As a reminder, Andrew Ross Sorkin wrote in the NY Times that banks could control guns, if Washington won’t.
Liberty Blitzkrieg’s Mike Krieger exclaimed that even in today’s world replete with plutocrat public relations masquerading as journalism, it’s rare to encounter an article simultaneously pandering, authoritarian, childish and dumb. Nevertheless, I found one, and it was unsurprisingly published in The New York Times.
The title of the piece more or less says it all, How Banks Could Control Gun Sales if Washington Won’t, but let’s go ahead and examine some of the author’s suggestions in greater detail. For instance:
“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?
“Collectively, they have more leverage over the gun industry than any lawmaker. And it wouldn’t be hard for them to take a stand.
“PayPal, Square, Stripe and Apple Pay announced years ago that they would not allow their services to be used for the sale of firearms.
“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.”
That was followed by Dick’s Sporting Goods, who said they would no longer sell high-capacity magazines and that they would not sell any gun to anyone under 21 years of age, regardless of local laws.
“’When we saw what happened in Parkland, we were so disturbed and upset,’ CEO Edward Stack told NYT in an interview. ‘We love these kids and their rallying cry, “enough is enough.”‘ It got to us.
“He added, ‘We’re going to take a stand and step up and tell people our view and, hopefully, bring people along into the conversation.’”
And now, according to The NY Times, Citigroup is stepping in the 2nd Amendment miasma.
The new policy, announced Thursday, prohibits the sale of firearms to customers who have not passed a background check or who are younger than 21. It also bars the sale of bump stocks and high-capacity magazines. It would apply to clients who offer credit cards backed by Citigroup or borrow money, use banking services or raise capital through the company.
The rules, which the company described as “common-sense measures,” echo similar restrictions established by some major retailers, like Walmart. But they also represent the boldest such move to emerge from the banking sector.
“Citigroup’s gun policy has ‘been a while coming,’ its chief executive, Michael L. Corbat, told The New York Times Thursday.
“Mr. Corbat, who called himself ‘an avid outdoorsman and responsible gun owner,’ acknowledged that ‘some will find our policy too strict while others will find it too lenient.’
“’We don’t pretend that these answers are perfect, but as we looked at the things we thought we could influence, we felt that, working with our clients, we could make a difference,’ he said.
“’Banks serve a societal purpose – we believe our investors want us to do this and be responsible corporate citizens.’”
If business customers decline Citigroup’s restrictions, the bank said it would work with them to “transition their business away.”
As Krieger so eloquently concluded previously, there simply isn’t overwhelming national support for more gun control. As such, if the mega banks that wrecked the economy a decade ago and consumed massive bailouts to survive, decided to use their power to shadow legislate it will not go over well. I can promise you that much.