Yesterday’s Scandal, Today’s Mandate: Antis Embraces Operation Choke Point as Policy

Opinion

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney
U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney

Fairfax, VA – -(Ammoland.com)- On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) unabashedly embraced the tactics behind one of the most shameful policies of the Obama era, openly using the guise of her federal authority to berate and not so subtly threaten a bank for lawfully serving businesses that don’t reflect her political views.

While the media did their best to protect Barack Obama and his administration from any hint of scandal, two gun related issues managed to stain the White House with considerable and widespread disrepute.

One concerned a program to secretly “walk” guns from American firearm dealers directly into the clutches of ruthless Mexican drug cartels, while at the same using the resulting violence as a pretext to call for increased firearm regulation in the U.S. The officials involved dubbed this Operation Fast & Furious. It was only the death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, killed in a shootout that involved one of the “walked” guns, that finally forced the issue into the national consciousness.

The other scandal involved federal regulators pressuring banks and payment processors to sever ties with businesses that were completely lawful but that offended anti-gun sensibilities. These included members of the gun industry. This program was known as Operation Choke Point (OCP), and while no fatalities have been attributed to it, the scheme struck at the heart of the rule of law.

In the case of OCP, Department of Justice and Federal Deposit Insurance Company officials provided sworn testimony to Congress denying that regulators were pressuring banks to drop business the regulators found morally objectionable. Apparently, they suggested, the banks just misunderstood the “risk management” guidance they were being provided. In time (after considerable damage had already been done, and the banks thoroughly understood their unwritten marching orders), guidance documents were revised to “clarify” the regulators’ “true intent.”

The NRA and others have already been reporting on how shades of OCP have reappeared in a re-emboldened anti-gun House majority, as well as in their media and plutocratic enablers.

But an oversight hearing by the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday provided one of the clearest and most shocking examples to date of how anti-gun Democrats are now willing to embrace as official policy what was still treated as scandal under the Obama administration.

The title of the hearing was “Holding Megabanks Accountable: An Examination of Wells Fargo’s Pattern of Consumer Abuses.” Wells Fargo, not coincidentally, provides banking services to the NRA.

The only witness at the four hour plus hearing was Wells Fargo President and Chief Executive Officer Timothy J. Sloan. Mr. Sloan had the unenviable task of serving as punching bag during an extended production of Political Outrage Theatre. The entire premise of the hearing was that Wells Fargo might very well have to endure yet more regulation and oversight – or perhaps be broken up altogether – unless Mr. Sloan provided satisfactory answers to committee members’ questions about the bank and its business practices.

Maloney, for her part, excoriated Mr. Sloan and Wells Fargo for refusing to follow the lead of other national banks that had refused or severed business with members of the gun industry that did not “voluntarily” adopt certain gun control “best practices” that exceed the requirements of federal law.

These practices include banning long gun purchases by young adults eligible for military service and refusing to recognize the 3-day default transfer option that gun dealers may exercise if the FBI does not complete a background check. They also just happened to mirror policy goals that anti-gun Democrats – a category that includes Maloney herself – have been pursuing through legislation they have not to date been successful in enacting.

Maloney, in other words, was not accusing Wells Fargo of having done anything illegal by transacting with members of the firearm industry. Rather, she was criticizing the bank for not imposing anti-gun rules that Congress itself has failed to adopt.

Maloney noted that Wells Fargo does have corporate “human rights” practices that in some cases exceed legal and industry standards. She then mentioned the Parkland massacre, as if Wells Fargo were somehow complicit in the acts of a deranged murderer who had nothing to do with the bank and who had been given authorization to buy the gun he used in his crime by the federal government itself via its background check system.

“Why,” Maloney demanded to know, “does Wells Fargo continue to put profits over people by financing companies that are making weapons that are literally killing our children and our neighbors? … How bad does the mass shooting epidemic have to get before you will adopt common sense gun safety policies like other banks have done?”

Given the backdrop of Operation Choke Point, Maloney might as well have asked, “Federal regulators and big city newspapers have browbeaten your competition into submission on the issue of servicing firearm industry clients. How dare you defy their wishes and continue to do so?” She also invoked the shibboleth that school shootings are increasing, a premise that research refutes.

Mr. Sloan calmly answered, “We don’t put profits over people. We bank with many industries across this country.” He continued, “We do our best to ensure that all of our customers who we bank with follow the laws and regulations that are in place on a local and a state and a national level.”

