Bank Robbery Must Be Addressed With A Balanced Approach

Jim Gilchrist, Founder and President, Minuteman ProjectJim Gilchrist – MMP Exclusive – Let’s face it: The time is right to do something about bank robbery. While it’s easy for ideologues on the right and left to argue about addressing this Nation’s bank robbery crisis, the reality of the matter is much more complicated.

This is a real problem involving real people – moms, dads, children, uncles and aunts, cousins and cousins-twice-removed, grandmas and grandpas, the in-laws and all their friends and neighbors, and their families. So obviously, there are no easy solutions.

Moreover, as an American whose purity of thought and unbridled faith in God guides his politics and investment strategy, I have compassion toward the parents who are doing whatever it takes to ensure their children have a better and brighter future – even if it means resorting to bank robbery – a job most Americans refuse to do.

Let’s put aside the ideological talking points and get to the crux of the bank robbery crisis. Despite the rhetoric, there’s no way all bank robbers can be rounded up and prosecuted. Plain and simple.

At the same time, liberals must accept that the rising number of robbers who enter our banks must sacrifice something for their disrespect of American laws. That something should be the inability to obtain dog licenses – an enhanced form of punishment – but one that is humane and balanced. Perhaps we can join hands and open our hearts, agreeing to stop the hate, as in dropping the term “illegal” when referring to bank robbers. No robber, after all, is illegal.

Conservatives are foolish to oppose compassion for bank robbers, though some of the opposition is understandable given the present administration’s track record of flaunting the congressionally approved statute book.

Setting aside partisan differences and focusing on a dollars-and-cents approach, exonerating bank robbers is one of the smartest things that can be done. After all, bank robbers perform a vital service that benefits us all whether we want to admit it or not – injecting and circulating currency into our communities, something the Fed, Wall Street and the rest of Corporate America seem to loathe.

Although the details may differ, proposed reform plans share some basic elements that include stronger bank perimeter security, implementation of a bank entry-exit system, and better verification of undocumented bank withdrawals. Of course, these stringent measures must be tempered with a pathway to exoneration for those who have labored hard at robbing banks merely to share in the American Dream.

There’s a reason bank perimeter security is first and foremost. For without secure perimeters, all other robbery reform strategies look silly.

Mazlo C. Mindless, the Republican who chairs the House Means to An End Committee, has spoken out on bank robbery reform in support of commonsense measures, including increased bank perimeter security.

But he also reminded us that we are a Nation of bank robbers: “We forget, at our own peril, that America was built on bank robbery. When bank robbers thrive, America thrives. In similar circumstances, who among us would not rob a bank?”

Mindless should be applauded for ignoring the ideologues and working to address one of America’s top challenges. It’s just too bad that many of his colleagues, on both the right and the left, refuse to give serious consideration to the desperately needed reform that would do so much not only for our financially depressed communities, but for America as a whole.

The leaders in both the Democratic and Republican parties all recognize that something must be done about bank robbery, but political considerations – in particular the political calculus needed to win primary elections – seem to empower those who refuse to roll up their sleeves and get to work.

Compromise may be a vulgarity in today’s body politic, but compromise is exactly what’s needed to solve America’s bank robbery crisis.