In this July 20, 2014 photo, with guns displayed for sale behind her, a gun store employee helps a customer at Dragonman’s, east of Colorado Springs, Colo. When Colorado lawmakers expanded background checks on firearms last year, they were expecting a huge increase. But the actual number the first 12 months of the law is far lower than projected, according to an analysis of state data by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
Over the past couple of years one of the major points of friction, or really lines of fracture, in a center-right coalition that has been ascendant since 1980 is the issue of the behavior of private corporations with immense power acting to interfere with constitutional rights of Americans in a way that would never be tolerated if the government did the same. For instance, it is no secret that Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, and Alphabet (the corporate parent of Google) are actively hostile to conservatives. Conservative content producers are targeted for demonetization and deplatforming. If you want to survive as a content provider you really have to keep your head down and pull your punches or you will find your business damaged. The Vichy-con “muh priniciples” types, the ones who describe allowing drag queens to use public library story hours to groom young children as a “blessing of liberty”…
SICK: Never Trumper David French Calls Drag Queen Story Hour a ‘Blessing of Liberty’ https://t.co/jp3Txv1qAt
— Big League Politics (@bigleaguepol) September 13, 2019
(No, drag queen story hour is not a blessing of liberty it is a warning flare of a false liberty, a libertinism, so debauched that it is a danger to actual liberty.)
…argue that these are private businesses and it is against closely held principles to in any way regulate their conduct and if you don’t like how they operate, just start your own multi-billion dollar corporate competitor and, while you’re at it, create your own advertising sales network to compete with the existing monopoly. (Okay, now do that with segregated lunch counters and see how it works out.)
I don’t happen to believe that is a particularly sane point of view. If a corporation can restrict your ability to exercise a constitutional right, the end result is the same as if the government did it. And if the government acquiesces to or encourages that corporate action, then the government is, in fact, a party to that restriction of rights. While our attention has been focused on how speech and expression are being crushed by our fascist corporate overlords, the place where the first hammer will really hit is on the Second Amendment, because right now we are facing a perfect storm of the Democrats teaming up with hyper-woke corporate fascists to do things elected Democrats would never be able to do. How would this work?
Already, Bank of America and Citigroup have placed limits the commercial products manufactured and sold by its customers in regards to firearms. While Citigroup has focused on requiring retailers to not sell any firearm to anyone under 21, BofA will not do business with any weapon manufactured that produces a “military style” weapon. Several credit-card-type services (PayPal, Square, Stripe and Apple Pay) already forbid the use of their payment method to purchase basically anything associated with firearms. In fact, this kind of politically motivated restrictions on commercial access is becoming fairly common:
Bank of America will end its association with companies that provide prisoner and immigrant detention services at both the state and federal levels.
The move comes amid growing public concern about the nation's border policies. https://t.co/H8Cor9K5mk
— CNN (@CNN) June 27, 2019
Earlier this week, some 150 major corporations signed a joint letter to the US Senate demanding action to limit the ability of law aiding Americans to buy firearms in order to make a bunch of fat cat executives and their amply woke gofers feel good:
In a direct and urgent call to address gun violence in America, the chief executives of some of the nation’s best-known companies sent a letter to Senate leaders on Thursday, urging an expansion of background checks to all firearms sales and stronger “red flag” laws.
“Doing nothing about America’s gun violence crisis is simply unacceptable and it is time to stand with the American public on gun safety,” the heads of nearly 150 companies, including Levi Strauss, Twitter and Uber, say in the letter, which was shared with The New York Times.
On Thursday after the executives released their letter, Business Roundtable, which had been reluctant to enter the gun debate, called on Congress and the Trump administration “to come together and enact bipartisan, common-sense legislation to address this epidemic.” Visa joined with the group, saying that a “string of mass shootings in America has brought unimaginable sadness and a feeling of hopelessness to many in our communities.”
A week ago, Walmart, the largest retailer and employer in the country, wrote its own letter to Congress, pushing for a debate over reauthorizing an assault weapons ban. It also announced that it was removing certain ammunition and guns from its shelves and would discourage “open carry” in its stores. Other retailers followed suit by changing their open-carry policies, including Kroger, CVS, Walgreens and the Wegmans grocery chain.
The letter signers on Thursday include the leaders of Airbnb, the Gap, Pinterest, Lyft, the Brookfield Property Group and Royal Caribbean.
Missing from the list, however, are some of America’s biggest financial and technology companies, including Apple, Facebook, Google, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, some of which debated internally whether to sign the letter.
Don’t get excited by the absence of financial institutions. They will get on board soon enough:
Banks and credit card companies must:
1⃣Refuse to take part in the sale of assault weapons.
2⃣Stop processing transactions for gun sales online & at gun shows without background checks.
3⃣Stop doing business with gun & ammo manufacturers who produce or sell assault weapons
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) September 12, 2019
If enough of us make our voices heard now, we will force banks and credit card companies to act. Add your name to this petition we’re sending Visa, Mastercard, and the big banks: https://t.co/GcNPVfVOc4
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) September 12, 2019
If you think other Democrats aren’t going to jump on this, you are sadly mistaken. Ominously, this week New Jersey announced it will stop doing business with companies, including financial institutions, that don’t enforce that New Jersey wants in regards to purchases of guns and accessories.
New Jersey will stop doing business with gun manufacturers and retailers that fail to adopt policies that go beyond federal laws, like conducting expanded background checks, to stop guns from falling into the wrong hands, becoming the first state to take such stringent action against the firearms industry.
The state will also apply pressure on major financial institutions, seeking information from banks that do business with New Jersey about their relationships and policies involving gunmakers and sellers.
While the plan did not include many details, officials said that within the next 30 days the state would develop policies on gun sales that would likely be shaped by measures supported by gun control groups.
These include training retail workers to detect straw purchasers and requiring sellers to keep electronic records and perform background checks for private sellers for a small fee.
The state would require vendors and financial institutions that it does business with to adopt the policies to be eligible for future contracts. While the state’s efforts are aimed mostly at retailers, it will also pressure manufacturers not to do business with sellers who do not embrace the stronger gun sale polices.
The governor’s office said more specifically that sellers could ensure that the name on the method of payment matched the name of a buyer; that online orders were made by the eventual gun owner; and that buyers were limited to purchasing one firearm every 30 days.
Mr. Murphy’s plan would also seek to prevent the sale of firearms to “prohibited individuals,” which as defined by New Jersey is a broad list.
Aside from people with a history of mental illness and those convicted of crimes related to domestic abuse, it would also include people convicted of any violent crimes and drug dealing, as well as buyers on a terrorist watch list kept by the F.B.I.
New Jersey’s move could also be the first step toward pressing other Wall Street banks to reassess their relationship with the gun industry.
New Jersey’s requirement that financial firms disclose their ties to gunmakers could provide the public with new and specific information that some firms have been reluctant to divulge.
This law effectively means that large banks have a choice of doing business with New Jersey or doing business with retailers that sell firearms unless those retailers obey New Jersey law.
The First Amendment, at least as far as it applies to conservative causes, is already being ghettoized and labeled as untrustworthy if not banned outright by social media oligarchs. Now the Second Amendment is about to be forced into a similar ghetto. One would think that even the most highly principled National Review writer or Bulwarkian slug could see where this is going. Private business is being used to impose a policy preference of the Democrat party that would be facially illegal to try to implement by legislation. One would hope they would object. But my bet is we’re going to hear a lot more about “muh priniciples” and be told that if we don’t like it, then we need to create our own national banking network to finance the sale of firearms and accessories.