Editorial: Chipman Defeat A Gun Lobby Win

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

According to some, there don’t appear to be any really pro-Second Amendment lawmakers. They’re all working at the behest of the nebulous “gun lobby.” They’re not thinking for themselves or anything of the sort, they’re just doing it because of powerful special interests.

Those special interests, it should be noted, are totally and completely different than groups like Brady, Giffords, Everytown for Gun Sense in America, and so on. No, those special interests–the gun control lobby–are totally different.

But that brings us to the nomination of David Chipman for director of the ATF. As you no doubt know by now, Chipman’s nomination was yanked because, frankly, it wasn’t going anywhere.

And, according to the editors of the New York Daily News, that’s a win for the “gun lobby.”

Of course the pro-gun-regulation activist and former ATF agent President Joe Biden nominated to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives couldn’t pass Senate muster.

What do you expect, a critic of Big Tech to take over the Federal Trade Commission? A champion of investor protections to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission? A lifelong advocate for safer roads and skies to sit atop the National Transportation Safety Board? Someone with a strong record of safeguarding our air, water and climate to lead the Environmental Protection Agency?

Those questions are facetious; we fortunately have all of those officials in place, among many other regulators who’ve proven they have the gumption to take on entrenched interests to protect the public interest.

Guns stand alone. After the firearm industry howled at the top of its lungs and Republicans and some pro-gun Democrats and independents (we see you, Joe Manchin and Jon Tester and Angus King) followed their lead, Biden last week pulled David Chipman’s nomination.

They don’t get to complain.

I’m sorry, they don’t.

The left went nuts when Betsy DeVos, a well-known advocate for school choice, was tapped to run the Department of Education under President Trump.

When it’s all said and done, both sides are going to oppose those whose values differ significantly from their own to head various agencies. David Chipman doesn’t get special treatment, especially when the ATF is tasked with the interpretation of so many gun laws. DeVos could do nothing except what the law permitted. Chipman could have banned components with the stroke of a pen.

Oh, and yeah, the firearm industry howled. Just like the liquor industry would have howled if Biden had nominated a prohibitionist to head the agency. Even if he only wanted to ban hard liquor but leave beer and wine, it would have still been a huge issue for them. As it should be.

It’s like the editorial board thinks people are elected solely to advance the board’s agenda. They forget that Joe Manchin is a Democrat representing a very, very red state. The same is true for Jon Tester. While Angus King is from Maine and that’s a blue state, it’s a blue state known for its love of the Second Amendment. I mean, how many blue states do you know of with constitutional carry?

All three are beholden not to the party or of an editorial board that’s can’t even vote for them, but the people of their states. Had any of the three backed Chipman, it’s entirely possible they’d be voted out of office and replace with someone who would toe the line as the voters demand.

Couple that with the fact that 50 percent of the Senate is Republican and their voters tend to demand support for the Second Amendment as well.

But at least the editorial board can blame the gun lobby. That’s always fun.

What they forget is that the “gun lobby” represents millions of hardworking, law-abiding American gun owners and Second Amendment supporters. It represents people, and that’s who ultimately worked to scuttle Chipman’s nomination. And we’re damn proud to have done so, too.

Dec 02, 2021 7:30 PM ET