Operation Choke Point was an attempt to cut off gun (and other politically disfavored) related business from financial services. Operation Choke Point has “effectively” ended but that doesn’t mean the fascists have given up. Andrew Ross Sorkin is advocating another angle:
How Banks Unwittingly Finance Mass Shootings
The New York Times reviewed hundreds of documents including police reports, bank records and investigator notes from a decade of mass shootings. Many of the killers built their stockpiles of high-powered weapons with the convenience of credit. No one was watching.
Mass shootings routinely set off a national debate on guns, usually focused on regulating firearms and on troubled youths. Little attention is paid to the financial industry that has become an instrumental, if unwitting, enabler of carnage.
A New York Times examination of mass shootings since the Virginia Tech attack in 2007 reveals how credit cards have become a crucial part of the planning of these massacres. There have been 13 shootings that killed 10 or more people in the last decade, and in at least eight of them, the killers financed their attacks using credit cards. Some used credit to acquire firearms they could not otherwise have afforded.
The credit card companies aren’t jumping on the fascist bandwagon yet:
Banks and credit-card networks say it is not their responsibility to create systems to track gun purchases that would allow them to report suspicious patterns.
“We do not believe Visa should be in the position of setting restrictions on the sale of lawful goods or services,” said Amanda Pires, a Visa spokeswoman. “Our role in commerce is to efficiently process, protect and settle all legal payments. Asking Visa or other payment networks to arbitrate what legal goods can be purchased sets a dangerous precedent.”
A spokesman for Mastercard echoed that sentiment, emphasizing its protection of “cardholders’ independence” and the “privacy of their own purchasing decisions.”
John Shrewsberry, chief financial officer of Wells Fargo — which counts the National Rifle Association as a client — has dismissed the notion that banks should regulate the use of its credit cards for gun purchases.
While no friend of gun owners, the ACLU appears to be on our side on this one:
And a policy expert at the American Civil Liberties Union recently expressed concern about how efforts to prevent mass shootings could infringe on individual rights.
“The implication of expecting the government to detect and prevent every mass shooting is believing the government should play an enormously intrusive role in American life,” Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst at the A.C.L.U. Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, wrote in July.
But, of course, the fascist dismisses these concerns:
Not all the concerns involve privacy or politics. Some are practical.
Would they dismiss freedom of (some) religions or association on a “practical” basis? For example, people in prison who identify as Democrats outnumber all other political affiliations combined by a factor of two. Wouldn’t it be “practical” to preemptively put scarce law enforcement and surveillance resources on Democrats?
In October Gab was targeted for supporting free speech. Among other things that happened Pay Pal would no longer do business with them. Boomershoot processes credit cards through Pay Pal. This has long been something that bothered me because Pay Pal won’t allow you to us them for gun sales but other options went away (Google) or were very difficult to implement (Amazon).
After Pay Pal shutdown Gab I started looking for another credit card processor. I ended up with Wells Fargo. It’s more expensive than Pay Pal but they didn’t have a problem with Boomershoot. I didn’t know the NRA was their customer too. Good to know.
I’m on “vacation” until after the first of the year to, mostly, work on converting the Boomershoot entry processing to use Wells Fargo so I can dump Pay Pal. I just hope it is easier to implement on my web site than Amazon.