American Rifleman - February 2015 - 20

ila story
moving forward at institutions such as
the Centers for Disease Control and the
National Institutes of Health the number
of people who know who these "experts"
are is extremely small. But their work
could set our rights back for years.
The character of the person who
occupies the White House is crucial.
It must be a person who respects our
history and heritage and who understands the importance of protecting
the constitutional separation of powers.
Unfortunately, Barack Obama has proven
time and again that he does not. And the
people he has chosen to run the government also lack this respect.
Let's take a closer look at just a few
examples.

Choking off Legitimate Business

In the view of the Obama administration, unelected officials are free to use
federal law enforcement and oversight
authorities to harass legitimate businesses
that are not, in their view, politically or
morally correct. Case in point: Operation
Choke Point, a chilling misuse of power.
In short, the program attempted to
squeeze legal but disfavored businesses
by pressuring banks to deny them access
to credit and other financial services.
Without those services, modern businesses can't function.
In other words, regulators are pressuring banks to consider not just the
financial soundness of their business
relationships but whether the nature of
certain legal businesses could be considered (by the regulators or other persons
of influence) personally or politically
objectionable. Included in the group of
targeted businesses are those involved
with firearm and ammunition sales.
Examples continue to mount of businesses that have either lost existing banking relationships or have been refused new
ones based not on their creditworthiness
or business performance, but on vague
references to the "industry" in which they
operate. In some cases, the banks have
even explicitly stated in their termination
notices that the individual business was
not to blame. Needless to say, nothing
could be more un-American than lawfully
operated private businesses being forced
out of the market without reference to any
individual wrongdoing or mismanagement, merely on the whim of government
regulators who find them distasteful.

20

Fortunately, concerned members
of Congress-most notably Rep. Blaine
Luetkemeyer, R-Mo.-have kept up the
pressure to expose and dismantle this
program. In October, Rep. Luetkemeyer
and a coalition of other representatives
requested that internal investigators at
the DOJ and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) conduct formal
inquiries into Operation Choke Point, as
well as into officials and staff involved
in the program. In November, those
requests were granted. A press release
from Rep. Luetkemeyer stated, "The
correspondence I received from the FDIC
and DOJ is a great first step in ensuring
that those responsible for Operation
Choke Point are held accountable and
that Congress and the American people
receive details and answers they deserve."
Hopefully, these investigations will
help resolve the shadowy contours of this
program, including who decided which
business sectors should be targeted, the
extent of coordination between the agencies involved, and who within the Obama
administration knew of or encouraged the
activity. What is already clear is that DOJ
and FDIC have a lot of explaining to do.

Taxpayer-Funded Gun Control
Propaganda

More than a decade ago, NRA first
won passage of provisions to federal
appropriations bills that prohibited use
of taxpayers' dollars to fund anti-gun
propaganda masquerading as research.
Before that, money was being spent to
pay for biased "studies" meant to support
the enactment of additional gun control.
That bogus research largely ended when
the money dried up. But with the stroke
of his infamous pen, Barack Obama
ordered the various federal agencies that
provide grants for "public health" research
once again to study "gun violence" and
its supposed causes. The result will
undoubtedly be more misguided "findings" that firearms ownership must be
restricted. It will also mean that money
intended to be used to find solutions to
real medical problems-like infectious
disease outbreaks-will be wasted on a
primarily political agenda.

Taxpayer-Funded "Gunwalking"

And of course, we can never forget
about Fast and Furious. New revelations
are still arising from the Election Eve
americanrifleman.org

February 2015

document dump, but the lives lost and the
unaccounted-for firearms still in circulation
are the most damning evidence of this
disastrous "investigation" into drug cartel
gun running. Still to be determined is why
it happened and who was really responsible for this monumental abuse of power.

Overreaching in the States

Executive abuses are not limited to
the federal level. One reason your NRA
works so hard to stop new gun laws is
the knowledge that no matter what antigun proponents claim, the implementation of these laws often goes far beyond
the law's stated purpose.
In Washington State, for example,
Initiative 594 was sold as a "reasonable"
expansion of background checks from
sales at gun shops to those conducted at
gun shows and via the Internet. In fact,
the measure sweeps so broadly that it
forced a museum to remove an exhibit
of World War II rifles before the law took
effect, because the guns couldn't have
been returned to their owners without
background checks and the attendant
fees. Despite assurances to the contrary,
temporary loans were covered as well.
And as I discuss elsewhere in this
issue, New York's hastily passed and
misnamed "SAFE" Act appears to have
prompted a new gun confiscation program in Buffalo that targets the survivors
of recently deceased handgun licensees.
Unintended consequences? Or exactly
what the anti-gun forces wanted?
Your NRA remains committed to shedding light on abuses of power and regulatory over-reach by those entrusted with
implementing and enforcing the nation's
laws. Bureaucrats who willingly disregard
our rights to pursue an anti-gun agenda
are just as big a threat as elected officials
who promote anti-gun legislation. Fast
and Furious, Operation Choke Point, and
other such abuses often reveal more
about the character of those administering the system than about the soundness
or wisdom of the system itself.
The important thing to learn from
these abuses is that it is critical to elect
as governors and president men and
women of the highest character. When
we do not succeed in that effort, our
rights are invariably threatened by those
who abuse their power to advance their
anti-freedom agenda, regardless of the
damage done to our freedoms.


http://www.americanrifleman.org

American Rifleman - February 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - February 2015

Contents
American Rifleman - February 2015 - Cover1
American Rifleman - February 2015 - Cover2
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 1
American Rifleman - February 2015 - Contents
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 3
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 4
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 5
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 6
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American Rifleman - February 2015 - 90b
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American Rifleman - February 2015 - 90d
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American Rifleman - February 2015 - 90e
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