The Corner

Politics & Policy

Good Riddance, David Chipman

David Chipman testifies during a House Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, September 25, 2019. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

Here’s a snippet of Joe Biden’s statement on the withdrawal of David Chipman’s nomination as the head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF):

Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress have made clear that they intend to use gun crime as a political talking point instead of taking serious steps to address it. That’s why they’ve moved in lockstep to block David Chipman’s confirmation, and it’s why they side with gun manufacturers over the overwhelming majority of the American people in opposing commonsense measures like universal background checks.

Chipman was ideologically, temperamentally, and professionally unsuited for the job of running the ATF — which is a law-enforcement agency, not a place for anti–Second Amendment advocates to circumvent Congress on gun policy. Yet, that’s exactly what Biden had in mind. After all, what does “commonsense measures like universal background checks” have to do with Chipman’s job? Nothing.

And, as Charles points out, Chipman’s nomination wasn’t killed by solely Republicans, but Democrats. Biden is accusing Angus King (who caucuses with Dems), and likely Joe Manchin and Jon Tester, and perhaps others, of siding with gun manufacturers over “the overwhelming majority of the American people.” Fortunately, unlike Chipman, these senators answer to their constituents in Maine, West Virginia, and Montana, not the activists at Giffords.

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