Losing Rep. Dingell as the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee does not bode well for American industries, but there is another ominous reason to fear Henry Waxman's ascent to the Chairmanship. Dingell was generally a steadfast pro-Second Amendment voice during his long tenure in the House, where he helped defeat several gun control laws proposed by his more liberal colleagues.
Michael Barone gives us a nice summary of Dingell's pro-gun views from an account of his primary fight in 2002. The left needs to be reminded that it was Dingell, not President Bush, Wayne LaPierre, or some other fire-breathing right-winger who first coined the term "jack-booted thugs" in reference to abuses of power by agents of the BATF. Some years ago, Dingell, as Chairman of the committee concerned with promoting commerce, was instrumental in squashing gun control measures designed to close the mythical "gun show loophole." His job, as he saw it, was to protect the individual's right to engage in lawful commerce of a legal product free from harassment by federal government agents.
The firearms owners and hunters in Michigan and the rest of the US have lost a strong pro-gun voice in Congressman Dingell. As bad as Waxman and others are for the future of American businesses, his selection for the chairmanship sets the stage for a new round of restrictive gun control legislation, more than likely centered on the business tax/trade fee paradigm. Americans must be vigilant as more coastal elites maneuver for positions of influence in the new congress; designed no doubt to ride herd on the more conservative Democrats from the heartland.