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Monday, December 31, 2018

Easy way to spot mass murderers

Laura ClawsonDaily Kos Staff

Image result for credit cards and mass shootingMass shootings are expensive. 

The guns and ammunition and other gear that killers like Stephen Paddock and Omar Mateen and James Holmes use to murder 58 or 49 or 12 people at a time can cost well over $10,000—well above the average person’s budget, if they didn’t have credit cards

According to a New York Times analysis, “There have been 13 shootings that killed 10 or more people in the last decade, and in at least eight of them, the killers financed their attacks using credit cards.”

But banks and credit card companies refuse to flag suspicious guns-and-ammo binge-buying. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: earlier this month, Mastercard flagged an on-line donation to an IRS-certified non-profit organization, not only blocking that purchase but freezing my card until I contacted them to confirm I approved of the transaction. I thought of that when I saw the NYT report and read the credit card companies excuses for not flagging big guns and ammo buys. Liars and hypocrites.    - Will Collette

“Banks will complain this is the government’s job and it’s not our job, but you know what? They are the only ones with the ability to do this,” said Kevin Sullivan, a former New York Police fraud investigator who consults with banks as president of the Anti-Money Laundering Training Academy.

While banks are dragging their feet on stopping mass shootings, congressional Republicans are looking to make things worse: Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy has introduced a bill that would “prohibit the federal government from giving contracts to banks that discriminate against lawful businesses based solely on social policy considerations,” because, as Kennedy tweeted, “Our friends at Citigroup and Bank of America apparently aren’t busy enough with their banking business; they have decided that they are going to set policy for the Second Amendment.” 

No one is calling for banks to flag every single gun purchase. 

But when someone goes out and, over 12 days, buys “a Sig Sauer MCX .223-caliber rifle, a Glock 17 9-millimeter semiautomatic pistol, several large magazines, thousands of rounds of ammunition,” as Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen did, using new credit cards, maybe it should interest law enforcement. 

Same with Aurora movie theater shooter James Holmes, who in about a month “bought two tear-gas grenades, a gas mask and filter, a .40-caliber Glock handgun, a 12-gauge shotgun, a .223-caliber AR-15, a 100-round drum magazine, two 40-round magazines, a laser sight, a bulletproof vest, 5,000 rounds of ammunition, two sets of handcuffs and ‘road stars’ meant to slice through car tires.”

Big banks and the government are refusing to act to keep us from being killed in mass shootings. They’re complicit in every death.