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Print 82 comment(s) - last by 91TTZ.. on May 17 at 11:51 AM

It says the current gun debate has nothing to do with it

There's a lot of controversy surrounding the use of guns these days, and it's even starting to show in the retail sector as Square announces that gun retailers can't use its services. 

Square, the San Francisco-based mobile payment startup, has announced a change to its terms that says gun retailers cannot use its technology. The exact terms block sales of firearms, firearm hardware, ammunition and parts. It also forbids sales of weapons and "other devices designed to cause physical injury."

Square said its revised terms have nothing to do with the current gun debate.

“From time to time, we revisit our policies governing the use of Square to ensure they are in the best interests of our customers,” said a Square spokesman. 


Square isn't the first to snub guns. For instance, General Electric (GE) said it won't provide financing to gun retailers anymore. 

While many companies are looking to either take a stance on the gun debate or just be more sensitive about the topic in general, it seems odd that Square is choosing to block out guns. 

According to Southwick Associates, a research firm that studies the hunting and shooting industry, only about 30 percent of firearms are distributed to big retail chains like Wal-Mart while the other 70 percent are sent to smaller stores -- and Square aims to spread the use of its cash register-free mobile payment system in small stores like these. 

What do you think? Is Square's decision to axe gun retailers a good idea? 

Sources: Forbes, CNN Money



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RE: Odd Choice
By BSMonitor on 5/15/2013 9:50:42 AM , Rating: -1
Unfair? How were they doing business before?? If I innovate a product I can dictate the terms of its use to anyone...

Not sure where your big boy pants are, but if anyone should have them on, it's the gun guys.


RE: Odd Choice
By CZroe on 5/15/2013 10:35:26 AM , Rating: 2
The "unfair" part is that larger retailers continue having an advantage over smaller retailers because they accept a payment method many smaller retailers no longer can.

Did you even think about the answers to your questions before posting that? The service obviously provides some benefit over "how" they did business before, so be honest with yourself and don't ask as if it's an equivalent option to what the big retailers accept. Most did not have the ability to accept credit payments before. Many who could accept them could only do it in a convoluted way (PayPal) or from a fixed terminal. Because many retailers don't have brick and mortar locations or frequently operate away from it (flea markets; gun shows), even the ones with a traditional machine are disadvantaged.


RE: Odd Choice
By invidious on 5/15/2013 10:38:05 AM , Rating: 4
Wow you are very dillusional. Try descriminating by race, gender, sexual orientation, political offiliation, age, religion or dissabilities and see how long that lasts. But I'm sure thats different in your mind because all of those things pass the arbatrary progressive definition of what we all need to be tollerant of.

Just look at your last statement about how the "gun guys" should suck it up. How much more arrogant and hypocritical can you be?


RE: Odd Choice
By Argon18 on 5/15/13, Rating: 0
RE: Odd Choice
By Mint on 5/15/13, Rating: -1
RE: Odd Choice
By Mathos on 5/15/2013 11:53:48 AM , Rating: 2
Actually it does indeed fall under unfair and discriminatory acts part of a lot of anti discrimination laws in business. It's like saying, sure you can use this device to sell marijuana in cali, porn, head shop goods, alcohol, tobacco, or anything else possibly harmful to people.

But you can't sell anything gun or remotely firearms related.... Companies don't have the right to do that, it'd be the same as abercrombie and fitch stores blocking a person from entering their stores, because they don't fit the type of customer they want.


RE: Odd Choice
By Donkey2008 on 5/15/2013 5:20:53 PM , Rating: 1
No, it's more like a payment processing company refusing to allow A&F to use their services because A&F caters to homosexuals, which the owners of the payment company find morally despicable.


RE: Odd Choice
By 91TTZ on 5/16/2013 4:17:35 PM , Rating: 1
The part you're overlooking is that guns are Constitutionally protected.


RE: Odd Choice
By rs2 on 5/16/2013 7:16:50 PM , Rating: 2
What's your point? Gun ownership is Constitutionally protected. The right to sell guns using any specific third-party transaction processing service is not.


RE: Odd Choice
By anactoraaron on 5/15/2013 4:23:21 PM , Rating: 3
Not saying you are wrong, I'm only saying I've heard both sides of this kind of argument before- only it was about birth control being covered by health insurance. There's nothing different about this argument. It's their company and they can run it however they want.

If someone doesn't like it, that's ok. There are other alternatives to square.


RE: Odd Choice
By rs2 on 5/15/2013 7:58:00 PM , Rating: 2
No, it appears you are the delusional one.

quote:
Try descriminating by race, gender, sexual orientation, political offiliation, age, religion or dissabilities and see how long that lasts.


That applies to things like employment, not to servicing customers/end users. And even then, you can generally get away with it so long as you are not completely flagrant with your discrimination.

