We often argue and worry over the more overt tactics the progressive left uses to try to destroy our fundamental constitutional rights. While that fight is noble, it also has a dangerous habit of neglecting the dangerous, more covert ways they chip away at our freedoms.
Lately, we’ve seen the left teaming up with Big Tech or Big Education to try to silence the voices and shackle the rights of Americans. This time they’ve cozied up to Big Finance to do their bidding.
Their latest target is the Amendment that guards all the rest: our beloved Second Amendment.
Today, we joined a coalition of 24 attorneys general demanding credit card companies remove a Merchant Category Code for gun stores to use when processing debit or credit card transactions. https://t.co/NyKAT31E6j pic.twitter.com/Dr8btGvBUR
— Attorney General Eric Schmitt (@AGEricSchmitt) September 20, 2022
When they can’t manage to ban all firearms and ammunition sales in this country, the left has decided to fall back on their favorite tactic of all – surveillance. The International Organization for Standardization has approved a new merchant category code for banks to use when processing transactions for gun and ammunition stores.
I know what you are thinking: Who is this organization, and what is a merchant category code? The International Standards Organization sets the rules across the entire financial services industry.
A merchant category code is a simple four-digit code that denotes what a sale is from and is often used to help banks “flag” purchases for anything from possible identity theft to terrorist financing.
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And now they will be used to flag purchases related to “potential mass shootings;” at least, that’s what they want you to believe.
JUST IN: Visa, $V, the world's largest payments processor, said it will implement a new merchant category code for U.S. gun retailers, which will identify transactions at firearms stores.
— unusual_whales (@unusual_whales) September 11, 2022
What’s The Big Deal?
The push for this new merchant category inclusion is thanks to the Amalgamated Bank, which has been petitioning for this progressive change for quite some time. The CEO, Priscilla Sims Brown, said of this new code:
“We could identify and detect where there may be gun sales that are intended for black markets, where we see patterns of gun purchases being made in multiple gun shops. We could see the patterns of behavior that would indicate to us that there is something not right here.”
Often cited as justification is the Colorado movie theater shooter from 2012, who purchased $9,000 worth of guns and ammunition two months before the shooting. While that incident was a mass shooting, $9,000 worth of guns and ammo is also what most Midwesterners call “Tuesday.”
Like most after-the-fact arguments, it’s hard to argue if these codes would’ve saved the lives of those taken that day. But all signs point to doubtful.
Earlier this year, a representative from American Express explained why:
“Managing long lists of narrowly defined MCCs can become burdensome if there isn’t a compelling reason for the long list.”
And now we get to the rub of it. After all, how do you delineate between my clothing and ammunition purchases at, say, Cabela’s?
Following the announcement of a new Merchant Category Code for gun and ammunition stores, I asked all seven CEOs of America’s largest retail banks to commit to me that their bank will process all transactions of legal, constitutionally protected goods and services. Watch ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/giPQqXylvG
— Sen. Kevin Cramer (@SenKevinCramer) September 22, 2022
The Real Danger
Adams Arms President Jason East warns:
“When overarching organizations wield surveillance measures and disguise them as tracking troublesome or dangerous purchases, they are actually initiating the destruction of American rights – the Second Amendment is only the start.”
Mr. East uses alcohol as an example of something that could be tracked next.
But let’s dive into how this can affect the everyday American gun owner. Let’s say you are a hunter and are getting ready for the season. Better hope you don’t get flagged for purchasing too much ammunition, but what is too much?
Let’s say you are a gun enthusiast, like my husband who spent 17 years in the military as a combat arms instructor. Better hope you don’t make too many gun purchases, or you might get flagged as an unhinged mass shooting murderer.
Now let’s imagine you are a deranged killer. All you must do is pay with cash. You can continue along your merry way, taking advantage of a system built to handcuff law-abiding citizens.
No companies should be building nationwide databases of law-abiding Americans who purchase guns. Today, we are calling on American Express, Mastercard and Visa to drop the Merchant Category Code on gun purchases. https://t.co/GOCkGM4c11
— AG Ashley Moody (@AGAshleyMoody) September 20, 2022
To the credit card companies’ credit (see what I did there), some are not excited about this new industry standard. Mastercard put out the following statement:
“We believe that it is the responsibility of elected officials to enact meaningful policies to address the issue of gun violence, while it remains Mastercard’s role to ensure that consumers are permitted to make lawful purchases on our network.”
But Ms. Sims Browns disagrees. She believes:
“It is our responsibility. What price do you put on a life? If it stops two people from dying, isn’t that worth it?”
No, no, it isn’t worth it. You can’t put a monetary price on human life, but to pay for it with our freedoms is too hefty of a fee.
My life, your life, no life is worth that, and if we revered our founding fathers as opposed to demonizing them, we would remember that fact. Visa’s statement was similar to Mastercard’s:
“We believe that asking payment networks to serve as a moral authority by deciding which legal goods can or cannot be purchased sets a dangerous precedent.”
AG Landry & other AG's are alerting chief executive officers of 3 major CC companies that the recent creation of a Merchant Category Code for the processing of firearms purchases from #gun stores is potentially a violation of consumer protection and antitrust laws.#2A #GunRights pic.twitter.com/Uh9ef5R8lM
— AG Jeff Landry (@AGJeffLandry) September 20, 2022
The Long Squeeze
In this new world of hot takes and sound bites, it has become easy to obstruct justice, sweep away pertinent evidence, and perhaps worst of all, erase our freedoms.
Don’t be a passive participant in this erosion.
Pay attention to the facts and what they are doing, and don’t stop speaking out against these acts of oppression. It’s not just about being a gun owner; these actions eventually affect us all.
Mr. East explains:
“All Americans – not just legal firearms owners – should think carefully about how much control you want the government to have over your rights as a citizen.”
He goes on to state:
“Financial strangulation will eventually pull the rug out from under everyone’s feet.”
Do you feel that? It feels like something is getting tighter around our throats.
Today we sent a message to Visa, MasterCard and American Express, urging them to create a merchant category code for gun and ammunition stores.
Not only will this alert them to large purchases, but it will also give us a new tool to use in our fight against gun violence. pic.twitter.com/aZFtlZhp47
— City of New York (@nycgov) August 30, 2022
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