President Obama has announced his pick to head the headless Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive (and Really Big Fires): Andrew Traver. What took the President so long? Taver was tipped for the post back in August. At the time, TTAG exposed Traver’s anti-gun credentials, which include an avowed aversion to assault rifles and membership in the anti-gun rights group known as the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). Why would Obama would pick Traver now, with an ascendent pro-gun Tea Party spoiling for a fight? And a fight they shall have . . .
The last bozo who had the job was a spendthrift (nailed for expensive foreign trips and over-indulgent decoration). And so the Congress made the ATF’s jefe position subject to Senate confirmation. What a brawl that’s going to be, with tales of Traver’s derring do vs. proof positive that Traver’s aligned himself with the pro-gun control mob in Chicago—and beyond!
Traver’s anti-assault rifle position was well-documented thanks to sound bites included in an NBC affiliate’s none-too-flattering report on the firearms genre. Although the tape of that news package disappeared, the transcript remained. Recently, the tape itself resurfaced, providing fresh old ammunition for the NRA and its fellow travelers.
Traver’s work with the IACP included signing off on a 2008 report prepared by the pro-gun control group The Joyce Foundation: Taking a Stand: Reducing Gun Violence in Our Communities. Click here for the press release.
The IACP and Joyce are old pals. In 2006, the Foundation wrote a check to the police org for $174,788 to fund a regional summit. For the ’08 report, Traver’s name is in the sidebar on the right, as one of the members of the “advisory group.” Apparently, “the advisory group . . . made critical decisions throughout [the] summit and final report efforts.”
The Foundation’s gun control creds are pretty obvious, and the report is careful not to appear too grabby. It’s not a smoking gun (so to speak), but here’s the most blatantly pro-gun control bullet point:
11. State and local governments should regulate and/or limit the sale of multiple handguns as a measure to reduce gun trafficking.
And just in case Traver wants to walk away from the study, I wonder what this is doing in there . . .
22. The federal government should increase funding to ATF for personnel and technical assistance to combat gun violence.
Oh, and I almost forgot these recommendations:
Reduce the lethality of firearms as well as their availability to criminals:
32. Congress should enact legislation to allow federal health and safety oversight of the firearms industry.
33. Congress should enact an effective ban on military-style assault weapons.
34. Congress should enact an effective ban on .50-caliber sniper rifles.
All that said, if Barack Obama can overcome his past associations with radicals, perhaps Traver can do the same. One to watch.
Meanwhile, the appointment is a gift for the NRA, GOA and other gun rights groups; they haven’t had a proper gun-grabbing adversary since that anti-assault weapons guy Clinton. After the Elena Kagan debacle—where a Supreme Court nominee promised to uphold “decided” law re: gun control and then did no such thing—you can already hear the gun guys singing Won’t Get Fooled Again.
Look for commentator jadegold’s “gunloons” to sound the alarm in three, two, one . . .