Time Is Not On David Chipman’s Side

The longer that the debate on David Chipman to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives goes on, the less likely it is that he will be confirmed. One reason is that it gives the opposition even more time to dig up his public record of making snarky and snide remarks like that in the video below. That is not to mention it gives time for investigators to dig through public testimony he has given before state and national legislative bodies that contain outright falsehoods.

This video excerpt in which Chipman ridicules new gun owners as prepping for the Zombie apocalypse and as Tiger King wannabes was posted the Republican National Committee’s research arm.

Earlier this week, you had a story in Politico in which Sen. Dick Durbin, Senate Judiciary Chair and Majority Whip, saying that Chipman had “a lot of issues”. That was obvious recognition that the nomination was in trouble.

Then yesterday, the British newspaper The Guardian ran a long story on their website saying the nomination is stalling. They noted the Attorney General Merrick Garland has had to step in and push for his confirmation.

The intervention was the latest warning sign that the nomination of Chipman might be in trouble – which would be a serious blow to gun control advocates and those appalled at America’s shocking rates of gun violence.

“As you all know, ATF is on the frontlines of our efforts to battle gun violence,” Garland said during a visit to the agency’s headquarters on Thursday. “We are very hopeful that the Senate will soon act.”

Now you have a story in the Huffington Post that is asserting that it is really the gun industry in the form of the National Shooting Sports Foundation that is the primary opponent of Chipman. This is because they are running two television ads in West Virginia and Maine. The author of this piece Kevin Robillard accuses the NSSF of adopting “NRA’s over-the-top playbook.” Of course, Chipman’s longtime employer, Giffords, jumped on the story to promote the lie that opposition to Chipman is based on trying to sell guns.

What this story ignores is that every gun rights organization at every level is in opposition to Chipman. This includes the NRA, GOA, CCRKBA, and the Firearms Policy Coalition at the national level. At the state level, I know for sure that organizations such has Grass Roots North Carolina have mobilized their members in opposition with alerts and pleas to call their senators.

As my friend Chris Knox said on Twitter in response to Robillard’s article, “Blue check media can’t comprehend a grassroots resistance without some organization at the helm. Movement to #StopChipman is not top-down.” He is correct. I didn’t wait for the NRA or GOA to tell me to oppose Chipman. The moment he was nominated I called both of my US senators saying “Hell, No!”

Whether or not the nomination succeeds or fails will come down to four Democrats and an Independent who caucuses with them. They are Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO), and Sen. Angus King (I-ME). They are all officially undecided. All it will take is for one of these senators to vote nay and the confirmation goes down the drain. If you would like to contact them even if you don’t “officially” live in their state, Grass Roots North Carolina a link that might be helpful. I know that the email I sent Sinema went through and I got a response from her.

I think that these five are waiting to see which way the wind blows and are really hoping that the nomination is eventually withdrawn so that they don’t have to publicly commit one way or another. If the Chipman nomination is withdrawn, they will still be able to say (lie) that they support the Second Amendment and not have a vote for Chipman thrown in their face to refute that.

I had been using the analogy that nomination Chipman to head BATFE was the equivalent of putting a vegan in charge of the meat inspection division of the USDA. I came across a better analogy – Chipman is the equivalent of nomination an anti-childhood-vaxxer to head the FDA or CDC. In these days and times that does get the message across.

Blog Updates

I am trying out an updated way to send out emails featuring new blog post. It is a service called Mail Poet and it should send out an email every day that I do a new blog post or posts. I know many readers prefer to just read it by email rather than visiting the blog itself.

I am having to make these changes thanks to Google making changes to their Feedburner service. They say it isn’t going away but that it is turning off email subscriptions.

Hi John,
As we announced earlier this year, we’re making several upcoming changes to support FeedBurner’s next chapter. Here’s what you can expect to change and what you can do now to ensure you’re prepared.
Now starting in mid August, we are transitioning FeedBurner onto a more stable, modern infrastructure. This will keep the product up and running for all users, but it also means that we will be turning down most non-core feed management features, including email subscriptions, at that time.

My guess is that Google isn’t making money on it anymore or at least as much revenue as they would like. It is what it is.

If you have already signed up, I don’t think you much changes other than the format of the emailed blog post.

In the meantime, if you haven’t signed up for email notification, I would urge you to give it a try. You can see where to do it in the picture below. Just scroll to the bottom of the page and it will be in the sidebar. You will get an email asking you to confirm your subscription. I have tried it out and it does work.

UPDATE: This seems to be working but you may need to check your spam filter.

Not Good Signs For NRA

The blog NRA In Danger is reporting on two more indicators of trouble for the NRA.

First is regarding the NRA Annual Meeting scheduled for Labor Day Weekend in Houston. They report that only half of the booth space has been rented out with little more than a month to go. That in and of itself isn’t good. They also note that organizations like the Second Amendment Foundation which have traditionally had booths at the Annual Meeting are turning down the “opportunity”. I had known that and was told by my friends at SAF that they considered it a “waste of money” to be there.

