This one we got from our friend and frequent contributor, Peter H. Salus. He directs us to an op-ed piece over at the New York Times that is really rather remarkable. In How Banks Could Control Gun Sales if Washington Won’t, Andrew Ross Sorkin argues that if Washington is incapable of passing meaningful gun control measures, perhaps the financial industry could do so instead.
In particular, he asks, “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?” If they did, they could announce that they would no longer do business with retailers who sold rapid fire, large magazine automatic weapons. In an instant, the whole nature of gun sales would change. It would remain easy to buy hunting weapons and self-defense handguns, but military assault rifles could only be purchased with cash or money order.
It wouldn’t completely end sales of AR 15s and AK 47s, but would slow them way, way down.
We think the idea is kind of brilliant—a genuine example of thinking outside the box.
Will it happen? Well, that’s another story. Let’s face it, banks and credit card companies are in the business of making money, not firearms regulation. But, still, Mr. Sorkin’s idea is very important, if only in that it shows there may be alternative ways of controlling gun sales while Washington remains helplessly in the grip of the NRA.
Let’s hope that it inspires other, and equally inventive plans for future use.
The Little Professor