No one can be an expert on everything.
But maybe, just maybe, if you advocate banning certain types of weapons and want to head the agency that ultimately would be tasked with enforcing any such ban, a basic requirement should be an ability to define that class of banned weapons.
[Biden’s ATF Director nominee David] Chipman either could not or would not do so during the hearing, when asked by Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., to define “assault weapon.”
It’s not entirely clear which scenario would be worse.
If Chipman is incapable of defining “assault weapon,” it shows a level of gross incompetence that should immediately disqualify him from confirmation as ATF director.
If, as is more likely the case, he actually can define “assault weapon” but refused to do so publicly, it’s hard to see it as anything but a tactical smokescreen to avoid revealing the truth about such bans.
Defining assault weapon means describing scary-looking features unrelated to the gun’s functionality. Chipman would have been forced to admit that the differences between the guns he would ban and the guns he would not ban are not differences in lethality, at all. Then he would have found himself in the quite embarrassing place of having just undone his entire premise for the ban he supports.
Regardless of whether Chipman’s answer was incompetence or tactical smokescreen, the lack of a coherent answer raises giant red flags.