Meet Andy Traver. Waldo, our patriotic snitch on the fifth floor of ATF headquarters in D.C. -- AKA the "concrete asshole of the universe" -- passes along the word that Traver is currently being vetted to become the next Acting Director of the ATF now that Ken Melson has stepped aside from that position.
So, what do we know about Traver? Well, if you believe ZeroCancer.org, the prostate cancer cure advocacy group, he's a paragon of selfless virtue:
"Andrew openly conveys his story and experience with anyone who will listen, and continues to urge family, friends and virtual strangers to engage in regular screenings and to pay attention to prostate cancer as a very real, increasingly prevalent and lethal disease. For this and all he has done for the prostate cancer community we salute Andrew Traver."
However, the article in the Advocate Spotlight, provides not only interesting biographical information, but some clues as to the circles he runs in:
This month’s Advocate Spotlight features the story of Andrew Traver from Naperville, Illinois. Andrew, who graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois, in May 1985, is the Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Department of Justice.
Andrew began his career with ATF as a special agent in Chicago in 1987. Prior to joining the ATF He also served in the United States Navy as a commissioned officer (Gunnery Officer) aboard a guided missile destroyer, the USS Benjamin Stoddert, based in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
At the age of 44 Andrew was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Andrew was kind enough to share his experience with prostate cancer . . .
Shortly after Andrew’s mandated post-surgical recovery period ended in late July 2008, he sought out an opportunity to serve as an advocate for prostate cancer. Andrew was directed to ZERO as an outlet for advocacy in time to participate in last September’s annual Congressional Summit.
By virtue of his position as a senior Federal law enforcement executive in Chicago, Andrew has many opportunities to address various groups publicly and to interact with members of Congress. As soon as he was diagnosed in March of last year he sent a detailed, frank email to his ATF peers across the nation and to the 165 employees throughout Illinois that he supervises, urging them to begin regular PSA/DRE testing. Since his return to full-time work in late July, Andrew has had the opportunity to speak to different law enforcement and civic groups, numbering from 50-300, and he always makes it a point to use his personal prostate cancer story as an “icebreaker,” emphasizing the necessity for regular PSA and DRE screenings, and the fact that this is not a disease confined to the elderly, an innocuous adversary with a low risk of mortality.
Andrew’s personal and professional relationships with Congressmen Mark Kirk and Jesse Jackson Jr., and Ken Bennett, state director to then-Senator Barack Obama, figured heavily into his recovery. All three men closely followed Andrew’s ordeal from initial diagnosis through the first post-RRP follow up visit to Mayo. He received telephone calls from Congressmen Jackson and Kirk themselves while at Mayo and while recuperating at home. Just prior to and again shortly after his surgery, Andrew and Mr. Bennett met for morale and spiritually uplifting lunches. In September, as part of the ZERO Congressional Summit, Andrew had the opportunity to share his story with the staffers of his delegation, (former) Senator Obama and Senator Richard Durbin, and with Congressmen Jackson and Kirk directly and personally, imploring them to support vital awareness, treatment and research initiatives.
So Traver runs in some exalted Chicago gang circles. But prostate cancer is not the only selfless work he does. He is also Chicago Veterans Outreach Coordinator for The Mission Continues, a worthy veteran's service organization. His bio at their website reads as follows:
Andrew Traver graduated summa cum laude from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice. Following graduation he joined the United States Navy and completed Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island, graduating third in his class. He then attended and graduated with honors from Surface Warfare Officer School in Coronado, California and reported for duty as the Gunnery Officer aboard the USS Benjamin Stoddert, DDG-22, home ported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Following his Honorable Discharge in 1987, Andy swore in as a Special Agent in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) in Chicago, Illinois, where he worked as a criminal investigator and an original member of the Entry Control Team, forerunner of the Special Response Teams. In 1993 he was promoted to become a Group Supervisor in ATF's Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Field Division, where he served until 1998. Following a brief tour in ATF Headquarters in Washington, DC, he was promoted to serve as an Assistant Special Agent in Charge, first in New Orleans, Louisiana (2000) and then in San Francisco, California (2002).
He is currently assigned as the Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Field Division of ATF and has been in that position since June of 2004. In September 2006 he was appointed to the Senior Executive Service. He resides there with his wife Becky and their three sons Anthony, Dominic and Vincent.
