The Second Amendment reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
So how could you invalidate the Second Amendment?
You could make firearms illegal. You could make the process to own firearms onerous and expensive through lengthy background checks, registrations and administrative fees. You could slur and misrepresent various firearms and their capabilities in the national media. You could pass a Constitutional Amendment that cancels the right to keep and bear arms. You could vilify and caricature everyone who exercises their Second Amendment rights.
If you’re a citizen of the informed variety, then you know all the aforementioned solutions have already been attempted. Those efforts failed in red states, attained mixed results in blue states, and the Constitution hasn’t changed since 1992 (the 27th Amendment, unrelated to firearms).
Personal gun ownership rates have skyrocketed in recent years. Americans are rightfully concerned about their personal security capabilities, but people of certain political leanings are more concerned with the rights of criminals to rob, rape and murder you and your family.
To that heinous end, they once devised and executed a new method of disarming the patriotic, tax-paying American citizenry.
They tried to defund the firearms industry.
This hideous gun control notion began in 2013 when then-President Obama’s Department of Justice launched Operation Chokepoint. The alleged purpose of Operation Chokepoint was to make financial services near-impossible to acquire for various businesses. They wanted to defund and disenfranchise payday lenders, escort services, pawn shops, lottery sales and…firearms.
Why ‘firearms’ were put into such an unsavory category in the first place is anybody’s guess.
But what does ‘defund’ mean in this context? It means the federal government would endlessly audit, investigate, harass and penalize these businesses. It means the federal government would offer ‘informal’ suggestions to banks and financial institutions, encouraging them to shun and exclude these types of businesses.
The government’s professed reasoning was those industries experience higher rates of money laundering, fraud and predatory practices. By depriving those businesses of financial fluidity and choice, they would starve them out.
Operation Chokepoint was not an actual piece of legislation that was conceived by lawmakers, deliberated upon in Congress and ratified by the President. It was a DOJ ‘initiative’ that had shaky basis in law and clear political bias.
A Chilling Effect
This ideological crusade, aimed at businesses which Operation Chokepoint’s creators found personally distasteful, had an immediate and negative impact. Fifth Third Bank, Commerce West Bank and others were ‘threatened softly’ with increased pressure from federal regulators.
Many bankers, unsure of their legal rights and encumbered by frightened lawyers, bent to Operation Chokepoint’s pressure. They cancelled thousands of contracts with payday lenders, gun manufacturers and others.
To this day, many banks still refuse to do business with these sorts of companies. They have unpleasant memories, it seems, of federal bureaucrats and regulatory bodies with personal vendettas.
The F.I.N.D. Acts
Former President Trump’s administration ended Operation Chokepoint in August 2017.
To legally prevent such government overreach in the future, Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Tennessee and Texas have proposed and/or passed a series of legislative initiatives dubbed the “FIND Acts”. F.I.N.D. stands for Firearm Industry Nondiscriminatory Acts.
Naturally, these laws are boring and several pages long. Boiled down, they proclaim it is unlawful for financial institutions to discriminate against businesses that are merely engaging in the lawful commerce of firearms and ammunition.
Let’s hope our great nation’s other 45 states—yes, even California—pass their own versions of the FIND Acts.
The Troubling Aftermath
Even though President Trump’s administration halted Operation Chokepoint, the relentless efforts of anti-gun crusaders in America should disturb every patriotic, freedom-loving American.
These domestic enemies have revealed their cards. They want the only people with guns to be the government workers and criminals. Distinguishing between those two groups is becoming increasingly difficult.
What would they do if we were all disarmed and helpless?
In the meantime, a quote from George P. Schultz seems eminently appropriate:
“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance and a willingness to act in its defense”