There’s been a lot of talk of late about how the credit card companies should step in and do something about mass shootings. The argument is insane, of course, because there’s no way a corporation can intuit someone’s intentions based solely on their purchases.
But there are times when something is hinky and these companies can do something to keep guns out of the wrong hands.
David Melendez, 32, and Roman Garcia, 28, were taken into custody Thursday. SAPD spokesperson Nick Soliz said financial crimes investigators began looking into the two men after a victim reported her credit card information as stolen.
Detectives were eventually able to link payments using that information to purchases carried out at a local gun store, using face recognition to identify the suspects. Soliz said police took Melendez and Garcia into custody outside the shop after the owner refused to hand over the guns they bought.
This is kind of how things are supposed to work. The good guys at the gun store and the good guys in law enforcement worked together to get the bad guys with the stolen credit cards.
Yes, these men were trying to get guns. It also appears that they actually passed the NICS check, which many will see as a big issue.
I don’t, mostly because all any background check and find is whether you’ve been caught doing something or not, and so it’s not overly shocking to me when something like this happens.
It seems that once the gun store was alerted to what happened, they refused to release the guns to these two, which is also a good thing.
The truth is, gun stores don’t want guns in criminal hands either. Some don’t really grasp that, but it’s true. Why would they? Armed criminals make life difficult for everyone, including those who sell guns for a living.
And yes, this is about the extent of what credit card companies can actually do to mitigate violent crime.
Criminals using stolen credit cards are a problem, and using them to buy guns is bad for everyone. But they can’t really peer into people’s hearts and minds to determine anything else, especially when they’re using their own credit cards.
So, all in all, this is a win for the good guys.
The forces of good triumphed over the forces of evil or something. Guns were kept out of bad guys hands without any need to infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens. It’s unfortunate that this isn’t how the majority of criminals get their guns, because then we could probably do something about it easily.
Unfortunately, these two turdnuggets were the exception–as in “exceptionally stupid”–when it comes to how bad guys get firearms. Most steal them from lawful owners or from others who stole them. Which means gun control isn’t going to prevent them from getting them or even slow them down.
Further, they won’t be using stolen credit cards either, which will make it harder to catch them.