The second is even more disturbing. It concerns upkeep of the NRA headquarters building in Fairfax. Even when not occupied or lightly occupied, you still have to do the upkeep or the building falls apart.

Second, the headquarters building is being allowed to deteriorate. Rain is penetrating the roof, sometimes pooling on the floor and running through passages through floors to soak lower stories. Most of the surviving employees are still working from home, so this is a building that has largely been unoccupied for over a year, and over two summers. Likely a major mold problem will follow, if it isn’t there already. There is money enough for tens of millions in legal fees, but no money to fix the headquarters roof.

NRA in Danger speculates that the board is unaware of these issues as they are being kept in the dark by Wayne and the rest of the Gang of Four. If so, it is malfeasance on the part of the leadership and a continued refusal by the board to do their fiduciary duty of care.

Quote Of The Day

I am reading Kurt Schlichter’s latest Kelly Turnbull thriller The Split. It had a quote that combines my Irish heritage and my disdain for “woke-ism”.

An Irish crime boss is being questioned in his Charlestown bar by a People’s Bureau of Investigation (what used to be the FBI) Special Agent regarding a bank robbery gone bad. The agent is warning that trouble is coming from the authorities if he doesn’t cooperate.

“We’ve survived Cromwell and the Potato Famine by sticking together,” Seamus said.

“But will you survive woke?”

“We’ll take our chances.”

Schlichter is a good story teller and he knows just how to parody the politically correct. I can recommend reading the whole series.

Thank You, Brownells

The “Made in America” pre-Independence Day promotion at Brownells raised over $150,000 for the Firearms Policy Foundation. This money will certainly help the FPF in supporting their Second Amendment legal efforts.

In another day or time, you have to think this donation would have gone to another firearms group. You know that one where this donation would only cover about 1/10th of the Executive VP’s annual salary? Or maybe a fraction of the monthly billing from their outside counsel? Yeah, that one.

From the release:

Brownells donated more than $150,000 to the Firearms Policy Foundation, with money generated by the “Made in America” promotion at Brownells.com leading up to Independence Day.

The Firearms Policy Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization which helps fund the Firearms Policy Coalition, a 501(c)4 dedicated to defending the Constitution of the United States, especially the individual right to keep and bear arms.

The donation will help with the on-going struggle to restore and eventually expand constitutionally guaranteed Second Amendment rights for all Americans.

“I want to thank everyone who bought American to help save the 2nd Amendment,” said Brownells Chairman Pete Brownell.   “We all benefit from the great work of the Firearms Policy Coalition.”

“On behalf of the FPC team and our members, we are humbled and honored that Brownells and its amazing customers have so generously provided this significant funding for our critical pro-rights legal and education programs, including dozens of active lawsuits and new cases being prepared today,” said FPF Chairman and FPC President Brandon Combs. “Especially in this era where our rights are under attack at all levels, from the Biden administration to local governments like San Jose, California, every dollar counts and will go straight to the front lines in principled efforts to defend and expand individual liberty,”

The FPC has been involved in several recent high-profile Second Amendment court cases, including Miller v. Bonta which resulted in California’s ban on so-called “assault weapons” to be declared unconstitutional.

FPC also filed suit against Nevada’s recent ban on homebuilt firearms, and filed a brief in support of the right of all Americans to carry arms on their person in public.

To find ways to become involved in the struggle to maintain and recover 2nd Amendment rights, visit the Brownells Second Amendment Action Center.

Durbin – Chipman Has “A Lot Of Issues”

File this Politico story under the “No Shit, Sherlock” label.

Senate Majority Whip and Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin (D-IL) said “there are a lot of issues” over David Chipman’s nomination to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

Durbin goes on to say:

Durbin acknowledged Monday that the whip count “is not where we want it yet, but there’s always a chance.”…

“Members understand this is a highly controversial position,” Durbin said Monday. “It has been left vacant because Republicans and Democrats couldn’t find someone to fill the slot so it’s no wonder that we’re having some difficulty with it.”

What I read Durbin’s statement to mean is that he hasn’t been successful in convincing Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) that the political fallout from supporting Chipman won’t be as bad as they think. They are still listed in the undecided column.

It is either that or the incentives that he is offering to them have not risen to the level where they will hop onboard. By incentives I mean support for pet legislation, campaign money, and the like.

If Durbin and Chuck Schumer were convinced they had 50 votes to confirm Chipman, the vote would have already been held. Since they don’t, Chipman remains in limbo. The longer it goes, the less likely he is to be confirmed. All it takes is for one non-Republican to come out against Chipman and the nomination will be withdrawn. One way to read Durbin’s interview with Politico is that he is signaling the White House it is time to pull Chipman’s nomination.

As to the issues surrounding David Chipman, I think that I and virtually every other gun owner in America would run out of fingers if we had to list them all.

When The Laws Of The State Meet The Laws Of Economics

One of the by-products of the COVID-19 pandemic is that people are consuming more alcohol. Both the medical community and the popular press have noted that. In North Carolina, you can buy beer and wine at many outlets including grocery stores. However, if you want to buy hard alcohol or spirits, you must go to the ABC store run by the local alcohol beverage control board. North Carolina is what is referred to as a “control state”.

