By: Daniel John Sobieski
No, that is not David Chipman standing in the ruins of the burnt-out Waco compound, site of the 1993 slaughter of members of the Branch Davidian religious group led by David Koresh. He was too busy back at the office helping to manufacture and disseminate lies about what went on at the compound to justify a brutal, murderous, and unnecessary assault.
The animus he exhibited in his tenure at ATF towards gun owners and gun rights, to the point of using violence as a gun-control tactic, reflects a view he holds today and shares with the likes of Biden “gun czar” Beto O’Rourke, and includes gun confiscation by armed agents of legally purchased guns owned by law-abiding citizens. His definition of an assault rifle is so broad as to include virtually all rifles owned by lawful gun owners.
He is no fan of the Second Amendment which was put in the Bill of Rights to protect the other nine; put there by Founding Fathers as an ultimate bulwark against tyrants and tyranny. It was written to protect individual gun ownership because the British were coming, not because deer were in season. It was written to prevent such tyranny as David Chipman envisions,
The Branch Davidians could be described as an earlier version of Obama’s despised “bitter clingers,” clinging to their guns and their interpretation of the Bible but basically just wanting to be left alone. You might call their compound an early “autonomous zone,” but not set up by the genuinely violent and dangerous Antifa and BLM protesters that looted, burned, and killed at will while law enforcement pursued the law-abiding gun owners of America. As it was, the Branch Davidians could have been dealt with non-violently. Chipman felt otherwise, making up false horror stories to justify a violent assault. As Tiana Lowe notes in the Washington Examiner:
Chipman was indeed a case agent in the Waco siege of the Branch Davidian compound. The incident was a massacre of civil liberties and the rule of law, in addition to the 82 lives, it ended unnecessarily. Rather than bring up credible sexual assault charges against cult leader David Koresh, who could easily have been arrested during his jogs around the compound and jaunts into town, the ATF staged a militarized and performative military action against American citizens.
The Waco stunt, endorsed by the Clinton administration as a part of its crackdown against the Second Amendment, also found a quiet defender in then-Sen. Biden. Even after evidence emerged that the ATF had whipped up baseless charges about a meth lab in order to secure helicopters and charge firearms violations, Biden proved a partisan, opposing oversight hearings that were certain to damage the Clinton administration.
Chipman was a serial liar in pushing for and justifying the massacre by ATF at Waco. An example of his lies that fanned the flames of Waco, no pun intended, was provided by the New York Post:
The gun-control advocate, who once worked as a case agent in the Branch Davidian trial, answered questions on Reddit as part of an “Ask Me Anything” forum in September 2019.
During that forum, he falsely claimed, without noting his time as a case agent for the trial, that Branch Davidian sect members had shot down two helicopters during the Waco Massacre.
“At Waco, cult members used 2 .50 caliber Barretts to shoot down two Texas Air National Guard helicopters,” he wrote in an answer, “It is true we are fortunate they are not used in crime more often.
While it is largely understood that Branch Davidian members shot at the helicopters, the vessels themselves did not go down.
Most notably, no Barretts were recovered at the scene of the massacre.
“Although all of the three helicopters sustained damage from weapons fire, none of the National Guard crews or ATF aboard were injured,” a 1996 House report conducted in tandem by the Oversight and Judiciary Committees found.
Four ATF agents and 82 Branch Davidians died during the 51-day standoff, which began in late February 1993, when law enforcement and the Waco, Tx.-based religious cult engaged in a standoff as authorities tried to seize illegal weapons they believed the group was stockpiling.
The massacre ended after the FBI launched a tear gas attack, during which the compound caught on fire. Only nine members of the group survived.
Branch Davidian members maintain that it was law enforcement that began the shooting that led to the situation escalating as it did. Authorities, meanwhile, have always maintained the opposite.
We saw the advocacy of this type of smash-mouth SWAT team approach to gun control in the remarks of one Robert Francis O’Rourke. In an interview with “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough on MSNBC, then-presidential candidate O’Rourke admitted that, yes, he, like David Chipman apparently is quite willing to pry your AR-15 from your cold dead hands. As Townhall.com reports:
Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke said “there have to be consequences” for gun owners who do not surrender their AR-15s, which would include police going to their homes and confiscating them….
