It seems like we will continue writing pieces on David Chipman—Joe Biden’s failed nominee to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)—on a regular basis. Not because we like to gloat (although that can be fun), but because Chipman keeps making public statements that further emphasize he was always supremely unqualified for the position as the nation’s top regulator of the firearms industry and most federal gun laws.
His media appearances have shown that he has both an extremely delicate, and shockingly overinflated, ego. He has also shown that he was likely to run the ATF as nothing more than an attack-dog for anti-gun extremists.
In early October, we reported that Chipman was so upset his nomination was rejected that he blamed Biden—the man who nominated him—for his personal failure. That bruised ego also led him to cast some blame on US Senator Angus King, an independent from Maine who caucuses with the Democrats, and whose stated opposition to the nomination led to it being pulled. Chipman told the New York Times how he felt after leaving a meeting with King.
“I left his office thinking, ‘Does he really believe that people who regulate industries can only get those jobs if they’re friends with the industry?’” Chipman said. “He said the quiet part out loud.”
As we said in early October, nobody insists that a nominee to head the ATF, or any other federal regulatory agency, be “friends with the industry.” What we do expect, however, is someone who does not consider law-abiding gun owners and firearm manufacturers to be adversaries, as Chipman clearly does.
In fact, it is Chipman, not King, who keeps saying that “quiet part out loud.”
In a recent interview with CBS News, Chipman referred to his apparent issue with gun manufacturers, saying, “The problem is the gun industry profits by gun violence itself….” He also referred to firearms dealers as “profiting from selling (guns) to criminals and terrorists.”
The idea that he seems to hold everyone in the firearms industry in such low regard, and he is apparently convinced (falsely, of course) that they are willing participants in the criminal misuse of firearms, is a rather clear indication the man was not fit to head ATF. How could the industry have possibly expected fair treatment?
Chipman also told CBS, in perhaps the most shocking case of hubris from Chipman to date, “To oppose me must mean that you’re not for preventing gun violence.”
No, David, opposition to your nomination was based, in part, on the fact that you have shown nothing but animosity towards law-abiding gun manufacturers, gun dealers, and gun owners. And you continue to do so.
He was also opposed because of his penchant for parroting anti-gun extremist talking points to promote an anti-gun agenda; for which he was paid handsomely (we presume). In fact, the CBS interview continued this tactic, when Chipman made the absurd claim, “The reality is in much of America it’s easier to buy a gun than a beer.”
While we don’t claim to be experts on the laws governing the sale of alcohol in America, we are not aware of a single law that requires someone who wishes to purchase beer to undergo a background check before doing so, or any laws that prohibit someone from purchasing alcohol because of a past criminal offense. If such laws exist, we imagine they are extremely rare.
We also do not keep records of the number of bars, restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations, or any other places where one may purchase beer. We will, however, wager that there are far more of them in the country than there are licensed gun dealers.
Granted, there may still be a few “dry counties” with old blue laws on the books that prohibit the sale of alcohol, but we will again wager that, unless someone is an anti-gun extremist like Chipman looking to make a false comparison, the average American would not refer to those counties as “much of America.”
Perhaps this just further proves that Chipman is disqualified to head ATF; not only because of his obvious distaste for law-abiding gun makers, gun sellers, and gun owners, but also because he doesn’t actually know what our nation’s gun laws entail.
The true reality is that Chipman is simply using a new version of an old anti-gun gimmick; claim that acquiring a gun is “easier” than acquiring some other random, but common, item.
Former President Barack Obama tried the gimmick in 2015, when he claimed “you can go on into some neighborhoods, and it’s easier for you to buy a firearm than it is for you to buy a book, there are neighborhoods where it’s easier for you to buy a handgun and clips than it is for you to buy a fresh vegetable.” He repeated a variant of the claim even after the Washington Post’s fact checker determined that the statement was a three-Pinocchio rated falsehood. Not only was the president “playing fast and loose with his language,” the fact checker ruled that the statement was “just a very strange comment that appears to have no statistical basis… As far as we know, there are no areas in the United States where background checks are needed to buy vegetables.”
Then came New York Attorney General Letitia James, who tried the same trick recently, but this time using apples for the false comparison.
Sadly, in spite of Chipman’s overinflated sense of importance, he isn’t even able to come up with an original approach to pushing gun control lies. Unless, of course, you count the bizarre zombie reference he once made.
Seriously, we hope this will be the last piece we have to write about Chipman, but we won’t count on it. The man clearly craves attention, and has no sense of how foolish and petulant he looks every time he speaks out about his failure to become head of ATF. He was the architect of his own demise, but seems committed to adding new wings to a house that was destined to collapse before ground was ever broken.