The Charlotte Observer notes:

Mecklenburg County ABC Board data shows March sales to businesses have already sold 65% of the bottles sold last year and retails sales have more than doubled over last years sales, the board and N.C. Spirits Association said in a news release Friday.

Last year during pandemic shutdowns, ABC stores saw a nearly 30% jump in sales compared to 2019 as more people stocked up at home, the Observer previously reported. But as more restaurants and bars have reopened, demand is up for spirits.

Recent reports coming out of Charlotte, the state’s largest city, indicate people were indeed buying a lot of liquor at the ABC stores and now it is impacting the supply available for bars and restaurants. It is also impacting what is available on the shelves in ABC stores themselves.

Supply and demand is the first law of economics. In this case there isn’t enough supply to meet the demand. In an uncontrolled system, prices would rise as a result of the shortage. However, prices in North Carolina are set by the state. The advantage to the consumer is that that bottle of Maker’s Mark is the same price in Murphy as it is in Manteo.

Individuals in Charlotte seeking their Tito’s Vodka or a specific brand of tequila have an easy option. They can just cross the border into South Carolina where liquor sales are not state run.

But Drew Podrebarac, the owner of Southern Spirits, said across the border in South Carolina, currently, they’re fully stocked.

“Definitely in North Carolina, just because the way they do their liquor, I know they’ve had tons of problems but that’s part of the reason that they come to South Carolina to buy the liquor,” said Podrebarac…

“Right now, North Carolina currently has about 500-700 available liquors in stock. We currently have at Southern Spirits almost 6,000 different liquors, so when people actually say, ‘Wow, there’s a lot more available,’ people just kept coming and started telling their friends and it definitely boosted sales and customer numbers,” said Podrebarac. 

However, North Carolina bars and restaurants don’t have that option as their license requires them to buy only from the ABC stores. Moreover, they have to pay a $2-3 premium per bottle compared to what the consumer pays in the store.

By interfering with the law of supply and demand, the laws of the state of North Carolina have created a situation where businesses who struggled to survive the pandemic cannot obtain the raw material for one of their most profitable items – cocktails. By contrast, South Carolina doesn’t have a supply shortage and does have many more choices. If there was ever an argument about privatizing the ABC System, this is it.

NSSF Running Anti-Chipman Ads In ME And WV

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is running ads in both Maine and West Virginia against David Chipman to head BATFE. The ad asks viewers to contact their senators and ask them to vote against confirming Chipman.

According to the NSSF, this is first time they have run television ads on any subject.

From their press release:

“This is monumental for NSSF and it speaks to the importance the firearm industry places on protecting the 342,330 jobs and $63.5 billion economic impact this industry provides,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “David Chipman’s nomination is clearly a move to politicize the ATF. Voters in key states reject his nomination and those senators have been advised of those polls by NSSF. We are now taking our opposition to the public to remind their senators that Chipman’s nomination is a threat to jobs, revenue and not the least – the ability of law-abiding citizens to exercise their God-given Second Amendment rights.”

A reader of this blog made an interesting comment regarding Chipman. Given that virtually no one would be as bad as Chipman, his defeat would allow the Biden Administration to appoint another anti-gunner who would not be perceived as “bad”. The person still would be horrible for gun rights but wouldn’t be Chipman.

From DWB’s comment:

I have mixed feelings. There will be a Biden nominee for BATFE, and the nominee will be rabidly anti-gun. There is no doubt about that. The Senate cannot block a Biden nominee forever.

Which makes me wonder if we should call their bluff and let Chipman slide through. He will energize people for 2022. There is no better opponent than a polarizing jack-a$$ like Chipman. Heck, he even makes WLP and his cronies look useful.

The question for me is not “how bad is Chipman,” the question for me is who is on deck?

That is a conundrum. Is it better to have an ideologue like Chipman who isn’t even respected by ATF Special Agents as director and use that as the basis for energizing the base or to defeat him and have to worry about a stealth candidate?

AAF Research Report On David Chipman

The American Accountability Foundation has produced a 24-page research report on David Chipman. They have dug very deep into his background. It is well worth a read.

Some of the things that popped out at me were his divorce, how he tried to play the system to get relocation expenses, his change in behavior and views, and how he became increasingly both radical and anti-law enforcement.

Discussions with friends who used to work with him at BATFE were interesting. For example, a former BATFE agent who had been his friend had this – “but after he got divorced, and then joined AA, he because very self righteous and almost evangelical in views that he holds; no more competing ideas and middle ground, and more like once he gets in his head that something is “right” he pursues it with a passion and fury.” That leads to the question as to whether Chipman is a recovering alcoholic. If so, for how long? While that does not disqualify him for the position, it does raise questions on how he handles stress.

I would read the whole report and then contact my senators signifying my opposition.

Chipman-Research-Report

“In Congress, July 4, 1776” (Updated)

This is a document that I think every American should read at least once a year. As I said when I first started posting in the first year of this blog, it explains why we are citizens and not subjects.

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:


For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

— John Hancock

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts:
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut:
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware:
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland:
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia:
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton