July 7, 2014 1 Comment
By Keven Card
We’ve witnessed the IRS targeting of groups at odds politically with the big government agenda of this administration and their allies in Congress. We’ve seen the EPA target the coal industry for discriminatory regulations with the intent of pushing and entire industry out of business. We’ve watched as the U.S. attorney general’s office targeted an American guitar company for using wood they legally purchased. And we believe that in every one of these instances, the government bureaucracy acted for purely political purposes. We’ve even heard the president of the United States state plainly that he’s willing to act administratively to achieve his goals.
So when I heard the story of a Houston-area gun shop owner who suddenly had his loan called in by the bank I have to admit my ears perked. But in this case I remain cautious about jumping to any conclusions. My first thought was the business was mismanaged and the bank was simply foreclosing on a bad client, which turns out not to be true. That’s when the story got interesting.
The owner Jeremy Alcede has been known for irritating the left with the sign just outside his Katy gun shop with statements like “I like my guns like Obama likes his voters undocumented.” This certainly hasn’t won him any fans from the gun control crowd or for that matter, any of the left’s special interest groups.
His new sign says “Obama and Icon Bank Trying To End Us On July 1st” because Alcede says, though he’s been in good standing with the bank and has never missed a payment on his loan, the board of directors decided not to renew the loan. On the Tactical Firearms website he claims the bank told them “government does not support loans to the gun, alcohol or hotel industries.”
In the Tactical Firearms case there is another possible explanation too. A member of the board, Mark Evans, is the owner of a new gun shop in Houston, creating a potential conflict of interest. This could explain the vote to call in his loan. But if that’s true, it doesn’t reflect well on Icon Bank, not if that’s how they treat customers in good standing anyway. For this case I’m in the wait for more facts and see what shakes out.
But this isn’t the first time a gun shop has made this claim. According to the Washington Times many gun shops and other business owners have complained about new financial and banking regulations that have unfairly labeled their businesses as high risk and had their loans denied or otherwise restricted.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, posted a report called The Legal Limit Report 4 which outlined 76 “lawless” actions of the Obama administration. Listed at number eight was “Operation Choke Point.” Cruz’s report explains:
Government agencies are engaging in “Operation Choke Point,” where the government asks banks to “choke off” access to financial services for customers engaging in conduct the Administration does not like—such as ‘ammunition sales.
As we’ve seen many times before with the Obama Administration, when they can’t get what they want through the political process, they seem to use administrative measures to accomplish the same goal.
This, then, raises a question: Is what’s happening with Tactical Firearms part of a nationwide effort aimed at enacting a version of gun control without congressional approval? Given the other exposed scandals that demonstrate this administration’s willingness to strong-arm political opponents and citizens, it seems highly likely that it could be true.
By simple use of deductive reasoning we can reach some conclusions. The housing crisis was used to create the need for the federal government to step in and bail out many banks and financial institutions. This prompted a political response and Congress passed Dodd-Frank, the financial reform package, which the president hurriedly signed into law in 2010.
This law has led to more stringent regulations on an already burdened industry. Operation Choke Point demonstrates that federal government agencies have gained significant influence on these industries and their decisions, through Dodd-Frank. Given that they could easily encourage (by that I mean through use of force) certain behavior from that industry like restricting loans to unfavorable businesses.
How does that lead to gun control?
Indirect control of guns and ammunition sales, that’s how. By restricting loans to gun shops and ammunition resellers, you dry up their inventory. Without the banks loaning money to this industry they can’t buy bulk inventory; that will cause supply to fall well short of demand, dramatically increasing prices. That pushes the price point higher, and the higher the price, the less people can afford to buy. Through this method of gun control, only the companies that are debt-free will survive the crunch, which serves to further reduce the number of businesses that can operate.
Yes it’ll hurt the economy and put people out of work, but this president and his allies in Washington don’t seemed concerned about jobs as much as they are the fundamental transformation of America.
In a press briefing on June 10,2014, one of the Obama Administrations principle press secretaries, Josh Earnest said unequivocally, “The president’s goal is to look for opportunities to act administratively, unilaterally using his executive authority to try to make our communities safer.” In other words, he’ll use administrative actions to enact some level of gun control.
And he just may have a shot at it by hiding behind the robust regulatory environment in Washington to accomplish that goal. It’ll take an honest media and a boisterous populace to expose this Chicago style political thuggery, or a massive change of the guard in Washington, of which neither is highly probable. What is certain is the political machine in Washington has every intention of trying to thwart the Second Amendment more than they ever have before.
So for those of us who are strong advocates of the Second Amendment, hold on to your hats and stock up on your supplies because you don’t know when the next crisis that leads to another power grab, by this government, will happen. But, my guess is it’ll happen sooner rather than later.