Maloney then interrupted, insisting that the bank’s commitment to gun control should be as strong as its commitment to human rights.

Mr. Sloan, however, stood his ground. “We just don’t believe that it is a good idea to encourage banks to enforce legislation that doesn’t exist.”

He didn’t add, but he could have, that respect for human rights also necessitates respect for the fundamental rights of self-preservation and self-protection.

The entire exchange can be seen on this video, starting at 48:03.

Needless to say, no business in America could survive if it had to comply not just with all the binding laws that regulators foist upon the country’s companies and employers but with the personal sensibilities and politics of all 535 federal legislators, plus those of thousands of federal bureaucrats.

Nor could any business survive if it had to answer for every unaffiliated person who abused or misused one of its products or services.

That is why America is often said to be a country of laws, not men. That principle has provided the most stable and prosperous economy and business environment the world has ever known.

That stability is threatened, however, by those like Maloney and others who would rule by intimidation and humiliation rather than by duly enacted legislation.


National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)

About:
Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit: www.nra.org

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    MadMagyarm.rasPa JohnJohn Schofield Recent comment authors
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    m.
    Guest
    m.

    to be expected of anti-2A d-rat d-suckers

    Pa John
    Guest
    Pa John

    “The definition of fascism is The marriage of corporation and state ” – Benito Mussolini “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power” – Benito Mussolini The proper term for this corporate / government marriage is FASCISM. In this case the people running the Wells Fargo corporation are failing to enter into this marriage of corporation and state like all the other good lefty corporations have, and so they are drawing heavy fire for it. Again, the proper term for this “marriage of corporation and state” to do what neither could… Read more »

    dan hoffman
    Guest
    dan hoffman

    Why doesn’t she just come out and say “I don’t want anyone to have a firearm but the guards that protect me” This woman is a hypocrite and the face of the democratic-communist party.

    Will Flatt
    Guest
    Will Flatt

    The Commiecrats can’t get their way in legislature or courts, so they’ll use other subversive tactics to take away everyone’s freedom!! ‘TYRANNY BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY’ IS THEIR MOTTO!

    We’re all one day closer to the shooting civil war that the Left wants. When that day arrives, make sure they regret it!!

    tomcat
    Guest
    tomcat

    What else would you expect from a NY congress person. Maybe it is something in the water that turns them into stupid little hitlers. They fight to get their non Constitutional social programs into law, so far failing for the most part and they let the world concerns go without any consideration. They are oblivious to anything that is important and you would think they are still playing in the sandbox. That is how much good they get done. If the GOP only grew a set some of this might stop but there are only a few that will fight… Read more »

    joefoam
    Guest
    joefoam

    Heading down the road to communism folks. Have the gov’t decide what you can produce and sell. Wow, what a sad state of affairs the country has become.

    Bobby Guns
    Guest
    Bobby Guns

    Sloan should have told the Democrat jerk that she raised a good issue, that maybe Wells Fargo should stop funding anybody involved in any way with abortions, since they are murdering children. The Democrat jerk would have gone nuts.

    John Schofield
    Guest
    John Schofield

    Would have been sensational TV, though!

    ras
    Guest
    ras

    Right on Bobby Guns. I hope Wells Fargo tells her to stick it where the sun don’t shine.

    Tionico
    Guest
    Tionico

    So WHY did not Maloney Baloney berate the Wells Fargo man for providing financial services to Home Depot and Ford Motor Company for renting, and manufacturing, a pickup truck that was used to kill eight innocents on a bike path in Manhattan? Same stupid principle. SHE seems to think that the guns misused in the mass shootings are self-actualising agents of destruction. No, tjey are as inert and incapable as a carpenter’s standard grade claw hamme,r which Home Depot ALSO sell by the millions, and are used ti criminally terminate more lives each year than all long guns combined. WHERE… Read more »

    A Marine
    Guest
    A Marine

    Lawless democrats demand that businesses operate lawlessly as long as it benefits the antigun agenda. These lawmakers can’t make laws to protect our borders to protect citizens. How can we trust them to uphold the constitution they swear to uphold? We cannot. Antigun Democrats will never stop until we are disarmed. These same democrats fight tooth and nail to ensure babies can be aborted. Democrats are the enemy. It’s very simple.

