With both Smith and Wesson and Sturm Ruger & Co. having the Mayor of Chicago openly target their bank lines of credit, and city pension plans potentially withdrawn from investments in gun manufacturers, the industry is being openly struck where it could potentially hurt the most, their financial life lines.
However, with this news, we can easily anticipate that more and more millions of people will come forward both to purchase weapons and to invest in gun manufacturing companies, to more than replace whatever is lost from the public and political campaign of Rahm Emmanuel and other mayors.
In Shakespeare's play, Julius Caesar, when planning the murder of Caesar with Cassius, Brutus speaks these words:
There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.
Today, there is a tide swelling on the rage evoked by Aurora, Virginia Tech, Newtown, and yes, Columbine, that speaks very loudly to those still clinging to their AR-15's and other assault weapons, and to their 30-clip magazines. It speaks in memory of lost adolescents, grandmothers, fathers, young children, and in reverent memory to a tragic process of stripped innocence, leaving raw sinews of national nerves, in addition to the tons of moist tissues, broken dreams and shattered hearts.
Like the swimmer on the edge of the whirlpool, the United States, is turning and turning with many (NRA supporters, especially) not realizing the existence of the whirlpool, while others dare to risk it's force, enter into its centrifuge and hope and pray they will emerge 'in the silver reaches of the estuary' (from Margaret Avison's poem, The Swimmer's Moment). This tide, different from the ripple that is growing around some potential bi-partisan bill in the Senate for Immigration Reform (too dependent is it on Republican opportunism for Latino votes), is more likely to swallow those voices whose conviction is that security can be bought with an assault weapon and the people from whose throats such conviction is uttered.
Just like the tobacco companies before them, the gun lobby is unaware that deNile is not just a river flowing through the turbulent nation of Egypt. Denial, in the current political storm, is nothing short of paranoia, masked with big bullets, bigger magazines and even bigger weapons.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel targets TD Bank in gun control debate
By William Marsden, Postmedia News, in National Post, January 28, 2013
The TD Bank suddenly found itself in the cross-hairs of the high-caliber political debate over gun control after Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel sent a letter to the bank’s U.S. subsidiary asking it to stop lending money to gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson because the company doesn’t support gun controls.
“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,” Emanuel’s letter to TD CEO Bharat Masrani states. “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.”
TD Bank official Rebecca Acededo told Postmedia “we respectfully decline to comment” on Emanuel’s letter.
Emanuel also sent a similar letter to the number two financial institution in the U.S., Bank of America, requesting that it withdraw its $25-million letter of credit to gun maker Sturm, Ruger & Company Inc.
The companies are two of America’s largest gun makers. Among their arsenals a series of semi-automatic AR-15 assault rifles similar to the Bushmaster used in the massacre Dec. 14 of 20 elementary school children and six educators at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Conn. They manufacture the auto-loading rifles under the names M&P 15 and SR-556. Both companies offer 10- or 30-round clips.
This is the type of semi-automatic assault weapon and high-capacity magazine that U.S. President Barack Obama wants congress to ban. He is up against stubborn opposition from the four-million-strong National Rifle Association as well as a majority of Republicans and some Democrats.
Since the Sandy Hook massacre the stock in both companies has risen as sales in assault weapons have skyrocketed. Smith &Wesson’s stock last year out-paced the Dow Jones Industrial Average by about 150 per cent.
Some cities including Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles announced Monday they will divest their pension funds of shares in gun makers.
The National Conference of Democratic Mayors, which purchases firearms and ammunition for their police departments, warned gun makers earlier this month they would not buy weapons from manufacturers who do not support the president’s gun control measures and favour those manufacturers who comply with gun safety measures.
“We’re going to do everything we can as mayors to use . . . the collective buying power of many millions of dollars in guns and ammunition, to support those who will support common-sense laws and oppose those who are fighting us in Congress,” Minneapolis Mayor Raymond Rybak told the Washington publication Politico earlier this month. “I am not going to have the people, the taxpayers of Minneapolis, pay for people to stop the Congress from passing laws that keep our people safe.”
TD U.S. Holding Company, which owns TD Bank in America, is the 13th largest financial institution in the U.S., according to the Federal Reserve.