Mitt the gun-grabber not a shoo-in, after all

Politico reported April 22 “Utah Senate hopeful Mitt Romney was narrowly defeated at Saturday’s (Utah) state GOP convention and will be forced into a June primary, a setback in his political comeback bid.

“Romney, who was the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, is still heavily favored to win the (U.S. Senate) seat from which longtime Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch is retiring. But on Saturday, his path became slightly more complicated when he fell short at the convention to state Rep. Mike Kennedy.” The AP reports Romney received support from 49 percent of convention delegates, compared to Kennedy’s 51 percent.

Romney had already qualified for the June 26 primary ballot by filing the required number of petition signatures – the only candidate in the GOP field to have done so. But had he received 60 percent of the vote at the convention, he would have won the Republican nomination outright and avoided the two-month primary battle.

Instead, he will face Kennedy -– a practicing family physician with a law degree -– who has cast himself as a true conservative, especially on immigration.

The convention process draws the state’s most ardent activists, notes Alex Isenstadt of Politico, and typically favors conservative candidates like Kennedy over more “mainstream” ones like Romney. “Success in the convention has not always translated into success in the primary, which draws a broader swath of the Republican electorate,” Isenstadt notes. “In 2016, incumbent GOP Gov. Gary Herbert lost the April convention to Overstock.com chairman Jonathan Johnson before crushing Johnson in the June primary.”

Willard “Mitt” Romney is an active Mormon, and the theory is that any Mormon can “go home” to Utah, though where this man “is actually from” can get as confusing as asking the same question about Hillary Rodham Clinton (raised in Illinois, became the unpopular First Lady of Arkansas through marriage, yet ran for the Senate in New York.)

Romney’s dad was governor of Michigan; he was raised in Bloomfield Hills. But “Mitt” took his JD-MBA at Harvard and went into business in Massachusetts, eventually serving as governor of the “Have a Gun, Go to Jail” state (yes, it really says that on the “Welcome to Massachusetts” highway signs) from 2003 to 2007.

Now Utah?

Openly carrying a sidearm is legal in Utah. But when Mitt Romney of Massachusetts was brought in to “save” the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics (and he did raise a lot of money, no argument), he banned law-abiding Utahns from carrying their sidearms at the games, so as not to “offend our European visitors” – missing an opportunity to set an example by demonstrating to the world that Americans are proudly armed . . . and peaceful.

During the presidential debate in October, 2012, Mitt Romney said “We of course don’t want to have automatic weapons, and that’s already illegal in this country to have automatic weapons.”

But it’s not. That’s simply not true. Automatic weapons are merely subject to a $200 tax . . . though the BATF’s unconstitutional ban on new manufacture or re-importation “for civilian use” does make them absurdly expensive. So: Was Mitt Romney lying . . . or was (and is) he totally uninformed on a controversial national issue (and Constitutionally guaranteed individual right) of massive significance?

As governor of Taxachusetts (where he did indeed raise taxes), Romney in 2004 voluntarily signed a PERMANENT ban on certain ugly looking semi-automatic rifles (not assault rifles — the firearms in question have no selector switch to allow full-auto fire), declaring “Deadly assault weapons have no place in Massachusetts.” (Wow! Do the MPs at Westover AFB now carry wooden slingshots?)

In March, 2016, Romney — speaking in Utah — urged Republican voters to back in their state primaries whichever candidate could stop Donald Trump — whom he branded “a phony and a fraud.” And today, in the Spring of 2018, Mitt Romney won’t even endorse for re-election the most effective, hard-working, conservative Republican sitting president America has had in at least 30 years.

Let’s be kind. Let’s be dignified. Please describe Mitt Romney to your friends, family and associates with whichever of these three terms you judge LEAST offensive: a) lying weasel; b) tone-deaf moron; c) gun-grabbing Democrat.

THE BROWNING WITH THE 13-ROUND MAG? NOT WITH THAT CITIBANK CARD

In April, Bank of America made clear they will no longer loan money to outfits that manufacture “military-style firearms” — an ill-defined term these days, but coincidentally just the kind (“arms of militia usefulness”) specifically protected in the Second Amendment.

Not to be left behind, giant Citibank has now gone even further, requiring that customers “in the firearms sector” not sell “high capacity” magazines (by which the bank of course means the “regular capacity” 13-, 15-, or 30-round magazines with which many firearms have been designed to operate, all the way back to the 1940s and before) – as well as “bump stocks” – if they want to maintain accounts and credit lines with the bank.

Who are the victim-disarmament gang in charge of Citibank/Citigroup? They would include Michael Corbat, Citigroup CEO; Michael O’Neill, Citigroup chairman (and former Chief Financial Officer, Bank of America); James Turley or Ernst & Young, Ernesto Zedillo Ponce De Leon of the Center for the Study of Globalization at Yale University (yes, really); Peter Blair Henry, a Jamaican immigrant and Keynesian economist at New York University (one of the most liberal schools in America), who is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Nonresident Senior Fellow of the Brookings Institution, and who led the “external economics advisory group” for then-Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008.

Also responsible for this insidious assault on our right to defend ourselves against tyranny are board members S. Leslie Ireland, who was appointed head of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis for the Department of the Treasury by Barack Obama in 2010; John C. Dugan, who served as Comptroller of the Currency from 2005-2010, and Anthony M. Santomero, former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

Not finding a lot of farmers, miners, ranchers, or small business owners there — or anyone with much police or military experience — are we? Wonder how many voted for Trump? So much for “diversity.”

This gang of elitist urban gun grabbers, hoplophobes and rape enablers are also demanding that their commercial customers refuse to sell long guns to anyone under 21, even though federal law allows sales to customers age 18 and up.

Please note this means 18-, 19-, and 20-year-old members of the armed forces would not be “allowed” to buy semi-auto .223 rifles with which to practice their vital skills when on leave or on weekends.

And Citibank’s policy also requires customers in the firearms industry to go beyond federal requirements on background checks, refusing sales to anyone whose background check goes three days without conclusively proving the would-be buyer is barred from firearm possession.

(Responding to concerns that any “background check” system could be used to put sales “on indefinite hold,” sponsors of the federal legislation long ago agreed to allow a purchase if the background check failed to turn up any NEGATIVE information in three days – which remains the law. But Citibank doesn’t LIKE the law, see.)

WHAT’S NEXT?

This is intriguing.

Yes, owners of a private business should be allowed to do business with whomever they please — just as customers are free to take their business elsewhere. But American banks today, for good or ill, are both heavily regulated and government subsidized. (Think all those huge “bailouts” to banks that then “lost the paperwork” of all the homeowners applying for mortgage relief, but then kind of, um . . . forgot to give any of the money back. Think “federal deposit insurance.” Think all the new federal “know your customer” crap which strangely doesn’t seem to do a thing to freeze out Islamic terrorists or other illegal aliens.)

You can’t even open a free-market bank in competition with these outfits, today, without a government “license and charter”!

The evils of Citibank and Citigroup are not imposed merely on the richly deserving residents of New York City, where this gang holes up. No, all this means that, for good or ill, such banks now approach the status of nationwide “licensed public accommodations.”

Let us imagine the public response if the directors of Citibank/Citigroup were to place similar private restrictions in an attempt to circumvent or limit some OTHER right guaranteed by the Bill of Rights — say, the bar on any one religion being “established” by the government, generally now interpreted as a guarantee of religious liberty (possibly excepting cults which call for the torture or murder of non-believers, and of course excepting the cult of Gaia.)

What if Citibank announced customers could no longer keep accounts or credit lines with their mega-bank if said businesses continued to serve customers who are Jews, Catholics, Buddhists or Mormons — despite any contrary assurances in the Bill of Rights, since of course “no right in the Bill of Rights is absolute”?

Think the media would greet that with a similar “Ho-hum,” or an “About time!” – the way many have greeted these infringements on the right to keep and bear arms?

Is the Second Amendment — our chief protector against armed tyranny — somehow less important now, more “infringeable,” than the First?

In response to Citibank taking it on itself to try and start choking off Americans’ constitutionally guaranteed access to firearms, 16 congressmen now ask the General Services Administration to reevaluate a 13-year, $700 billion (yes, “billion”) contract.

The congressmen, led by Indiana Rep. Todd Rokita, sent a letter to GSA Administrator Emily Murphy in mid-April, asking her to terminate the contract in response to Citibank’s March announcement restricting its clients’ participation in legal gun sales.

