Once again, there’s a job opening over at the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco, and Explosives, with Fraternal Order of Police president Chuck Canterbury’s nomination pulled by the Trump administration after several Republican senators expressed their concerns and reservations about Canterbury’s positions on gun control. As head of the FOP, Canterbury backed an expansion of gun laws, and once the administration received word that Canterbury’s nomination wasn’t likely to survive a vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee, there was really no other option but to yank the nomination entirely.
Who will be the next nominee? I have no idea, but I do have some ideas about the qualities that they should bring to the table, starting with the fact that the next nominee should be an outsider, not an agency insider. It’s time for an ATF director that’s far more interested in keeping a close eye potential abuses by agents than pushing for an expansion of the agency’s power, and that will be more easily accomplished by bringing in someone without any institutional ties to the agency.
The Netflix miniseries Waco recently was in the Top 10 most watched shows on the platform, despite it being two years old, and it’s worth a watch if you missed it when it was first released, like I did. The series is based on two books, one by a Branch Davidian survivor, and one by FBI hostage negotiator Gary Noesner, and it’s a little uneven in my opinion because it’s so sympathetic to Noesner’s point of view. It’s also, however, highly critical of the ATF’s role in the Waco siege, and has likely served as an introduction to millions of Americans about some of the past abuses by the agency.