Rahm Emanuel’s “Chicago values” are on display once again. On Friday, the Windy City mayor released the contents of a letter he sent to two major financial institutions, TD Bank and Bank of America, importuning them to stop extending lines of credit to gun makers. Politico quotes a portion of Emanuel’s letter to TD CEO Bharat Masrani, to wit:
TD Bank currently aids the gun manufacturing industry through a $60 million revolving line of credit with Smith & Wesson, a gun manufacturer that produces the AR-15 — an assault weapon that was used by James Holmes to kill 12 people and wound 58 in a crowded movie theatre in Aurora. I ask you to use your influence to push this company to find common ground with the vast majority of Americans who support a military weapons and ammunition ban and comprehensive background checks.
There is no “or else” overtly stated in either letter, but both carry the same unambiguous ultimatum: Either join us in our quest to curtail Second Amendment rights, or pick up a weapon and stand opposed. Well, maybe not that last part.
The letters come on the heels of a hardball initiative launched last week by the National Conference of Democratic Mayors (of which Emanuel is a member) that would squeeze gun manufacturers that failed to comply with “public safety goals.” The threat, to limit the purchase of firearms and ammunition for city police departments to gun makers that “play ball,” likely violates a number of federal statutes, including restraint of trade.
As for Emanuel’s letters, Erika Johnson points out that they are efforts to pressure “major and publicly traded financial institutions to actively discriminate against law-abiding companies that don’t happen to support his entirely political gun-related agenda.”
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