“OK, but let’s just assume there’s a rancher in Texas that doesn’t, that says, ‘I’m not going to do this because this is an unjust law and it’s unconstitutional.’ What’s the next step? I think that’s what we need to concede because there will be people that don’t turn the guns back in. What’s the next step for the federal government there?” Scarborough asked.
“Yeah, I think just as in any law that is not followed or flagrantly abused, there have to be consequences, or else there is no respect for the law,” O’Rourke replied. “So you know, in that case, I think there would be a visit by law enforcement to recover that firearm and to make sure that it is purchased, bought back so that it cannot be potentially used against somebody else.”
First of all, Beto, just what law would that be? A “red flag law” that says you are crazy until proven sane and too dangerous to defend yourself with a commonly used defensive weapon? President Obama already tried that with seniors and vets. Or a mandatory buy-back law that accomplished door-to-door gun confiscation as pushed in New Jersey and Illinois? Which part of “the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” in the Second Amendment do you not understand? Of course, this is the candidate who celebrated Constitution Day by calling for outright gun confiscation.
Of course, Beto expects the law-abiding citizen, perhaps a veteran protecting his family, will simply answer the door and respond to the demand that he surrender his legally owned firearm along with his constitutional rights by saying, “Excuse me, officer, I know I fought for my country and have threatened no one, but since some politician who is protected by armed security thinks I’m a danger to my community, well, here they are. And what’s the response time for 911 again?”
In Maryland, a man was shot to death by police as they attempted to issue a red flag gun confiscation order. As reported by GunsAmericaDigest:
Gary J. Willis, 61, opened the door to his home with a gun in his hand when two police officers came knocking at 5:17 a.m. on Nov. 5. Anne Arundel County police say Willis put the gun on a table next to the door, but “became irate” when the officers explained that they had come to confiscate his firearms.
Willis grabbed his gun and a struggle ensued, during which the firearm discharged. No one was injured, but the officer not engaged in the struggle shot Willis, and he died at the scene.
Is the AR15 a weapon of war? So, arguably, was the musket in 1776. Critics of the Second Amendment say that they are not going after guns used for legitimate activities such as hunting. But when the Founders wrote the Second Amendment it was because the British were coming, not because it was the start of deer season. As Fox News contributor Judge Andrew Napolitano once noted:
The historical reality of the Second Amendment’s protection of the right to keep and bear arms is not that it protects the right to shoot deer,” wrote Judge Andrew Napolitano recently in the Washington Times. “It protects the right to shoot tyrants, and it protects the right to shoot at them effectively, with the same instruments they would use upon us. If the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto had had the firepower and ammunition that the Nazis had, some of Poland might have stayed free and more persons would have survived the Holocaust.”
If the AR15 had been available in 1776, George Washington would have fielded an army armed with it, to be sure, but just as surely every farmer, blacksmith, carpenter, and shopkeeper would have grabbed an AR-15 on their way to the village green to protect our freedoms from the same government tyranny the writers of the Constitution sought to protect us from what Nancy Pelosi and Peter Francis O’Rourke would impose on us.
The AR15, like other high-capacity weapons in the hands of the law-abiding, is a defensive weapon, such as when it was used by a 15-year-old who grabbed his father’s AR15 and used it to ward off home invaders:
Not only did this brave 15-year-old defend his home against 2 burglars, but also his 12-year-old sister who was in the house with him. He grabbed his father’s AR-15 and shot one of the burglars multiple times. They got away but had to go right to the hospital where the minor was arrested and the adult who was shot was flown to a different hospital.
In the hands of British redcoats, the musket was an assault weapon. In the hands of a law-abiding American, an AR15 is what the Second Amendment is all about.
I once saw a movie where only the military and the police had guns. It was called “Schindler’s List.”
*Daniel John Sobieski is a former editorial writer for Investor’s Business Daily and freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications