The New York Times published and article titled How Banks Could Control Gun Sales if Washington Won’t.
In the aftermath of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., that killed 17 students and staff members — and at a time when Washington shows little interest in limiting the sales of assault weapons — there’s a real opportunity for the business community to fill the void and prove that all that talk about moral responsibility isn’t hollow.
Here’s an idea.
What if the finance industry — credit card companies like Visa, Mastercard and American Express; credit card processors like First Data; and banks like JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo — were to effectively set new rules for the sales of guns in America?
The author didn’t know that back in 2016, Wells Fargo actually did that to Hogue. PayPal and Square did the same thing.
PayPal, Square, Stripe and Apple Pay announced years ago that they would not allow their services to be used for the sale of firearms.
“We do not believe permitting the sale of firearms on our platform is consistent with our values or in the best interests of our customers,” a spokesman for Square told me.
Now the author wants the rest of the banking industry to do the same.
If Mastercard were to do the same, assault weapons would be eliminated from virtually every firearms store in America because otherwise the sellers would be cut off from the credit card system
There is precedent for credit card issuers to ban the purchase of completely legal products. Just this month, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America banned the use of their cards to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
To be clear: Those three banks won’t let you use your credit card to buy Bitcoin, but they will happily let you use it to buy an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle — the same kind of gun used in mass shootings in Parkland; Newtown, Conn.; San Bernardino, Calif.; Las Vegas; and Sutherland Springs, Tex.
Bitcoin is used in the international trade of drugs, guns, contraband, even human slaves. This is very different than the legal purchase of a legal product in the US. To equate a crypto-currency used to fund terrorism and in money laundering with buying a rifle at Cabela’s is morally repugnant.
But what else would you expect from the NYT?
Visa, oddly enough, is the card of choice of the N.R.A.: There is actually an N.R.A.-branded Visa card issued by First Bankcard, a division of First National Bank of Omaha. And Mastercard proudly announced last year that it was the branded card for Cabela’s, an outdoor gear megastore with a seemingly limitless assault-weapon catalog.
And I have over $300 in Cabela’s points. I prefer them to air miles. I hate to travel, I use my kids day care bills to buy ammo for IDPA matches.
If Visa and Mastercard are unwilling to act on this issue, the credit card processors and banks that issue credit cards could try. Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, which issues credit cards and owns a payment processor, has talked about how he and his bank have “a moral obligation but also a deeply vested interest” in helping “solve pressing societal challenges.” This is your chance, Mr. Dimon.
And here’s a variation on the same theme: What if the payment processing industry’s biggest customers — companies like McDonald’s, Starbucks, Apple, Amazon, AT&T, CVS and others that regularly talk about “social responsibility” — collectively pressured the industry to do it? There’s a chance that some of the payment processors would stop handling gun sales. Perhaps their voices would help push one of the banks to step out and lead?
It is amazing how fast the Left went from Occupy Wall Street “big banks are bad” to “lets use the big banks for social change.”
Another critique is that it is impossible to prevent every shooting, no matter how guns are restricted. And the banks’ actions would affect millions of their own law-abiding customers, effectively dictating what they can and cannot buy.
That is all true. But to him, the inconvenience to gun owners is more of a feature than a bug.
The most troubling aspect of having the finance industry try to restrict gun sales is that it would push the most dangerous guns into an untraceable world where sales would depend on cash. That’s true. All things considered, though, it would make it considerably harder to even find such guns.
This moron has no idea how much of the gun world is already a cash business. Cash is king.
None of this is a panacea. But it’s a start. It takes leadership and courage — exactly what these executives say they have. If they don’t want to back up their words with actions, the next time there’s a school shooting that prompts a conversation about gun companies, it should also include the financial complex that supports them.
Ultimately, what this idiot wants is the banks to be our moral betters. He wants the banks to have control over our lives, approving what we buy and how we live.
Putting that kind of power in the hands of banks is horrifying. Will the environmentalists convince the banks not to finance SUVs, trucks, or non-fuel efficient vehicles? What about alcohol or tobacco or any other industry. There are diamonds that still come from slave mines in Africa, maybe we can organize the banks to stop dealing with the jewelry industry. The iPhone is made by Chinese slaves, with coltan dug by African slaves. Maybe banks should end all financial ties to and not process sales with Apple.
The thing is, this would be all but useless. There is always cash, but there is a lot more than cash available. I’ve bought guns with gold fillings when the price of gold shot up over $1,500/oz and the local pawn and gun was buying gold at a premium.
Then there is entrepreneurship. PayPal only dates back to 1998. Please for the love of fuck pull the banking industry out of gun sales.
In 2015, the firearms and ammunition industry did $13.5 billion in sales, and gun stores did $3.1 billion.
I got a buddy on Wall Street I can get backing from. I will create online gun sales processing dotcom – and rake in my cut of that money.
But it’s that $13.5 billion that is the answer. Are the banks really going to give that up? Ruger did over $400 million in sales last year. Remington did $700 million. Vista Outdoors did $2.5 billion.
Is the whole of the banking industry going to walk away from that much money?
I doubt it. If they do, the rush to replace it will happen overnight.
The Left is pulling out all the stops after Parkland. There is no idea too absurd that they won’t suggest.
This one is bad, but it will get worse.