CNBC Anchor Proud of Orwellian Nightmare He Created for Gun Owners

As part of his appearance on NBC’s Today show on Friday, CNBC anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin bragged that his Orwellian idea to monitor gun owners through their credit card purchases at gun stores was becoming a reality.

Leading into the segment, NBC anchor Craig Melvin touted how “major credit card companies are going to start using a new code to keep track of sales at gun stores” by using what are called “merchant category codes, or MCCs.” Although, he did note that, “when it comes to firearms, critics fear a loss of privacy.”

It wasn’t until the very end of the segment that Sorkin admitted that he was an early proponent of this Orwellian scheme to track those who purchased stuff at gun stores:

And I should say in full disclosure, I wrote columns about this in 2018 after Parkland. I started – as a business correspondent – to thinking about the connection between business and Wall Street and these shootings and how to prevent them. And this was one of the ideas that I present inside a column then, that now, four years later, is being implemented.

Sorkin’s main argument for tracking law-abiding gun owners is some vague “pattern” that banks would be looking out for to spot potential mass shooters.

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‘What’s that pattern that links mass shooters?’ you might ask. Well according to Sorkin, it’s not their mental illness but rather that they used credit cards:

[A] majority of the shooters bought their guns and all the other paraphernalia with credit cards. And in many cases, they could not have bought the guns without the credit cards, meaning they didn’t have the actual cash.

But people make bad purchasing decisions all the time, that’s how the debt cycle works. People buy things they like but can’t afford and they’re stuck paying interest for years. College students rack up credit card bills purchasing tickets for concerts and other stuff. Maybe there’s an adult who buys tacticool firearms or gear they can’t afford because they like the way it looks. And now they’re going to get a visit from the ATF.

Sorkin wasn’t even that confident his idea would work, admitting: “it could potentially spot unusual patterns.” “This is not preventing people from buying guns completely, although there will be a big political debate about this when it comes to privacy and everything else,” he added.

Addressing that “debate,” anchor Hoda Kotb noted that people will say, “This will be a huge database of every single person who buys guns. The government will have access to that.” While others will argue, “this would save lives, we need to know this information.”

“That’s exactly the debate that we’re seeing,” Sorkin said as he warned of the groups mobilizing against this big brother plan:

The NRA has already started to move on this. There’s a number of red states that are pushing against this. Even the credit card companies themselves have been very anxious about this. People inside the companies haven’t really wanted to do this. This has been pushed by a number of people.

The obvious problem with this Orwellian monitoring is if liberal extremists get their way and ban so-called “assault weapons,” this could be used to target gun owners. The merchant category codes don’t show what you bought just that you made a purchase. So, someone could buy a case or two of ammo for their bolt-action rifle for a few hundred dollars and then have the feds or state officials at their door accusing them of buying an AR.

But that’s what Sorkin and the liberal media want.

Sorkin’s boasting about creating an Orwellian nightmare was made possible because of lucrative sponsorships from Google and Hilton. Their contact information is linked.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

NBC’s Today
September 16, 2022
8:06:16 a.m. Eastern

CRAIG MELVIN: Well, major credit card companies are going to start using a new code to keep track of sales at gun stores. Merchant category codes, or MCCs, are already used for other types of businesses from grocery stores to hotels. However, when it comes to firearms, critics fear a loss of privacy.

CNBC anchor and New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin is here to break it all down for us. So, I mean, just walk us through how this rule is going to work and what effect do we think this may have on gun sales?

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: Okay. So, when you look at major mass shootings in America, the deadliest mass shootings since 2007, a majority of the shooters bought their guns and all the other paraphernalia with credit cards. And in many cases, they could not have bought the guns without the credit cards, meaning they didn’t have the actual cash.

MELVIN: Ah.

SORKIN: We have had no way to track all of this. Credit card companies, banks which we have used to protect us against domestic terrorism since 9/11, human trafficking, banks do lots of things to help law enforcement. But they have never been able to actually see whether someone has gone into a gun store. It’s been considered general merchandise.

MELVIN: Ah.

SORKIN: So now, for the first time if you walk into a gun store, use a credit card for guns, and the pattern is suspicious, and that’s important. This it is not preventing people from buying guns completely, although there will be a big political debate about this when it comes to privacy and everything else. But it could potentially spot unusual patterns and the patterns are clear when you look at — go back and look at some of the previous shootings.

HODA KOTB: Well, let’s talk about that debate because it’s going to spark a debate. Some gun owners will probably think, ‘Well, wow. This will be a huge database of every single person who buys guns. The government will have access to that.”

SORKIN: Yup.

KOTB: Other people will probably say, “well, this would save lives, we need to know this information.”

SORKIN: That’s exactly the debate that we’re seeing. The NRA has already started to move on this. There’s a number of red states that are pushing against this. Even the credit card companies themselves have been very anxious about this. People inside the companies haven’t really wanted to do this. This has been pushed by a number of people.

And I should say in full disclosure, I wrote columns about this in 2018 after Parkland. I started – as a business correspondent – to thinking about the connection between business and Wall Street and these shootings and how to prevent them. And this was one of the ideas that I present inside a column then, that now, four years later, is being implemented.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: We’ll see where it goes from here.

MELVIN: Thank you, Andrew.

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