Teachers Union Threatens Wells Fargo: ‘Ditch’ NRA or Lose Our Business
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is threatening to pull its business from Wells Fargo unless it severs its ties with the National Rifle Association (NRA) and gun manufacturers. The financial institution deserves the support of every defender of the 2nd Amendment because, so far, it has resolutely resisted attempts by outside forced to dictate its internal policies.
Gun-control activist and billionaire Michael Bloomberg said in a March 7 Bloomberg report that Wells Fargo is the “go-to bank for gun makers and the NRA.”
According to the Washington Post, Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety “is most famous for its running tally of school shootings. When Everytown tweeted out the claim that there had been 18 school shootings so far this year as of Feb. 14 — immediately after the Florida high school attack — the claim spread throughout the mainstream media as they noted the statistic in their news reports and hosted experts cited the number.
Bloomberg’s gun control groups should have lost all credibility by now. But it hardly seems that there would be much of a gun control debate these days without the hundreds of millions of dollars that he has spent fighting this issue
Though Bloomberg meant his “go-to bank” remark as insult, the fact is Wells Fargo has led the banking industry by arranging for $431.1 million in borrowing for gun manufacturers since 2012, nearly $100 million more than the next biggest gun-friendly financial institution, Morgan Stanley.
“We’re issuing Wells Fargo an ultimatum,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “They can have a mortgage market that includes America’s teachers, or they can continue to do business with the NRA and gun manufacturers. They can’t do both.”
Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan offering to meet with Weingarten but made it plain that Well Fargo would not stop offering loans and other services to firearms companies or the NRA. He said in a letter:
“When dealing with the safety of our families, children, and other issues of this magnitude, there are no easy or satisfying solutions. In fact, as I have publicly stated, I do not believe that the American public wants banks to decide which legal products consumers can and cannot buy.”
Werrington said, “Wells Fargo has the right to be the NRA banker, but we have rights too. That’s why if Tim doesn’t ditch his guns business, we’ll ditch Wells Fargo. We are glad Tim wants to meet; but no words will dissuade us from our view that our society must value people over profits.”
More than a few companies have taken action limiting or suspending firearm sales following the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, including Dick’s Sporting Goods, Walmart, and L.L. Bean. Other notable companies that have cut ties with the NRA include Delta Airlines, which terminated travel discounts for NRA members, and retailer REI, which though it does not sell guns, said it would cease ordering hiking and camping gear with Vista Outdoor, which does make firearms.
Eugene Volokh, the UCLA School of Law professor who quit writing for the Washington Post and now runs the Volokh Conspiracy, praised Wells Fargo for refusing to give in to political pressure.
“I’m not a Wells Fargo customer, but I’m considering switching from U.S. Bank (for practical reasons, not political ones), and this raised Wells Fargo’s standing in my mind. Indeed, I even called their customer service line to pass along my compliments,” said Mr. Volokh.
He added that the veiled attempt to demonize gun manufacturers and the NRA “helps support, I think, many gun owners’ worry that many gun control proponents’ endgame isn’t just ‘reasonable regulation’ but outright bans.”
Mr. Sloan said that Wells Fargo Home Lending provided mortgages to 1,600 AFT members in 2017, and offers special assistance to teachers who are struggling to make down-payments on homes through its Neighborhood LIFT program.
“What we can pledge is that Wells Fargo will be a thoughtful participant in the dialogue and listen carefully to all voices and all points of view, taking each of them seriously, including that of the AFT,” said Sloan.
From the sound of things, Wells Fargo has no intention of being bullied by the anti 2nd Amendment factions in America.
~ National Gun Network