Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Boycott Bank of America, Bass Pro, and Wells Fargo

Generally, when writing, you establish your opening paragraph with a thesis, build supporting topic paragraphs, then summarize your paper with a closing paragraph. Think of a pyramid, building the base, and working your way to the top with support.

Today, I say screw that, here's my closing statement... BOYCOTT BANK OF AMERICA!

Ok, now I'll build this pyramid the proper way, to avoid any angst from teachers I have had in the past, who may happen across this (not likely, no one reads this blog hardly anyways).

So there is a company called McMillan Group International who sells some of the best after-market rifle stocks in the industry. Almost every custom gun builder uses McMillan stocks. In recent years, they have become a custom firearms manufacturing company as well. Canadian sniper, Rob Furlong, used the McMillan "Tac-50", a bolt action 50 BMG rifle, to make what at the time, was the record for longest confirmed killshot, at over 1.5 miles.

Here is a picture of that firearm:

Anyways, they provide firearms and accessories to the U.S. Military, our allies, law enforcement and government agencies, and civilians. In this recession (which "allegedly" ended in June of 2009, but we working class know better) firearms and related businesses, have boomed. Record gun sales, record background checks reported by NICS (National Instant Background Check System), and ammo shortages all attest to this fact. Last Christmas, as reported by USA Today, NICS ran a record 1,534,414 checks in December alone. Many of those are multiple gun purchases, not just a one to one ratio. So the firearm business is doing fine, while many other industries are struggling.

A few weeks ago, April 19, 2012, as reported on McMillan's facebook page:

McMillan Fiberglass Stocks, McMillan Firearms Manufacturing and McMillan Group International have been collectively banking with Bank of America for 12 years. Today (April 19, 2012) Mr. Ray Fox, Senior Vice President, Market Manager, Business Banking, Global Commercial Banking came to my office. He scheduled the meeting as an “account analysis” meeting in order to evaluate the two lines of credit ...we have with them. He spent 5 minutes talking about how McMillan has changed in the last 5 years and have become more of a firearms manufacturer than a supplier of accessories.
At this point I interrupted him and asked “Can I possible save you some time so that you don’t waste your breath? What you are going to tell me is that because we are in the firearms manufacturing business you no longer what my business.”
“That is correct” he says.
I replied “That is okay, we will move our accounts as soon as possible. We can find a 2nd Amendment friendly bank that will be glad to have our business. You won’t mind if I tell the NRA, SCI and everyone one I know that BofA is not firearms industry friendly?”
“You have to do what you must” he said.
“So you are telling me this is a politically motivated decision, is that right?”
Mr Fox confirmed that it was. At which point I told him that the meeting was over and there was nothing left for him to say.
I initially came across the story from another news article I was reading, linked from one of the forums I frequent, Always the skeptic, I did a little research, found a few more references to it on various other news outlets, none of which started with MSNBC, CNN, ABC, or CBS (no suprise there). So I took it on myself to write an email to McMillan, following their link from their website.

I received the following reply, from Mr. Kelly McMillan (to whom I must now apologize, for referring to him as "she" in other correspondence and on forums):

Kelly McMillan []Actions
To:MMcCall, Shannon
Friday, April 20, 2012 9:21 PM

The statement posted on the McMillan Group International Facebook page is exactly as it happened and accurate. I would ask that you redact the gentleman's name but leave his title if you repost the statement. Thank you for your support.

Kelly D. McMillan
Director of Operations
McMillan Group International, LLC
1638 W Knudsen Dr
Phoenix, Arizona 85027
McMillan Integrity-Global Vision

For the naysayers out there, Snopes already has this on their website, though their conclusion at this point is "undetermined".

So essentially, Bank of America told a thriving business that they no longer wanted them as a customer, because they deal in the manufacture of firearms. This is a legal business, following all State and Federal regulations, providing weapons that serve to protect us and citizens, in the hands of law enforcement and military personnel around the world.

