Today in garbage headlines

Gun industry sees banks as new threat to 2nd Amendment

That damned NRA.  Why are they so paranoid?

With Gary Ramey’s fledgling gun-making business taking off in retail stores, he decided to start offering one of his handguns for sale on his website.

That didn’t sit well with the company he used to process payments, and they informed him they were dropping his account. Another credit card processing firm told him the same thing: They wouldn’t do business with him.

The reason? His business of making firearms violates their policies.

Oh, that’s a little different.  Gary signed up with these credit card service providers in good faith and they decided his legal and Constitutionally protected products were problematic.

In the wake of high-profile mass shootings, corporate America has been taking a stand against the firearms industry amid a lack of action by lawmakers on gun control. Payment processing firms are limiting transactions, Bank of America stopped providing financing to companies that make AR-style guns, and retailers like Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods imposed age restrictions on gun purchases.

Business decided that they were more interested in activism than business.  See Starbucks’ line of homeless shelters and Target’s line of peepshows for that.

This does not bode well.

The moves are lauded by gun-safety advocates but criticized by the gun industry that views them as a backhanded way of undermining the Second Amendment. Gun industry leaders see the backlash as a real threat to their industry and are coming to the conclusion that they need additional protections in Congress to prevent financial retaliation from banks.

Of course anti gun bigots gun safety activists love this.  They have no honor and are fine with all other sorts of lying and cheating to get their way.

It’s not just an attack on guns, it’s an attack on business.  A person takes out a loan and goes through all the work of starting a legal company and then the bank decides to destroy that person financially.  How can a business owner pay back his creditors if he can’t collect payment?

“If a few banks say ‘No, we’re not going to give loans to gun dealers or gun manufacturers’, all of a sudden the industry is threatened and the Second Amendment doesn’t mean much if there are no guns around,” said Michael Hammond, legal counsel for Gun Owners of America. “If you can’t make guns, if you can’t sell guns, the Second Amendment doesn’t mean much.”

The Lefts should be used to this argument.  It is a lot like the justification they use to keep state agencies from regulating abortion clinics claiming how can a woman exercise her right to abortion if there are no clinics to do it.  Except of course that the Second Amendment is very clear in its intent.

The issue has already gotten the attention of the Republican who is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho sent letters criticizing Bank of America and Citigroup, which decided to restrict sales of firearms by its business customers, over their new gun rules in the wake of the Florida high school shooting in February.

“We should all be concerned if banks like yours seek to replace legislators and policy makers and attempt to manage social policy by limiting access to credit,” Crapo wrote to Citigroup’s chief executive.

It’s more than that, which is why I don’t accept the “this is a job for the free market” solution.  Banks in America receive a huge amount of support from the government.  The amount of regulation by the government makes locks out new competition from small upstarts.  The government provides security and protection for the big banks and billions of dollars in contracts.  Then there was the Bailout.

The fact is the line between big banks and the Federal Government has blurred in some places.  If the government has decided that you are “too big to fail” and your executives who got stupid greedy and caused the biggest financial catastrophe since the Great Depression don’t need to go to prison, and instead force mergers that protect the banks than the goverment has interfered in the free market too much for the free market to be a solution.

“Companies by and large avoid these issues like the plague and they only get involved — whether they’re credit card companies or airlines — when they feel like doing nothing is as bad as doing something and they feel completely stuck,” said Timothy D. Lytton, professor at Georgia State University’s College of Law and author of “Suing the Gun Industry: A Battle at the Crossroads of Gun Control and Mass Torts.”

The banks are playing by the New Rules of “everything is political.”  It’s bad.  Also, thanks for getting a total anti-gun person to weigh in as the voice of reason.

The gun industry acknowledges that there’s nothing requiring companies from doing business with gun manufacturers or dealers. Monthly reports from the federal government show background checks to purchase a firearm are up over last year so far, so the early actions apparently have not put a dent in sales.

Still, the industry believes it needs stronger laws against financial retaliation in the future.

Because the gun industry is being singled out.  In 2016, there were over 10,000 deaths from alcohol impaired drivers, just shy of the 11,000 non suicide gun deaths.  DUI was a leading killer of young people, more than gun violence.  I don’t see credit card companies denying banking services to micro brews or liquor stores.

More regulations are necessary for an industry that receives so much support from the government and taxpayers.

“We may have to seek legislation to make sure it can’t be done and that you can’t discriminate against individuals from lawful exercise of a constitutional right,” said Larry Keane, senior vice president and legal counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which represents gunmakers. “Imagine if banks were to say you can’t purchase books or certain books aren’t acceptable. That would be problematic and I don’t think anyone would stand for that kind of activity by the banking industry.”

He’s right.

This isn’t the NRA picking on the banks.  This is the NRA standing up for people getting picked on by the banks.  From the title of the article, you’d never know that.

And yeah, I get it.  A lot of industries are over regulated and free market competition is great.  It is.

But we’re not talking about one baker who will bake gay wedding cakes competing for business against a baker to won’t.

Th’s is way bigger than that.

To put it bluntly:

If nearly a trillion dollars in tax money, some of which I contributed to, was used to keep you afloat – if tax dollars are used to protect your industry – if whole sectors of the government exist to maintain your interests – you have no right to restrict my civil liberties with my money.

7 Replies to “Today in garbage headlines”

  1. This sounds a lot like the redlining the left used to push the subprime mortgage lending requirements on banks.

    It’d be fun to be able to force an antigun bank to give me a loan for some CNC equipment, whether or not I could pay it back, and be able to default on it with really no serious credit risk.

  2. If you could find enough Congress critters with backbone, make a law that any bank that received bailout money and wishes to discriminate against lawful businesses must repay that money at 10% interest. If you really want to twist the knife, insert a clawback provision that all C level bonuses have to be paid back personally as well.

      1. Yes. And it would make perfect sense — it is the exact analog of regulations requiring schools to follow government dictates if they take even a penny of government money (even if only by way of student loans).

  3. Neil Smith pointed out a long time ago that “corporation” is “a group of people who have been given specific privileges by law and regulation”. Which is an argument for saying that corporations are creatures of the government and should therefore be required to obey the Constitution.

  4. Chalk another one up to the drug war.

    Check out the legislative history of many of the banking regulations that create barriers to entry to new banks and you’re going to find many of them attached to bills which were all about the war on drugs.

    Can’t have drug dealers making cash deposits without someone being able to see where the money came from… oh look, we can use that power to see where money goes as well!

    Can’t have people getting paid without going through some sort of bank to make sure they aren’t cheating on taxes too!

    All the unintended consequences.

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