Obama Administration Tries To Intimidate Banks Into Breaking Ties With Gun Manufacturers & Distributors
“I don’t think ethical people deal with intimidation as a method to achieve success.” – Dominique Moceanu
When a child wants a cookie before dinner, but his mother tells him “no,” he goes to his father to ask the same question. It’s called subversion, and we learn it from a very early age. We learn that if one authority prevents us from getting what we want, we can find other routes in order to subvert that authority. The 2nd Amendment is an authority with incredible power, but there are those who despise it, and want it repealed. They have discovered that attacking it directly doesn’t work, so they have taken to using subversive tactics to strip away our 2nd amendment rights without touching the Amendment itself.
According to The Daily Signal:
“Go to a gun show, and you won’t find many merchants using PayPal. You’ll also find few vendors using popular payment processors such as Square, Stripe and Spark Pay. That’s because some payment processors explicitly prohibit the use of their systems for online–and some in-store–sales of firearms, ammunition and certain accessories.”
The Daily Signal also mentions “Operation Chokepoint”:
“The Daily Signal previously published a series of articles exploring the relationship between banks and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which is the governmental body responsible for regulating and auditing more than 4,500 U.S. banks. Republican members of Congress have accused the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, among other government agencies, of having undue influence when it comes to banks’ decision not to do business with firearms merchants.”
According to the Heritage Foundation:
“Starting in 2013, DOJ instituted a broad investigation of banks and financial payment processors, informally dubbed OCP…In short, FIRREA [Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act] enforcement tools specifically designed for attacking businesses engaged in fraud are being applied by DOJ to attack non-fraudulent purveyors of financial services that operate in disfavored market segments. This seemingly involves application of a statute to parties not within its intended scope (here, merchants involved in legal but government-disfavored enterprises), raising serious rule of law concerns.”
The Heritage Foundation goes on to note that one bank was essentially intimidated into ending their relationship with a particular business because it is considered “high risk” by the government:
“According to the House report, the rollout of OCP in 2013 (with its implicit threat of federal investigations) may have caused FDIC-supervised financial institutions to heed the FDIC’s warnings about doing business with companies in ‘high risk’ sectors…The report notes that a bank terminated its relationship with a firearms seller because its ‘line of business [wa]s not commensurate with the industries we work with‘…”
This is Operation Chokepoint, a previously well-intentioned operation that has been twisted in order to subvert gun rights. Many on the left have suggested alternative methods by which the government could subvert the rule of law in order to severely restrict firearms, such as levying a massive tax on bullets. The left has seen the fury of the American public when it has tried to go after gun rights head on, and as such, they have decided to take an alternate, and much more surreptitious path. Using Chokepoint, they can intimidate banks (and therefore also payment processing companies) into terminating their business with firearms manufacturers, and sellers. If enough banks, and payment processing companies terminate existing relationships with firearms businesses, and refuse to get into business with new gun-related companies, fewer firearms will be manufactured, and sold. It’s a clever way of implementing gun control.
Another way to subvert the 2nd Amendment is to have the American people do it themselves. According to CNN, several family members of the Newtown shooting victims are suing Bushmaster—the manufacturer of the guns used by Adam Lanza in the shooting:
“Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, the law firm that is representing the families, announced Monday that it has filed suit against Camfour, a gun distributor, and Riverview Gun Sales, as well as the Freedom Group, the company that owns Bushmaster.”
Attorney Katie Mesner-Hage said the following in a press release:
“The risk of a mentally unstable individual gaining access to an assault rifle and unleashing its military firepower on innocent civilians is not theoretical for Bushmaster. It’s a fact.”
According to Businessweek:
“Lawyers suing in court, rather than backing a bill in a legislature, face extra hurdles. These obstacles became evident when an earlier generation of anti-gun activists filed suit against manufacturers of handguns beginning in the late 1990s. Those cases fizzled. Some judges questioned why firearm companies should be penalized for marketing perfectly legal products that function properly. If you want to ban an article of commerce—a gun, say—do it by means of legislation, not litigation, the judges said. Other judges were troubled that the handgun suits sought to obscure the immediate cause of firearm misuse: the person holding the weapon. Handgun suits that survived early dismissal on these grounds were definitively snuffed out by a federal statute enacted in 2005 called the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act…The measure was specifically designed to shield makers of rifles and pistols from liability suits.”
The families, however, are looking to use a specific clause called “negligent entrustment,” which essentially allows for liability if the maker, or distributor of the weapon had reasonable knowledge that their product was to be used in a criminal manner. But in the case of the Newtown shooting, the gun was bought legally, and not by Adam Lanza, but by his mother. Katie Mesner-Hage’s implication that Bushmaster somehow has omnipotent knowledge of future gun crimes is absurd. They are a manufacturer of a legal product. It’s as if someone were to sue Johnny Walker because their family member drank themselves to death. Guns, like alcohol, are an inherently dangerous product, but they are also perfectly legal, and protected under the 2nd Amendment. There is no legal ground for the case, but they are trying anyway.
In a similar manner to Operation Chokepoint, this is a means by which gun rights can be attacked without a direct assault on the constitution. Even if this case fails–which it will because it’s ridiculous–it may have a chilling effect on firearm manufacturers, and sellers, especially if it gets wide media attention.
The left despises the 2nd Amendment, and they want it gone. They can’t make a frontal assault, so they are using various underhanded methods in order to curtail our rights without us even knowing it. But now you know the state of things, and as Lenny Wilkens said: “Intimidation doesn’t last very long.” I would add to that. Intimidation doesn’t last very long when faced with a well-informed public.