“In 2017, the General Services Administration (GSA) awarded Citibank a contract of more than $700 billion to partially implement the federal charge card program, SmartPay 3,” the congressmen write.

“Because of Citibank’s new guidelines targeting customers wishing to exercise their legal Second Amendment rights, we urge you to cancel Citibank’s participation in the SmartPay 3 contract, and award it to a company that does not unfairly restrict a customer’s constitutional rights,” it reads.

“This flagrant attempt to undermine our fundamental rights by caving to radicals should not be endorsed by our federal government,” adds Rep. Rokita, who’s challenging incumbent Democratic Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly in November.

“The federal government should instead do business with companies that respect all of our constitutional rights, including the Second Amendment. GSA should take all necessary steps to review and terminate its contract with Citibank unless they rescind their guidelines. . . .”

The other 15 congressmen who signed Rokita’s letter are Rick Allen, R-GA, Kevin Cramer, R-ND, Ralph Norman, R-SC, Doug Lamborn, R-CO, Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-TX, Steve Russell, R-OK, Steve King, R-IA, Tom Marino, R-PA, Paul Gosar, R-AZ, Jeff Duncan, R-SC, Ralph Abraham, R-LA, Thomas Massie, R-KY, Matt Gaetz, R-FL, Lamar Smith, R-TX, and Ron Estes, R-KS.

AND A FEW WHO ‘GET IT’

The good news? Wells Fargo has taken the opposite tack, declaring it’s not a bank’s job to set national firearms policy.

According to Reuters, Wells Fargo CEO John Shrewsberry responded to the Citibank and B of A actions by declaring “The best way to make progress on these issues is through the political and legislative process. In the meantime, Wells Fargo is engaging our customers that legally manufacture firearms and other stakeholders on what we can do together to promote better gun safety in our communities.”

Visa has also refused to cut ties with semi-automatic rifle makers. In a statement similar to Wells Fargo’s, Visa said it was not their job to set “restrictions on the sale of lawful goods and services.”

It’s regrettable that the kind of folks now serving on the boards of major American banks have so little respect for the Bill of Rights, and allow themselves to be so easily manipulated by “children’s anti-gun marches” orchestrated by socialist teachers’ unions and the despicable administrators of our coercion-based youth propaganda camps.

And yes, it’s unfortunate to see yet more government interventions.

But in this case, these 16 congressmen — defending the Constitution as they’ve sworn to do — are on the side of the angels. Those celebrating the actions of Citibank and B of A need to ask themselves, should these “too-big-to-fail” enterprises get away with this, what other forms of legal commerce they might decide to target, tomorrow?

Vin Suprynowicz was for 20 years an award-winning columnist and editorial writer for the daily Las Vegas Review-Journal. He blogs at www.vinsuprynowicz.com .

2 Comments to “Mitt the gun-grabber not a shoo-in, after all”

  1. Larry Spencer Says:

    “…what we can do together to promote better gun safety in our communities…”

    Poliically correct hogwash.

    America doesn’t have a “gun safety” problem. America has a “government oppression” problem.

    The government coddles and grooms homicidal criminals like the Douglas School shooter so he stays on the street long enough to commit atrocities.

    The government creates and maintains hunting preserves for homicidal criminals by placing “Gun-Free Zone” signs on buildings restricting only the PEACEABLE (victims) under threat of imprisonment.

    The government promises that they will provide all the protection necessary inside those zones… then completely fails to protect those zones.

    Government representatives demand an end to firearms programs in schools, claiming that adequate private alternatives exist (Linda Rosenthal, D-Manhattan); while other government representatives harass students specifically for availing themselves of exactly those programs (Kyle Kashuv, and two unnamed students in Lacey Township NJ).

    None of this is “gun safety.” NONE of it. All of it is tyranny. America has a TYRANNY problem.

  2. hobitual Says:

    None of this is “gun safety.” NONE of it. All of it is tyranny. America has a TYRANNY problem._—– translates into —- America has far-left red democrat and a pinko rino republican tyrannic cabal problem.
    get rid of All the squishy rino’s and All the demo’s and enforce OUR laws And the problems fix themselves. provided we strictly follow our constitutionally enacted laws. and hold politicians accountable for mis-deeds and crimes committed while in or out of office.
    if they violated US law – they need to be pursued by the law, as any criminal would be.

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