man carrying assault rifle in starbucks

Charlie Sykes/Twitter

Old photo of man carrying assault rifle in Starbucks resurfaces amid gun control debate (updated)

What would you do if you walked into a business and saw this?


Tiffanie Drayton


Posted on Aug 7, 2019   Updated on May 20, 2021, 7:02 am CDT

The nation is still grieving after two separate mass shootings in Texas and Ohio claimed a combined 31 lives and wounded dozens more over the weekend.

A photo from 2013 recently resurfaced, featuring a man casually carrying his assault rifle into a Starbucks.

“Serious question: You walk into a business and see this —> do you 1. Leave 2. Feel Safer 3. Don’t Care,” political commentator Charlie Sykes asked, along with a picture of the man standing in line.

Many Twitter users responded by urging anyone in the same situation to leave or call for help.

“Call the cops. I have no reason to believe this armed individual isn’t potentially dangerous. I don’t give a damn what the local carry laws are. Why should I trust this man-baby with a murder weapon?” one user responded.

Others pointed out the racial double standard, arguing that people of color have been killed for far less.

“If he were a person of color, the police would’ve taken him down because someone would’ve called 911,” Twitter user @Mattison responded. “Tamir Rice. Killed playing with a toy gun. He was 12 years old. John Crawford. Killed holding an air rifle sold in a WalMart.

Most agreed that they simply would not feel safe.

This post has been updated to reflect that the photo in question first appeared in 2013. 


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*First Published: Aug 7, 2019, 6:19 pm CDT