Letter: Boulder can strike at finances of gun makers

To the editor:

In the wake of the King Soopers mass shooting, on April 20, the Boulder City Council passed a symbolic resolution including a ban on assault rifles.

Besides symbols, we need concrete action banning civilian use of assault rifles. Until we find the national support for such a ban — as we did from 1994 to 2005 — we should work together and help choke off financing to the assault weapon industry.

My daughter deserves to go to school without being afraid of getting killed. And we all deserve to go to the grocery store, our jobs, our places of worship or a nightclub without the fear that we might get gunned down in a mass shooting and never return home. Our police officers deserve to have a fighting chance when they confront an armed lunatic.

According to Wikipedia, as of March 31, so far in 2021 there have been 126 mass shootings in the U.S. (defined as a shooting involving four or more killed or injured). These attacks have left 148 dead and 481 injured. These numbers are mind-numbing and heart-wrenching, especially when we consider 10 of the dead were shot down at our local King Soopers.

Incredibly, most of the banks that dot our tulip-filled Pearl Street promenade provide massive lines of credit to assault weapons manufacturers including Sturm/Ruger, the maker of the gun used in the King Sooper massacre. The other assault weapons manufacturers with outstanding lines credit at our popular banks include: Vista Outdoors, American Outdoor Brands Corp. (formerly Smith & Wesson) and Sig Sauer. 

Financing provided by JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Capital One, Northern Trust, Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley provide a lifeline to these assault weapon manufacturers.

Following the 2018 mass killing at a Parkland, Florida, high school, a regional bank based in New England, Berkshire Bank — far away from the tragic scene — cut ties with assault weapon maker Sig Sauer.

At the time, Berkshire Bank’s spokesperson said: “At one time, Berkshire Bank was a participating lender in a syndicate of banks that had a lending relationship with Sig Sauer … we are no longer part of this lending group, and we have no further lending relationship with Sig Sauer.” According to local news reports, the change was brought about by the “activism of local north Berkshire and southern Vermont group Greylock Together” a local Indivisible group (a branch of the larger progressive advocacy organization).

Here in Boulder, we too can come together and demand these same assurances from our banks. We can call for transparency and let our financial institutions know they are on notice that we will no longer tolerate this unwitting — yet unquestionable — participation in mass murder.  

I believe to justly honor the memories of Office Tally, Tralona (Lonna), Rikki, Suzanne, Neven, Teri, Denny, Kevin, Lynn and Jody — we must.

Mariah Quish

Investment Advisor