Wikipedia is sometimes quite useful, especially if you need a good, generic definition of a common term, such as extortion:
Extortion (also called blackmail*, shakedown, outwresting, and exaction) is a criminal offence of unlawfully obtaining money, property, or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion. Refraining from doing harm is sometimes euphemistically called protection. Extortion is commonly practiced by organized crimegroups. The actual obtainment of money or property is not required to commit the offense. Making a threat of violence which refers to a requirement of a payment of money or property to halt future violence is sufficient to commit the offense. Exaction refers not only to extortion or the unlawful demanding and obtaining of something through force, but additionally, in its formal definition, means the infliction of something such as pain and suffering or making somebody endure something unpleasant.
Odd, how that definition of extortion sounds very similar to what Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and a gang of other left-wing mayors are proposing to do to firearm and ammunition companies that don’t accept the Democratic Party line on gun control:
Mayor R.T. Rybak has introduced a way for cities to gain leverage in their efforts to pass stricter gun control laws across the country.
Rybak told members of the City Council’s Public Safety and Civil Rights Committee that he and mayors from approximately 60 cities are taking a closer look at the companies that manufacture the guns and ammunition that cities buy for police officers.
He said over the past eight years the city has spent nearly $800,000 on guns and ammunition. Rybak, who supports stricter gun control laws, wants to work with firearms manufacturers to reduce gun-related crime and violence. He wants to know if those companies also are lobbying against tighter gun laws.
“If we find out they’re not partners, and if we find out they’re working against us, then we all ought to have a conversation as taxpayers about whether our dollars should be used for people who are not working to reduce gun violence,” Rybak said.
Let’s do a little math.
There are roughly 800,000 law enforcement officers in the United States, and I’d be surprised if the 60 mayors included represented any more than a quarter of them, or 200,000.
There are 80+ million or more gun owners, more every day, and the bulk of those are new guns owners, very sensitive to the assault on the Constitution to con men like Rybak that insist on more gun control even as the crime rate continues to steadily decline from one decade to the next.
Who has more purchasing power, a few dozen mayors representing cities that equip (at most) a couple of hundred thousand police officers, or 80+ million gun owners?
I’d frankly like to see the major gun and ammunition companies do what Barrett did a number of years ago, and turn the tables on these petty tyrants, refusing to do business with cities that infringe upon the rights of their citizens. It’s morally the right thing to do, and likely to generate more sales than they would lose.
Besides, no better than most big cities train their officers, removing guns from the police might be the best thing companies could do in the interests of public safety.