    Timothy Votaw
    Guest
    Timothy Votaw

    Pretty scary shit, this Leftist psychosis. Especially considering those so-called representatives supposedly on our side are mostly apathetic, ambivalent, asleep at the wheel, and let draconian, Socialist actions like this one slip through their fingers. We better start getting pissed off, start connecting with like-minded citizens, and prepare to resist this assault on our rights, our business, and our freedom. The opposition WILL not stop until we stop them. How that happens will be up to them, and I mean that very seriously. It is better, in a fight, if the other guy starts it, throws the first punch. Then,… Read more »

    Ansel Hazen
    Guest
    Ansel Hazen

    Google Hunting Season Bearbussjaeger

    Read it and start preparing.

    MadMagyar
    Guest
    MadMagyar

    Also google unintended consequences ross. A bit longer read, but very satisfying.

    Marc DV.
    Guest
    Marc DV.

    NO Clue !!!
    Just ask Her Armed Guards !
    Mabey Their Special !

    Heed the Call-up
    Guest
    Heed the Call-up

    Her stance and comments are unconstitutional, at best, treasonous, at worst, and go against her oath of office. She should pay with her position or her life, per the punishment for treason.

    When Obama was elected, there was a story then that stated his election would be the downfall of this nation, as predicted in one of Nostradamus’ quatrains. Sadly, with what these Socialists are doing, it appears Nostradamus might be right, again.

    John
    Guest
    John

    The “control” gun group “If it just saves one life!”

    The same group on abortion “Kill’em!”

    Nuff said……

    Bob Koceja
    Guest
    Bob Koceja

    There bullies need to be removed from their protective bubbles, and live like the rest of us.
    Shame on every gun owner who votes Democrat.

    JPM
    Guest
    JPM

    So typical of the Federal government. They can and do anything they want with no repercussions to themselves. They pass laws or create laws (Administrative Law) and then ignore them while forcing citizens to comply. Accountability of one of the most critical items missing for the Federal government in general and Federal employees specifically. Politicians don’t even know the meaning of the word.

    Robert J. Lucas
    Guest
    Robert J. Lucas

    Anti-Constitutionalist’s=Anti-Americans=Enemies of the States…

    Anti-constitutionalist’s stand for nothing. The situation determines their support for an issue and their emotions rule, not reason and rationality.
    Moreover, they recognize the contradiction, but still cling to their situational justice. Situational justice is the tool of dictators, tyrants, despots, and unjust, unrighteous monarchs. It has no place in a free constitutional republic. In which the United States of America is……………….

    Ron
    Guest
    Ron

    Smacks of making laws to make it illegal for company’s who want to boycott Israel.
    Where is there any freedom ? Talk about ‘unconstitutional’. .

    Macofjack
    Guest
    Macofjack

    Another liberal POS try’s to grab power! Shameful!

    alvin johnson
    Guest
    alvin johnson

    Actually, operation choke point is the definition of the communist tactic called rule of law. What you meant to say was that choke point was a direct assault on the rule of CONSTITUTIONAL law, the exact opposite of rule of law. The difference is that the rule of law has no “we the people” component. Conversely, the rule of constitutional law, has a primary component of “we the people”.

    Ardvark
    Guest
    Ardvark

    It always amazes me how the communist democrats push to control weapons, but do not take action to ensure that murderers receive more stringent and longer lasting punishment, communist California is a great example where the clown governor decided to abolish the death penalty! Control of the masses is there only agenda, knowing that the person people will not put up with their B.S if they stil have weapons!

    EdH
    Guest
    EdH

    Exactly Ardvark. It’s all about creating chaos in order to force more and more people under the blanket of their control. Then they quiet descent with an iron hand because there’s no way to fight back.

    Green Mtn. Boy
    Guest
    Green Mtn. Boy

    Perhaps the solution is to ban Un American/Anti Constitutionlists such as Ms. Carolyn Baloney.

    ras
    Guest
    ras

    More democrat trash.

    Randjo
    Guest
    Randjo

    Same as I have thought for years, GMB. I’m going to use your statement in messages to my elected officials. We have been to complacent the last two decades and need more Republicans with backbone to put these traitors in proper perspective of Constitutionalism and not allowed to be veiled communist. Democrats are following their published strategy of Marxist takeover and they are being pacified.

    Don Bailey
    Guest
    Don Bailey

    @Green Mtn. Boy, Perhaps us individual citizens should be mindful of those elected officials who want to take away our individual liberties. Unfortunately, our fellow citizens are too lazy to understand the platforms and intents of the politicians they put into office.