When you talk about cities that aren’t friendly to guns, Chicago is going to be one of the first few names you mention. While they no longer outright ban private ownership of firearms within the city, it’s only because the Supreme Court of the United States told them they couldn’t.
They’re still not happy about it.
Meanwhile, guns are still not particularly plentiful in the hands of the law-abiding in the Windy City. As a result, the city is a veritable war zone with more people being killed each year than in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.
That doesn’t stop the city of Chicago from trying to pressure banks to cut ties with the firearm industry. Unfortunately for them, however, it isn’t working.
Few places know the toll of gun violence as well as Chicago. But even the city that saw more than 2,700 shootings last year is finding out that using economic muscle to push Wall Street into enforcing gun control is easier said than done.On Monday, the Chicago City Council’s finance committee put on hold an ordinance that would have barred the city from working with banks whose clients failed to adhere to certain policies, such as not selling firearms to anyone under 21 or dealing in high-capacity magazines. Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced the proposal three weeks ago in the wake of the school shooting in Florida, saying “when it comes to fighting for stronger, smarter gun laws Chicago is putting our money where our mouth is.”The plan stalled in the face of opposition from the entities it seeks to police. The Illinois Bankers Association called the measure “overly broad.”If enacted, a financial institution couldn’t win or renew city contracts unless it “adopted a safe gun sales policy applicable to its retailer clients, partners or customers.” The result was a proposal that could have hampered Chicago’s ability to deposit or borrow money — especially given that the city already has a junk rating from Moody’s Investors Service, making it more difficult to float bonds.
“We were concerned that we wouldn’t be able to identify banks we could do business with,’’ Chief Financial Officer Carole Brown, a part of Emanuel’s administration, told reporters at City Hall, citing the “very broad’’ nature of the ordinance. “In the current form, it definitely impacted our ability to access the capital markets. It also affected our ability to have a relationship with our municipal depositories.’’
The fact is, the city isn’t a risk that makes it worth it to a lot of banks. I suspect more than a few banks look at the request and laugh, simply because they’re more willing to loan to Colt and Smith & Wesson than they are to a progressive city on the brink of financial collapse.
Wonder why that is?
I’m more than a little troubled by this tactic being employed. However, it’s funny how a baker who doesn’t want to make a cake for a wedding he feels goes against his religion should be forced to do business anyway, but an industry that provides tools necessary to fulfill a civil right is a different matter entirely.
Hypocrisy is the hallmark of so many of our opponents it’s not even funny.
Regardless, it doesn’t seem Chicago is gaining much headway with this plan of their’s, and that’s a good thing. It’s a hairbrained scheme even if they weren’t in financial trouble.