In March of 2008, Andy was diagnosed with prostate cancer at age 44 and underwent major, life-saving surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota in May of that year, followed by many months of recovery. Pursuant to his cancer experience, Andy felt a burning desire to engage in meaningful service to others and found his passion fulfilled in The Mission Continues. Andy can think of no more noble or deserving endeavor than supporting our wounded OIF and OEF veterans in any way possible and considers his work with The Mission Continues to be his true vocation. Andy joined The Mission Continues in September of 2009 as the Veterans Outreach Coordinator in the Chicago area.
Admirable avocations, both of them. No doubt this will play well at the confirmation hearing, if he makes it that far.
But there is more to Traver than selfless service to his community. He is an anti-firearm rights zealot. He is on record as opposing so-called "assault rifles" in the hands of citizens. Worse, he is a prominent member of the virulently anti-firearm International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Firearms rights activists will recall that in November, 2006, the IACP received a $375,000 grant from the Joyce Foundation in order to "convene the Great Lakes States Summit on Gun Violence in April 2007". The report of the conference was titled "Taking a Stand: Reducing Gun Violence in Our Communities". The National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups criticized the IACP report, calling it "a rubber stamp, bought and paid for, of the pre-existing agenda for gun ban groups." Not surprisingly, the report was produced with assistance from the Joyce Foundation's Communications Director and with contributions from gun control advocates such as Kristen Rand and Tom Diaz of the Violence Policy Center. At the time, the NRA called the Joyce Foundation an activist foundation whose "shadowy web of huge donations" leads "straight to puppet strings that control the agenda of gun ban groups".
The report in the IACP magazine listed the following folks as "Summit Leadership."
IACP and Joyce Foundation staff, understanding that the gun violence summit must cross all jurisdictional and disciplinary boundaries, created an ad hoc advisory group that would guide both the planning and the preparation for the summit and identify the critical areas to be addressed by attendees. The members of the advisory group are listed here.
* Bill Blair, Chief of Police, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
* Jeri Bonavia, Executive Director, WAVE Educational Fund
* Charles Bruggemann, Colonel, Illinois State Police
* Ella Bully-Cummings, Chief of Police, Detroit, Michigan
* John Chisholm, District Attorney, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, District Attorney’s Office
* Philip Cline, Superintendent, Chicago, Illinois, Police Department
* Tom Dart, Sheriff, Cook County, Illinois
* Tom Diaz, Senior Policy Analyst, Violence Policy Center
* Paul Fitzgerald, Sheriff, Story County, Iowa
* Fred Gebauer, General Counsel, New York City Mayor’s Office
* Gary Hagler, Chief of Police, Flint, Michigan
* Scott Harshbarger, Senior Counsel to Firm, Proskauer Rose LLP
* Nannette Hegerty, Chief of Police, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
* David Hemenway, Professor, School of Public Health, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
* Steven Jansen, Director, National Center for Community Prosecution, National District Attorneys Association
* Frank Kaminski, Director of Safety, Evanston Township, Illinois, High School, School District 202
* Scott Knight, Chief of Police, Chaska, Minnesota
* Russell Laine, Chief of Police, Algonquin, Illinois; and First Vice President, IACP
* Tom Mahoney, Deputy Supervisor, Cook County, Illinois, State Attorney’s Office
* Thom Mannard, Executive Director, Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence
* Matthew Miller, Assistant Professor, School of Public Health, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
* David Mitchell, Cabinet Secretary, Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security
* Kathleen Monahan, Project Director, Illinois Violent Death Reporting System
* Mallory O’Brien, Associate Director, Injury Control Research Center, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
* Terry Perry, Legislative Coordinator, City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
* Ervin Portis, Chief of Police, Jackson, Mississippi
* Joy Rikala, Chief of Police (retired), Minnetonka, Minnesota
* John Risely, Deputy Superintendent, Chicago, Illinois, Police Department
* Leslie Sharrock, Chief of Police, Waukesha, Wisconsin
* Ed Tomba, Commander, Cleveland, Ohio, Police Department
* Andrew Traver, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Chicago, Illinois, Field Division
* Nina Vinik, Legal Director, Legal Community Against Violence
* Douglas Wiebe, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
This prestigious group of law enforcement, community health, and academic advisers was chaired by the IACP’s first vice president, Chief Russell Laine of the Algonquin, Illinois, Police Department. Supporting Chief Laine was Chief Scott Knight of the Chaska, Minnesota, Police Department, who chairs the IACP’s Firearms Committee. Together, they led the advisory group as it made critical decisions throughout summit and final report efforts.
