New York Times Wants To Have Credit Card Companies Monitor Sales of Guns and Ammo. What Could Ever Go Wrong?

In this photo taken March 15, 2017, AR-15 style rifles made by Battle Rifle Co., a gunmaker in Webster, Texas, are on display in its retail shop. The gunmaker is one of more than 10,000 currently in the United States. President Donald Trump promised to revive manufacturing in the U.S., but one sector is poised to shrink under his watch: the gun industry. Fears of limits on guns led to a surge in demand during President Barack Obama’s tenure and manufacturers leapt to keep up. (AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane)


The New York Times ran an article today that opens a new front in the progressive dream of restricting and eventually banning gun ownership. The story is headlined How Banks Unwittingly Finance Mass Shootings:

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.

Those eight shootings killed 217 people. The investigations undertaken in their aftermath uncovered a rich trove of information about the killers’ spending. There were plenty of red flags, if only someone were able to look for them, law enforcement experts say.

“Banks will complain this is the government’s job and it’s not our job, but you know what? They are the only ones with the ability to do this,” said Kevin Sullivan, a former New York Police fraud investigator who consults with banks as president of the Anti-Money Laundering Training Academy.

The article hints that credit card companies should be forced to monitor the purchases of every card owner and act to prevent purchases that appear to a computer to look suspicious.

Elected officials could force the financial system to act.

In 29 states, consumers cannot use credit cards to buy lottery tickets because legislators don’t want consumers wracking up debt gambling. And under the Gun Control Act of 1968, firearms dealers must report if someone buys two or more handguns in a span of five business days.

That requirement can be evaded simply by buying at more than one store, but a system involving the banks and credit card networks could have the opportunity to flag the purchases.

The unstated part of the proposal is that if a transaction is sufficiently suspect that a bank thinks you may be a mass shooter, then to avoid corporate liability the will have to report you to law enforcement. And law enforcement will have to show up at your house wanting to question you and to take a look.

This idea is profoundly anti-freedom and worse than that, it really can’t work. This is a rather dense New York Times reporter making the case that this is the silver bullet to stop mass shootings:

Theis is Confessore’s mathematics background: “Confessore grew up in New York City and attended Hunter College High School. He was a politics major at Princeton University, class of 1998. While at Princeton, he wrote for the weekly student newspaper, the Nassau Weekly.”

And then he’s confronted by a couple of people who didn’t cheat to pass 5th grade math

Beyond the anti-science hubris of the New York Times claiming its stellar crew of investigative journalists discovered the Philosopher’s Stone that has eluded actual smart people, is the real point to the story:

This article is simply a cry for the return of Operation Chokepoint where Treasury bullied banks into dropping firearms vendors as customers with the addition of ensuring harassment of private citizens who have committed no crime as a way of intimidating others. It goes hand-in-hand with New York’s heavy handed harassment of corporations with business relationships with the NRA. Having failed at their attempt to actually outlaw weapons, the left is now seeking to harness the witless energy of the administrative state in making gun manufacture, sale, and ownership as fraught and difficult as possible.

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