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Visa and MasterCard Resist Gun-Control Pressure, Stand by Second Amendment Freedoms

Visa and MasterCard Resist Gun-Control Pressure, Stand by Second Amendment Freedoms

Unlike Citibank and Bank of America, which have taken measures to infringe on the freedoms of legal gun owners and customers, financial giants Visa and MasterCard have declared they will not block firearms purchases from payment cards.

Company leaders say gun-control measures are unfeasible for their businesses and attempts to curb what customers buy would place them in an ethically bizarre situation—essentially, Visa and MasterCard leaders agree that businessmen should not attempt to be moral pontiffs.  

“This idea that somehow a few people can decide what the rest of society should be allowed to do, or not, even if it’s currently legal, I find that an interesting conundrum to discuss,” said Mastercard Inc. CEO Ajay Banga. “Should I allow cards to be used to buy cigarettes? What about alcohol? What about contraceptive devices? Where would you like the line to be drawn, based on whose interpretation of what’s acceptable and not?”

Banga’s perceptions are refreshing in an atmosphere where many dissonant voices are clamoring for an all-out siege on gun ownership masked under the rational-sounding label of “gun control.” Evidently MasterCard recognizes that the purpose of any legitimate business is to engage in fair and legal trade—not to mete out moral decisions and attempt to enforce them with strong-arm financial tactics.

Visa sees the issue in the same clear-minded frame. As long as a transaction is legal, Visa will allow it, according to Alfred Kelly, company chairman and CEO. He said his company seeks to promote fair legal commerce. He recently described it as unwise for businessmen to make attempts at legislation and described arbitrary gun-control measures as a “slippery slope.”

“Legislators are in the business of deciding what the laws of the land are,” Kelly said, emphasizing that it is not Visa’s role to enforce restrictions on its customers.

“We are guided by the federal laws in a country,” Kelly told the press. “We shouldn’t tell people they can’t purchase a 32-ounce soda. We shouldn’t tell people they can’t buy reproductive drugs.”

He made some very keen points which deserve to provoke thought among anyone considering gun control. Merely substitute the word “gun” in “gun control” for something else, and see what irrational possibilities come to mind. There are all sorts of things in the world that people want to control—for various different reasons. Should businesses venture into this confusing arena? Hopefully more businesses will follow the examples of Visa and MasterCard and realize their existential limits.

After all, stores and businesses are not churches. Managers are not ordained preachers. This idea promoted by anti-gun activists that “all levels of society” should pitch in to a community hayride of gun phobia and discriminatory anti-firearm rules amounts to nothing more than baseless public hysteria. This creates a dynamic where ignorant people take charge and rational people are criticized on the basis of a mob swell of uninformed emotions. It is the responsibility of business leaders not to get mixed up in this abyss.  

Gun control has become, sadly, the latest fashion for those wishing to seem responsible. However, responsibility stems from common sense and forethought. It is good to see that even amid today’s trend of frenzied anti-gun restrictions, successful businesses like Visa and MasterCard appreciate the freedoms of their customers and stand by the basic principles of American commerce.


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