This past week’s events beg us to ask this question: How do you tell a politician from an activist?
At the very least, a politician should be aware that ideas have consequences. Politicians learn this from polls, from their constituents and finally from elections. Consequences scare them.
Exceptions are those politicians in “safe” seats. If a politician comes from a district that last voted for the other party during Herbert Hoover’s presidential administration, they don’t have anything to fear. These politicians can go ahead and behave as activists in office. If they are young and have been given everything—including entitlement and envy—well then, they can be politicians and activists.
This brings us to gun rights.
Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and a few others have decided to use their positions as members of the powerful House Financial Services Committee to threaten the banking relationships of gun manufacturers and others they don’t approve of.
Ocasio-Cortez and the others doing this were elected to be legislators in our constitutional republic. When they were sworn into office, they swore an oath to protect the U.S. Constitution. They were never empowered to use their position to threaten the legal and private contracts of American companies. Nevertheless, they are openly and proudly doing just that.
“There’s more than one way to skin a cat, and not everything has to be done through legislation explicitly,” Ocasio-Cortez told POLITICO. “We can also use the tools that we have here to pressure change in other ways as well.”
This is also a line of attack on gun manufacturers the Obama administration began in 2013 with its “Operation Chokepoint,” a U.S. Department of Justice operation designed to cut off the banking relationships of gun manufacturers and stores.
More recently, pressure from Ocasio-Cortez and other activists in Congress recently prompted JPMorgan and Wells Fargo to announce they’ll separate themselves from another industry these Democrats loathe: private prison companies. Ocasio-Cortez even celebrated on Twitter: “Huge update: JP Morgan & Wells Fargo have announced that they will no longer fund private prisons. How did this happen? Through organizing people & public pressure!”
If she gets her way, gun companies and maybe your local gunsmith will be next.
Another activist House member is Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.). “I believe in corporate responsibility. I’m proud of the two banks who’ve come up and said we don’t want to finance gun slaughter,” said Maloney.
In response to activist politicians attempting to get their way via bullying private companies, Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) introduced the “Freedom Financing Act.” This legislation would prevent financial institutions from discriminating against firearms manufacturers. Financial institutions with less than $10 billion in assets would be exempt.
“The Bill of Rights is not an a la carte menu,” Kennedy said. “People at Citigroup and Bank of America have forgotten that.”
Most-Revealing Anti-Freedom Quote of the Week
“This is what real action to stop gun violence looks like. We must follow New Zealand’s lead, take on the NRA and ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons in the United States.” –Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in a Tweet referring to a gun ban and coming confiscation passed in New Zealand.