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Exported Infringement: Coopting Private Business for Political Victory

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Recently, CitiGroup and Bank of America issued corporate policies under which they will no longer extend credit to firearm manufacturers or retailers who sell to persons under 21 years of age.
 You read that correctly: corporate titans are now attempting to redefine the legal age of adulthood in the United States and dictate public policy through the use of their economic might. They are doing so with a disregard for our Constitution.
 Public policy is created by duly elected representatives of the people. Our Nation is founded on the concept of majority rule. When our government does not adopt a proposed policy, it means that the majority believes this policy not to be sound or that it violates the tenants of our Republic.
 While those who sit in corporate boardrooms are free to engage in public policy making, their ability to do so is restricted to participating in the same manner as the average individual: public comment and the ballot box.
 That is why I joined Treasurer John Schroder and others at the Louisiana Bond Commission meeting last week in an attempt cut off financial institutions like CitiGroup from profiting off Louisiana taxpayer dollars while they discriminate on our right to keep and bear arms.
 It is also why I was so disappointed when our attempt to stop this practice was blocked by Governor John Bel Edwards and his allies. The Governor's designee, supported by several elected officials, actually led the charge to thwart our efforts to expressly protect our gun rights.
 This demise of our fundamental rights reminds me of a simple, yet critical, lesson from childhood.
 Those of us who grew up in the 1970’s and 1980’s remember the Saturday morning cartoon public service announcements, School House Rock. The slogan was "Knowledge is Power!”
 One of the many videos of this series was called "The Shot Heard Around the World." The first verse went something like this: Now the ride of Paul Revere set the Nation on its ear. And the shot at Lexington heard round the world. When the British fired in the early dawn, the War of Independence had begun. The dye was cast, the rebel flag unfurled; and onto Concord marched the foe, to seize the arsenal there you know…
 Pause for a moment. This commentary illustrates why we felt the need for an Amendment to the Constitution that preserves the citizens' rights to keep and bear arms. The battle between the most powerful Empire of that time and a bunch of average citizen colonists began with an attempt at gun control. The colonists understood that if the British could successfully confiscate their guns, they would be helpless in preventing further oppression by the King.
 The chorus read: "Now the shot heard round the world was the start of the Revolution. The minutemen were ready, on the move. Now take your powder, take your guns, report to General Washington, hurry men there’s not an hour to lose."
 If we allow the restriction of our 2nd Amendment Rights here in America, we will not have the power to report to the General Washington of our time. We will not have the ability to protect our own properties, our families, or our liberties.
 Remember that those who seek to oppress many times come for our "arsenal" first.

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