“The power to tax [is] the power to destroy,” wrote Chief Justice John Marshall in 1819. Today we are seeing radicals kill our rights by using government’s other fist of lethal power to beat our Constitutional rights to death: regulation.

The left has been frustrated in its efforts to disarm the populace. The highest court has upheld our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, despite big-city leftist attempts to banish citizen rights of self-defense.

National lawmakers – despite the liberal media’s gun control hype about every shooting by a mentally ill person – have not confiscated guns from every law-abiding citizen. Doing so makes no more sense than outlawing all cars because a few terrorists have used cars to kill people.

So leftists are now circumventing the Constitution by demanding that corporate power be weaponized to restrict legal firearms. President Bill Clinton launched a jihad against gun maker Smith & Wesson, trying to create a legal precedent that anyone harmed in a shooting incident could sue the manufacturer of the weapon involved. Imagine if a carmaker could be sued for the evil done by a terrorist who used a car.

President Barack Obama – as Craig R. Smith and I explore in our book “Don’t Bank on It!: The Unsafe World of 21st Century Banking” – implemented “Operation Choke Point,” threatening banks that did not deny services to a variety of businesses, including ammunition and firearms sellers.

“Operation Choke Point,” we wrote, “requires banks to impose government policy in ways that may be ideological, unethical or even illegal against people and legal businesses that have been convicted of no crime whatsoever. … The Obama Administration has made no secret of its aim to further restrict private gun ownership. …”

Lowell Ponte’s new book, “Money, Morality & The Machine,” reveals how bad money drives good morals out of society and how you can protect your family from the future of “Star Trekonomics.” Get your complimentary copy!

The Obama Administration ordered banks to keep a close eye on firearms and ammunition sellers, to share their financial information with the government, and “to shut down their accounts and access to credit, loans, and other financial services at the first hint of any vaguely suspicious activity.”

This is clearly gun control by the threat of government regulation. One of the early acts of President Donald Trump’s administration was to shut “Operation Choke Point” down as an abuse of capricious government power.

But as I wrote four months ago in a column, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s political sock puppet Thomas J. DiNapoli sent out a letter to America’s largest credit card companies telling them to block any gun and ammo purchases by cardholders.

DiNapoli, a leftist Democrat, is the New York State comptroller who controls where the state invests its $209.1 billion pension fund. His letter all but said explicitly that banking institutions behind the credit cards would lose their share of New York government investments if they did not cut off gun buyers and restrict loans to gun makers and sellers.

Banks live or die by how tightly government regulates them and provides access to funds; this was a purely coercive regulatory and funding threat to any who refused to use their corporate power to restrict firearms as government leftists wished.

Days ago, David French of National Review finally noticed that Citigroup, Bank of America and other corporations were restricting services to gun buyers and sellers. He rightly called this “corporate gun control,” but he implied it was driven by leftist protestor intimidation and the ideology of corporate executives.

In fact, much of this anti-gun corporate activity is extorted by leftist politicians such as Governor Cuomo threatening to use the regulatory and financial power of the state. Such politicians lack a popular mandate to restrict guns, so they are coercing corporations to circumvent democracy, citizen rights and the Constitution.

If this leftist effort to disarm much of the population succeeds, then the weaponizing of corporate power against guns is only the beginning of deleting all our rights. A regulation-dependent leftist social media is already stifling conservative voices. Days ago David Horowitz reported that Visa and Mastercard have blocked credit card donations to his conservative foundation for ideological reasons.

And now, as noted here last week, the prospective 2020 Democratic presidential nominee leftist Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts proposes requiring every major American corporation to have a federal charter. These companies could then be required to obey whatever hare-brained whim our ruling politicians have, including denial of credit and rights to the Politically Incorrect. When everything is politically regulated, everything will be politicized and corrupted.

If corporations deny our rights, then we should deny them the profits from having us as customers.

Lowell Ponte is a former Reader’s Digest Roving Editor. His latest book co-authored with Craig R. Smith, “Money, Morality & the Machine,” reveals how bad money drives good morals out of society and how you can protect your family from the future of “Star Trekonomics.” For a free, postpaid copy, call toll-free 800-630-1492.

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