Here are some of recommendations of the IACP and Joyce Foundation Summit and Report, "Taking a Stand: Reducing Gun Violence in Our Communities."
Reduce easy access to guns:
6. The IACP should develop a best practices protocol for voluntary gun surrender programs. . .
8. Law enforcement agencies should mandate destruction of all firearms that come into their possession once any law enforcement use for them is completed.
9. Congress, as well as state, local, and tribal governments, should enact laws requiring that all gun sales and transfers proceed through a Federal Firearms License (FFL), thus ensuring that a mandatory background check will be conducted on the transferee.
10. State and/or local governments should license all gun dealers.
11. State and local governments should regulate and/or limit the sale of multiple handguns as a measure to reduce gun trafficking.
12. State and local governments should mandate that a ballistic fingerprint is recorded for every gun sold.
13. State, local, and tribal governments should mandate that every gun sold comes with a lock or security device that meets minimum safety standards, to help protect against accidental discharge and misuse.
14. State, local, and tribal governments should mandate safe storage of guns, provide voluntary off-site storage facilities, and prosecute those who fail to comply with safe storage laws.
15. All states should have laws that reinforce the federal laws prohibiting domestic violence misdemeanants and the subjects of domestic violence protection orders from purchasing or possessing firearms. The state laws should mandate that law enforcement remove all firearms and ammunition when responding to domestic violence incidents and when serving a domestic violence protective order. These important state and federal laws should be vigorously enforced by judges and law enforcement.
16. Federal, state, local, and tribal governments should enact laws prohibiting persons with misdemeanor convictions involving violence, qualifying mental health adjudications and commitments, or a history of domestic violence and/or drug abuse from purchasing, possessing, and transporting any guns or ammunition. These laws should be consistently and vigorously enforced.
17. Law enforcement executives should create policies and protocols on the appropriate removal and seizure of firearms from prohibited persons and ensure that necessary training is provided. . .
21. Congress should restore funding for the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program for state, local, and tribal agencies to investigate and prosecute cases of gun trafficking and gun violence.
22. The federal government should increase funding to ATF for personnel and technical assistance to combat gun violence.
23. Law enforcement agencies should increase investments in technologies and strategies that facilitate intelligence-led investigations.
24. Congress should repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts the sharing of gun trace data.
25. State and local governments should mandate the reporting of lost and stolen firearms, and federal law in this area should be tightened.
26. Congress should fully fund the NVDRS, and it should be implemented in all 50 states.
27. Congress should fund the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, and law enforcement agencies should use it consistently; it should also be funded to become integrated nationwide.
28. Law enforcement leaders should provide, and public and private funding should support, training for law enforcement agencies to use the necessary tools to investigate, share information about, and prosecute incidents of gun violence and illegal gun trafficking.
29. State, local, and tribal agencies should forge partnerships with federal law enforcement, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, researchers, and other relevant organizations and individuals to investigate and prosecute incidents of gun violence and patterns of illegal gun trafficking. . .
32. Congress should enact legislation to allow federal health and safety oversight of the firearms industry.
33. Congress should enact an effective ban on military-style assault weapons.
34. Congress should enact an effective ban on .50-caliber sniper rifles.
35. Congress should enact an effective ban on armor-piercing handgun ammunition.
So let's sum up: Traver has been an ATF agent for 23 years, starting out as an entry-level jack-booted thug ("an original member of the Entry Control Team, forerunner of the Special Response Teams"). Since then, he has risen through the agency hierarchy, all the while making friends of notorious Illinois anti-firearm rights politicians of both parties. He has had personal friendly contact with Barack Obama and Hizzonor, the King of Chicago Richard Daley. He has worked with the virulently anti-firearm Joyce Foundation and the IACP, putting his efforts and his name to a report which calls for more firearm bans and regulations that amount to the gutting of the Second Amendment.
Traver is, then, an extremely politically well-connected, anti-firearm, pro-citizen-disarmament zealot. He may be a nice guy, but he is an enemy of the Founders' Republic and the Constitution they wrote.
And if he checks out to be "confirmable," he will be the next jefe supremo of the federal gun cops. No wonder Mayor Daley has been wearing that "I've-got-a-secret" shit-eating grin since the McDonald decision. Screw the Supreme Court. The Chicago gang is fixing to take over THE Gang.
The alleged leader of a merry band of Three Percenters