Yesterday, (Thursday, March 29, 2018) Citigroup, the fourth largest bank in the United States announced a new “U.S. Commercial Firearms Policy” for “firearms sales best practices” for their business clients. The reasoning? “…We want to do our part as a company to prevent firearms from getting into the wrong hands.”
To continue doing business with Citi, retailers will not be able to sell firearms to anyone who has not passed a background check or are under 21. Further, Citi will discontinue their relationship with anyone who sells bump stocks or “high-capacity magazines.” In a blog post announcing the new policy, Citi wrote, “This policy will apply across the firm, including to small business, commercial and institutional clients, as well as credit card partners, whether co-brand or private label. It doesn’t impact the ability of consumers to use their Citi cards at merchants of their choice.”
Okay, we understand passing a background check…fine. But what does the sale of bump stocks and “high-capacity” magazines have anything to do with firearms getting into the wrong hands?
And “common-sense” “best practices?” You mean, refusing to sell legal items to legal people? That’s discriminatory business practices, not common sense.
Citi’s policing their customers is a simple study in institutional power. Quora defines institutional power as “…the power wielded by entities such as governments, churches, and corporations to control people and direct their behavior through the use of rewards and punishments.” This abuse of power has a negative effect on the group the power is controlling. In our case, Citi, Delta, United, Dick’s, Kroger, Bumble, MetLife, Best Western, First National Bank, etc., —these huge companies that provide services that many can’t afford to just quit—are laying a foundation that marginalizes gun owners.
Despite our resistance, institutional power influences our society and cultural norms. We are unaware how much our opinions are shaped by influencers in power. It’s scary, but also basic psychology. “A lie told often enough becomes truth.” We internalize things we’re repeatedly told and begin to believe it ourselves.
For example, I’ve heard and read an alarming amount of gun-positive people say that bump stocks should be banned. And after enough media coverage, legal gun owners like Scott Pappalardo and Congressional candidate Karen Mallard who both created an illegal Short Barreled Rifle by sawing off their AR-15s’ barrel, start believing the lies.
These groups have already successfully started pitting gun owners against each other. Their anti-gun agenda of divide and conquer could quite possibly be our downfall. Guess who will be labeled “common sense” and who will be labeled “nuts.” Don’t let these groups fool you. They aren’t inclusive. These groups are elitists and powerful.
They may not want to take all our guns, but they sure as hell do want to take our AR-15s and other MSRs. That much is clear. They are already starting to make an impact. We can’t let it go any further.
Tom Knighton on BearingArms.com writes:
You see, they’re trying to stigmatize gun ownership. Progressives want to make it taboo to own a gun, or at least to talk about it. The idea is to shift public opinion to such a point that something once socially acceptable – owning a gun – is now socially unacceptable. Then, people will either keep quiet or they’ll be pushed out into the fringes of society.
Basically, to use their terminology, they’re trying to “other” us.
You see, when you successfully “other” a group, you’re capable of doing any horrible thing. You essentially classify a group as something other than human, thus it becomes easy to commit atrocities against those people. It’s how the Nazis were able to do such terrible things to the Jews. They’d already “othered” them to such a great degree.
The idea is to do the same to us.
Tim, you took the words right out of our mouths.
It will happen, too, if we let it. So, what can you do? For starters, stop using any card you have that is affiliated with Citi.
‘PK,’ a commenter on the Firearm Blog posted a list of stores and cards that are Citibank-affiliated. You can see it here.