The Never-ending Battle
(I'm bringing back some things I wrote around the turn of this century as a way of pointing out the ongoing struggle, and the fact that we must keep fighting the same battles over and over. These are from 2000.)
A friend in the radio business sent me a short essay he prepared to try to explain some realities to gun rights activists. One of his points stood out like an albino moose in the headlights.
He explained that the fight for gun rights is a process. We will be fighting it forever. We will never "win" the fight, because even when we win a particular episode, there will always be more. Understand, he said, that this is a cause that requires constant attention. You, personally, don't have to be fighting it every day, but you do need to understand that beating off a particular bill doesn't mean we have won. It means only that we live to fight another day.
Is this important? Sure. We need to understand that this is forever if we are to prevent getting bored, or disappointed, or beat down, or just weary. The real threat isn't losing. The threat is in giving up.
I well remember being in high school and debating the "Dodd Bill" which became the Gun Control Act of 1968. That's 32 years ago (now 50 years ago in 2018!), and many of the arguments heard then will be seen in newspapers this summer.
Here's a nifty arrow to have in your quiver. Neal Knox recommends that when someone says that we gun owners should compromise, offer to work with them if they will compromise by eliminating the ban on interstate sales imposed by GCA68. The "instant check" has rendered that ban meaningless. Rest assured that you will get no takers.
Personally, I'm ready for the next three decades.
(Hey, does this sound familiar? This is happing today, in 2018, but the financial giants aren't backing down these days. Are we less motivated, or organized?)
Gun Owners Hammer Citibank
There are those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who say "What happened?"
Gun owners who are not on the internet often fall into the last category. In mid-February, a rumor began flitting about the web that Citibank had cancelled the account of a shooting range in Nevada, citing a corporate policy of not doing business with companies which make or sell firearms. It sounded like a phony internet rumor, so I called Citibank HQ in New York. Sure enough, the company confirmed a policy of discrimination, and they seemed proud of it. I went on the air with the info, broadcasting coast-to-coast on my radio show. Then the internet exploded, and every hour I received emails about the Citibank discrimination.
Citigroup owns Citibank, as wells as Travelers Insurance, Solomon Smith Barney, and a number of other companies. Within days thousands of Citibank credit cards were being cut up and returned to the company, along with explanations that we gun owners will not tolerate being branded undesirables. Thousands, then tens of thousands, then hundreds of thousands of gun owners jumped on board, sending emails to Citibank, calling local branches, and moving their investment accounts to other brokers.
Citibank stonewalled. Calls went unreturned, email wasn't answered, and no statements came. It appears that the higher powers there thought we are a few "Bubbas" who keep our money in a sock, and that we would go away. The Second Amendment Foundation and the NRA called for a boycott of Citibank and all Citicorp holdings.
The speed at which all this happened no doubt stunned Citibank. In two weeks the outrage had reached a level that forced the company, one of the largest financial institutions in the world, to back down. On March 7 the company announced a change in policy, and that it would treat gun makers and sellers the same as other companies. (Gee, thanks.) Radio and the internet made it happen. These days, "not online" often means "not informed."
(Just this last week -- May 2018-- we learned that Intuit, maker of Quickbooks and Turbotax, is not only shutting off credit card processing services to Gunsite and other gun-related companies, but Intuit is holding hundreds of thousands of dollars paid by customers. In an outrageous move, Intuit gave the money back to the customers who had already paid for training and products. This wasn't Intuit's money. It was money which belonged to Gunsite and others. Ken Campbell, Operations Director at Gunsite Academy, talked with me about this on last Sunday's Gun Talk Radio. Check it out here. ~ Tom
Author, outdoorsman, gun rights activist, and firearms enthusiast for more than five decades, Tom Gresham hosts Tom Gresham's Gun Talk, the first nationally-syndicated radio show about guns and the shooting sports, and is also the producer and co-host of the Guns & Gear, GunVenture and First Person Defender television series.