The man President Joe Biden wants to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has made false statements about the 1993 raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas.
During a 2019 “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit, a user self-identified as David Chipman falsely claimed that members of the sect 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. “Point, it is true we are fortunate they are not used in crime more often.”
As noted in the New York Post, it is largely known that Branch Davidian members did indeed shoot at helicopters, however, none were shot down.
Further, 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 on the incident concluded.
Four ATF agents and 82 Branch Davidian members died in the 51-day siege.
In the same Reddit thread, Chipman defended the FBI’s role in the Waco disaster.
“I worked for the government for 25 years and I understand how trust in government has been harmed. Please remember, however, that it was agents on the ground who let the public know the truth about these incidents when some sought to cover-up inconvenient truths,” he wrote.
Biden’s pick for ATF thinks the Branch Davidians at Waco shot down two government helicopters. (HT @LPTexas). From a Reddit AMA last year. pic.twitter.com/EygNk7jFrf
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) April 8, 2021
Chipman, a senior policy adviser for the anti-gun organization Giffords, has made no secret of his anti-gun proclivities.
He trashed an ad for the AR-15 in a 2019 post on his Facebook page.
“When you advertise your rifle as being capable of unleashing an ‘orchestra of metal and hellfire,’ your marketing appears to target mass shooters,” he posted.
Chipman was taken to task by Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas during a confirmation hearing on Wednesday over Chipman’s call for a ban on “assault weapons,” according to the Post.
“You have called for an assault weapons ban,” Cotton said. “I have a simple question for you: What is an assault weapon?”
“Senator, an assault weapon would be, in the context of the question you asked, what Congress defines it as,” Chipman said.
“So you’re asking us to ban assault weapons. We have to write legislation. Can you tell me, what is an assault weapon? How would you define it if you were the head of the ATF? How have you defined it over the last several years in your role as a gun control advocate?” Cotton asked.
Will this man be a disaster as the head of the ATF?
Yes: 0% (0 Votes)
No: 0% (0 Votes)
When Chipman responded that the definition should include guns with detachable magazines that take .556 or .22 rounds, Cotton noted that Chipman’s answer “would basically cover every single modern sporting rifle in America today.”
According to the Post, Cotton later said that Chipman could not answer because “there is no such thing as an assault weapon. It’s a term that’s made up by liberal lawyers and pollsters in Washington who are trying to scare Americans into acquiescing and to gun confiscation.”