to our sources, the company is issuing this notice because only a small number of the pistols are thought to have a potential problem with the trigger bar pin possibly damaging the lower trigger.

If that sounds a bit confusing, you're not alone. To make it simpler for those of us who find gunsmithing not in our skill-set, there's a video online at MPShieldSafetyAlert.com to give video instructions for inspecting your Shield.

Another option is to take your pistol to a certified armorer. You can find one of those on the S&W website under the "Find A Dealer" tab. If you gun is found to have a problem, it needs to go back to the factory for repair. If you'll read the Top Story in today's news section, it contains the specific instructions on what to do in that instance.

Better safe that sorry whenever there's a question about a firearm. And that translates to a very simple rule: if there's a question about the safety of any gun, shooting it is NEVER the best way to find the answer.

We'll keep you posted...and next week we'll be taking a look at a number of issues raised during the MyTime2Stand western swing. The shooting industry faces an amazing opportunity- and terrific challenge- with the phenomenal growth of interest in guns and shooting.

--Jim Shepherd