Note that private entities are in fact entitled to discriminate however they like. For instance, the Boy Scouts of America has had a very public "no gays" policy for decades. They also have a "no atheists" one. And they're well within their rights to do so, however misguided they may be.

quote:
Just look at your last statement about how the "gun guys" should suck it up. How much more arrogant and hypocritical can you be?


No, he's correct, assuming by "gun guys" he's referring to the group of (self-proclaimed) libertarians who get all up in arms over Second Amendment issues. They're the ones being arrogant and hypocritical by crying "unfair discrimination" and trying to argue that a privately operated company should not be free to choose the terms of their own acceptable-use-policy .

The company is a free entity, and under no obligation to be "fair". Any *real* libertarian understands this, and that as a consequence the company is entirely within its rights to refuse service to gun retailers.

You can't advocate freedom for all and then bitch and moan whenever someone uses that freedom to do something you disagree with. Or rather, you can, but you deserve to be called out on it if you do.


RE: Odd Choice
By Manch on 5/16/2013 6:58:58 AM , Rating: 1

A flower shop in Washington is getting dragged thru the courts bc she doesnt want to provide services for a gay wedding. They are saying she is discrimnating, she says she shouldnt have to go against her religious/moral code.

Square doesnt want to provide services to gun retailers. They are saying Square is dicriminating, Square says they shouldnt have to go against their policy.

Where's teh difference in these two scenarios?

Personally I believe Square and the flower shop should be free to follow their respective guidlines wether they are religious based or not.

As far as I'm concerned, if someone doesnt want my business, then fine. I'll take it to their competitors and they can go F themselves.

The Boy Scouts is a private organization, not a business, and that's why they can have the policy they do.

Your rant about Libertarians justs proves you are just as much a hypocrite as the poster you are defending.


RE: Odd Choice
By rs2 on 5/16/2013 8:56:18 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Where's teh difference in these two scenarios?


There isn't one.

quote:
Personally I believe Square and the flower shop should be free to follow their respective guidlines wether they are religious based or not.


Yes, exactly.

quote:
A flower shop in Washington is getting dragged thru the courts bc she doesnt want to provide services for a gay wedding.


The thing is, pretty much anyone can drag anyone else to court. It doesn't prove that their claims have merit, in and of itself.

If there's a ruling made against the flower shop, that would be something. But until there is, it doesn't say anything either way.

For all we know the flower shop will win the case.


RE: Odd Choice
By 91TTZ on 5/17/2013 11:41:18 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The company is a free entity, and under no obligation to be "fair". Any *real* libertarian understands this, and that as a consequence the company is entirely within its rights to refuse service to gun retailers.


There's a divide amongst Libertarians that stems from different schools of thought. The original libertarians adhered what is now called "classic liberalism" (which has almost nothing to do with modern "liberalism") where they were for a relaxed government, less of a nanny state, and more personal freedom. Basically they're socially liberal,fiscally conservative, and don't impose their views on others. But lately you have hardcore, religious conservatives calling themselves "libertarians" and they don't share the same socially liberal point of view. They're really just corporatists who want a conservative religious society and unbridled capitalism.

Myself, I'm pretty socially liberal. I feel no need to control what other people do in their lives. It doesn't offend me if women get abortions or if gays marry. But I do not believe in affirmative action or nanny state type laws. To me that crosses a line where people want to actively push their liberalism on other people and shove ideas down other people's throats. To me, they're not any better than hardcore religious people who believe that there can only be one way to live- their way- and they're going to harass and push their religion on you every chance they get.


RE: Odd Choice
By zlandar on 5/15/2013 10:41:00 AM , Rating: 4
You work in the IRS?


RE: Odd Choice
By 91TTZ on 5/15/2013 10:56:32 AM , Rating: 4
>If I innovate a product I can dictate the terms of its use to anyone...

No you can't. State and Federal laws override anything the company wants to do. For instance, you couldn't sell a car and state that the car cannot be resold. Or you couldn't sell a car and tell the driver that it can only be driven certain places. Or you couldn't tell your buyers that they can only use that product in the support of a certain political party.

But this company is basically doing the same thing as the last example. You have a liberal San Francisco based company clearly taking a political stance on guns, telling customers that they can't use it for anything gun related. While companies may state that you can't use their products to break the law, dealers buying and selling guns is completely legal.


RE: Odd Choice
By anactoraaron on 5/15/2013 4:29:07 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, it's a liberal San Fran issue... but all of those conservatives who griped about birth control... what if guns are just against the religion of the people running the company (thou shall not kill)? Would that make it ok?

You conservatives and liberals humor me. I'm glad I'm neither.


RE: Odd Choice
By 91TTZ on 5/16/2013 3:21:43 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not a conservative either. I'm an atheist who voted for Gary Johnson.


RE: Odd Choice
By rs2 on 5/15/2013 8:18:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Or you couldn't sell a car and tell the driver that it can only be driven certain places. Or you couldn't tell your buyers that they can only use that product in the support of a certain political party.


