“Bank of America Corp. will no longer lend money to companies that manufacture military-style assault weapons for civilian use, in the hopes the move will contribute to a reduction in the number of mass shootings nationwide.” Just a guess, but the move by one of America’s largest banks 1) will have zero effect on the number of mass shootings nationwide and 2) was made strictly as a virtue signaling ploy to show how socially conscious and responsible they are to the media and braying gun control advocates.
Anne Finucane, Bank of America’s vice chairman, said Tuesday in an interview on Bloomberg TV that the bank has notified the handful of gun manufacturers it does business with about the decision. It would not name the companies.
“We want to contribute in any way we can to reduce these mass shootings — it’s such a tragedy in the United States,” Finucane said. “We do have a few manufacturers of military-style firearms . . . We have let them know that it’s not our intent to underwrite or finance military-style firearms on a go-forward basis.”
Here’s what will actually happen: not one less AR-15 rifle will be manufactured in the US because of B of A’s decision. Not one. Firearms manufacturers will still be able to get the capital and loans they need to operate their businesses.
Here’s the calculus behind this bold move:
The decision is not likely to have much of an impact on Bank of America’s bottom line, since there aren’t that many manufacturers of military-style firearms nationally, said Milton banking consultant Suzanne Moot.
Since cutting off the few gun makers they had as customers cost them virtually nothing, the bank saw much greater value in the free media attention and PR benefits of announcing they won’t finance AR makers.
What about the bank’s customers that sell America’s favorite rifles?
Asked whether the bank also would stop doing business with retailers that sell assault weapons, Finucane said it would involve complicated issues related to civil liberties and the Second Amendment. “That’s a good public dialogue that’s a ways off,” she said.
If the bank has significant retail customers (Bass Pro, Academy, Cabela’s, etc.) whose business they don’t want to lose, then that “public dialogue” will never happen.
And so it goes.