Of course, with the backlash from the firearms community and supporters of Second Amendment rights across the nation, Bank of America denies this claim as false. Bank of America spokeswoman, Anne Pace, even pointed to BofA's dealings with the "Freedom Group" as proof that this story could not be true. Her reference was to an article in the Chicago Tribune, that has a snippet down near the bottom.

Personally, I think uncommon sense dictates that IF Bank of America is indeed supporting firearms companies, such as the Freedom Group as their press release and slanderous statement against McMillan's claim states, and are trying to make a profit on the other firearms companies in that group (Remingtong, Bushmaster, DPMS, Marlin, H&R, etc) then the more likely cause of all of this commotion, is trying to muscle out a company producing a superior product that competes with the companies they are buying up or investing in!!!

That, or the more nefarious "buy up all the gun companies then close them down when we own them all" approach... I'll let your inner optimist and pessimist duke this one out.

But no one wants to be "that guy" who has to admit either to opposing the Second Amendment, opposing small business, or trying to bully out the competition...

One thing to note, Bass Pro Shops (an outdoor sporting good store, that also sells firearms) issue their customers credit financed by Bank of America. So why did Bass Pro "disseminate" Bank of America's corporate response to this issue?
"However given Bank of America's significant involvement within the... industry, the information regarding the termination of this relationship was misrepresented or misinterpreted."

Maybe Bass Pro does not want to piss off mommy dearest, who funds the customers buying on credit, essentially transferring wealth from us to them, by selling over-priced guns, camping gear, and clothes. But seriously, coming to the defense of someone trampling on a small business, to protect their corporate interests? I guess the Supreme Court nailed it on the head when they said the Bill of Rights applies to Corporations as well...

SO here's my question... if McMillan is issuing false statements, slandering Bank of America, spreading false information around the web, where's the cease and decist orders? Where's the army of Armani suit-wearing lawyers crushing all opposition to what should more appropriately be called, the "Bank of Unamerica"???

There are hundreds if not thousands of people already closing their Bank of America accounts over this, just based on Facebook, blogs, and forum comments. Chump change to B of A? Probably, I mean, they DID just lose a TWENTY BILLION DOLLAR settlement for unlawful and illegal forclosures in the last couple of years. From the NPR article:
"B of A and Countrywide also failed to foreclose on mortgages that were in default, choosing instead to keep taking the fees received for servicing the loans, according to the investors. B of A has denied the claims."
Seems like Bank of America has this denial thing down!

Since my topic said to boycott Bank of America, Bass Pro, AND Wells Fargo, I should touch on why Wells Fargo is on that list.

From BuyMilSurp:

Wells Fargo/Wachovia/Central Payment/iPayment closed another gun companies account, held $17,000 and demanded that he submit "a recent profit and loss statement, balance sheet, and three months of checking account statements and I will CONSIDER  releasing SOME of YOUR funds on hold".

These are banks that took TENS OF BILLIONS of taxpayer dollars in bailouts, who pay HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of dollars to their CEO's, even when the CEO runs the company into the ground, and who feel they can pick and choose the winners and losers in a given industry, and tell everyday Americans running these businesses to take a hike.

So in conclusion (see, summary statement, as promised near the opening of this blog) here is a list of the companies that we should be boycotting:

Bank of America (public enemy number one)
Wells Fargo/Wachovia
Central Payment
Bass Pro

And one more, for good measure:
PayPal (they will freeze your account and seize your funds if they find out you use their services to transfer money used in the purchase of firearms or anything related).

From the Acceptable Use Policy agreement from PayPal:

"2(i) ammunition, firearms, or certain firearm parts or accessories, or (j) ,certain weapons or knives regulated under applicable law."
So they are banning their service for firearms, parts, accessories, ammo OR certain weapons or knives regulated under applicable law... They are NOT saying ILLEGAL firearms, parts, accessories, just all guns, ammo, and parts... They are NOT saying illegal knives or weapons... just those that are regulated under law, which includes pretty much all knives/blades that aren't bought in the kitchen section of your local store...

And apologies again to MISTER Kelly McMillan for referring to him as a female!