Yes you can, and yes you can.

Otherwise, how can Apple sell people a copy of OSX and tell them that they are only allowed to run it on a "genuine Mac"?


RE: Odd Choice
By Manch on 5/16/2013 8:50:11 AM , Rating: 2
You're a moron.


RE: Odd Choice
By rs2 on 5/16/2013 9:07:01 AM , Rating: 2
And apparently you think that if you walk into a car dealership with $50,000 then they're legally obligated to take your cash and give you a car, even if you tell them you're going to use it to defame the dealership, or mow down pedestrians, or do anything else they might severely disapprove of.

Businesses can 1) refuse to deal with any customer for any reason they choose, and 2) require customers to agree to abide by certain policies as a precondition of sale and refuse sale or services if the customer will not consent to the policy.

It's not rocket science.


RE: Odd Choice
By Manch on 5/16/2013 12:07:39 PM , Rating: 2
Your examples are all of things that would be illegal. Buying and selling guns are not.

No I don't think I can do as you suggest and nor did I say that. Your Mac example is idiotic, and you continue to split hairs.

Can a business refuse to deal with a customer because they are black? or because they are muslim, or jewish? No they cannot.

If you want to argue the point, then do just that. Don't make stupid statements and draw wild conclusions..moron.


RE: Odd Choice
By rs2 on 5/16/2013 7:30:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Can a business refuse to deal with a customer because they are black? or because they are muslim, or jewish? No they cannot.


And you accuse me of using contrived examples? Race, gender, and religion are all recognized classes in anti-discrimination laws. But "small gun merchant" is definitely not. And in any case, anti-discrimination laws do not apply here.

So yes, a business can do exactly that. Have you seriously never seen a place with a "we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone" sign? Businesses have every right to choose who they deal with, and under what terms they will provide products and services.

You can't demand that a business take your money just because you want them to. Or you can, but they don't have to listen.

quote:
Your examples are all of things that would be illegal.


Um, no. You're just ignoring the ones that are inconvenient to you. Ebay has a long list of things that they will not let you sell on the platform, some of which are illegal but many of which are not. A trendy club will discriminate along gender, age, and potentially racial lines when deciding who to let in. A restaurant will turn away patrons who aren't dressy enough. And so on. All completely legal.

Besides which, it's not the business's job or responsibility to prevent people from doing illegal things with their purchases. They may choose to do so voluntarily, but they certainly aren't required to.


RE: Odd Choice
By Argon18 on 5/15/2013 11:01:35 AM , Rating: 2
So your terms of use could include forbidding gay affiliated groups from using it? How about banning all Jewish groups? Banning african american groups? Where do you draw the line? Owning a firearm is a civil right. One that's guaranteed by the Constitution. Actively preventing people from exercising their civil rights is deplorable.

And your "How were they doing business before?" argument is nonsense. You could say the same about any component of modern life. Ban asian people from driving cars, after all, how did they get around before cars were invented?


RE: Odd Choice
By Mint on 5/15/2013 11:30:44 AM , Rating: 1
This isn't about any affiliate groups. It's about a product or good.

Every store in the country is allowed to choose what it sells. Amazon can choose whether or not to sell kosher foods, religious ornaments, guns, etc. This is no different.

A payment system simply replaces cash transactions - not all, but a subset - with something more convenient. No rights are being infringed by not giving you that convenience for some goods.


RE: Odd Choice
By 91TTZ on 5/15/2013 1:39:53 PM , Rating: 2
But this isn't a good, it's a service. And I'm not sure that you can discriminate who you provide services to. This company is saying that you cannot use their payment system to give money to groups (stores who sell guns) that don't agree with their political slant.

Could they also say that the system can be used to donate money to Democratic politicians but not Republican politicians?


RE: Odd Choice
By FITCamaro on 5/15/2013 11:27:03 AM , Rating: 4
True but what you cannot do under current law is discriminate. A gun purchase is no different than any other purchase. This is nothing but Square discriminating against gun shops due to the companies owners disagreeing with people selling them.

They could easily be taken to court for it.


RE: Odd Choice
By shaaaaawn on 5/15/2013 1:40:08 PM , Rating: 2
Unless expressly prohibited, discrimination is legal. That's why we have discrimination laws, to exclude discrimination based on certain criteria (age, race, sexual orientation).

They aren't discriminating, they made a strategic business decision that I assure you is legal and common practice


RE: Odd Choice
By rs2 on 5/15/2013 8:22:50 PM , Rating: 2
I love how the people who are always railing against the evils of "big government" and the "nanny state" are howling for the government to get involved and use anti-discrimination laws to punish a private company for trying to conduct its business the way it wants.

I guess people only get to have freedom if they use those freedoms to do things you approve of, eh? Hypocrite much?


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