The Washington Post on Sunday penned a plaintive editorial blaming gun owners for David Chipman’s uphill confirmation process. In the opinion of the paper’s learned editors, Chipman’s past as an ATF agent and his work with the gun control group Giffords makes him the perfect candidate to lead the federal firearms regulatory agency into the future.
The editorial board then points the finger of blame at gun owners’ so-called “conspiracy theories” – not Chipman’s past – for throwing a wrench into the confirmation process.
The problem is the same one that has foiled ATF confirmations since the director’s job became Senate-confirmable in 2015: the gun lobby. After leaving the ATF, Mr. Chipman worked as a policy adviser for the gun violence group that former representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) founded after a crazed gunman shot her in the head. Gun zealots’ substantive opposition to Mr. Chipman has crystallized around his support for a ban on assault weapons — a policy that 6 in 10 Americans also favor. Mr. Chipman’s opponents also accuse him of lacking the expertise to lead the agency, a particularly absurd complaint about a lifelong civil servant who earned his stripes working terrorism cases in New York and Oklahoma City.
CORRECTION: After leaving the ATF, David Chipman worked as a lobbyist for two gun control advocacy operations, Everytown and Giffords. He isn’t just an ex-ATF agent looking to use his years of expertise to advise on crafting gun control legislation. He literally lobbied to disarm law-abiding gun owners. He also made millions in the process.
Yet media cheerleaders for civilian disarmament like the WaPo editorial board feign wonderment and incredulity that firearm owners across the nation are opposed to a gun control zealot leading the ATF, the agency that enforces firearms legislation, and, in some cases, creates stringent laws through the unaccountable regulatory process.
But, of course, this all stems from our “toxic obsession with firearms.” At least, that’s the view of the rest of America from inside the Beltway bubble.
This opposition says more about gun advocates’ toxic obsession with firearms, and the pervasive denial of reality that goes with it, than Mr. Chipman’s suitability for a job that should be filled by someone in touch with the facts. In truth, introducing guns into homes without proper precautions leads to large numbers of preventable firearm deaths every year. In fact, AR-15s are unnecessary for hunting, protection or any other legitimate civilian application, and their popularity reflects poorly on supposedly responsible gun owners.
FACT: AR-15s are used for hunting and home defense on a daily basis. Who is the government to tell us what is “necessary” and what isn’t? Just because the editors of the capital’s favorite newspaper can’t conceive of utilizing an AR-15 for any particular purpose doesn’t begin to justify making them off-limits for the rest of us.
Our Founding Fathers wanted average Americans to have access to the same firearms as the government. The reason? They wanted us to have the ability to defend ourselves should the government become tyrannical. If the military is utilizing these firearms — and they are — then civilians should have access as well. They’ve already limited that idea by making it almost financially impossible to own full autos.
… Gun zealots have targeted the ATF for years. Their cockamamie conspiracy theories and bizarre infatuation with the weapons of war should not continue to hobble this agency’s lifesaving mission.
“Conspiracy theories.” What are you worried about? No one is coming to take your guns.
That’s how they always start the conversation. If you believe those in charge want to disarm you, you’re a tinfoil-hat-wearing wacko. If you believe the government is infringing on your God-given right to armed self-defense, you’re just a paranoid extremist.
Whenever those who would limit our Second Amendment rights don’t get their way, it’s always due to gun owners concocting crazy conspiracy theories. It couldn’t possibly be that the anti-gunners prove to us – time and again – that their goal really is to disarm us.
Call us paranoid conspiracy theorists all you like, but we will continue to sound the alarm on David Chipman. He’s an anti-gun zealot – a registered gun control lobbyist – who has literally advocated for the disarmament of law-abiding Americans. Installing him as the head of the ATF would allow his gun-grabbing dreams to become reality.
Average Americans are increasingly seeing this and have taken a stand. The idiots at The Washington Post can portray Chipman’s struggle to get the votes he needs as the result of the big bad “gun lobby’s” “delusional oversensitivity” if they like, but 100 million gun owners who value their rights will continue to oppose him until his nomination is nothing but a smoking political ruin.