Feinstein On Fight To Ban Assault Weapons: “I have seen death up close and personal. It isn’t like what you see on television”

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., told a San Francisco audience today that her fight to ban assault weapons is a lifetime cause that she’ll continue even if her proposed law doesn’t pass the current Congress.

“I don’t quit,” Feinstein told an audience of 500 at a noontime Commonwealth Club event at the Hotel Nikko in downtown San Francisco.

“If I can’t do it this time, I’ll do it next time. I intend to fight this fight,” she said.

Feinstein told the audience, “My reaction was stark horror” when she heard of gunman Adam Lanza’s massacre of 20 first-graders and six adults with a semi-automatic rifle at a Connecticut school in December.

“To take six- and seven-year-olds and kill them like this is something I never thought I would see in this country,” she said.

In 1994, Feinstein was the author of a federal assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004.

In January, she introduced a new proposed ban, which would prohibit the sale, manufacture or importation of 157 types of semi-automatic assault weapons, while allowing 2,200 other guns used in hunting, recreation and defense.

Last month, however, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, announced he was not going to include the ban in a gun control measure he will bring to the Senate floor because it was not expected to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster.

But Reid told Feinstein she could offer the ban as an amendment to the other measures. She said today she plans to do that and if necessary to continue her quest in the future.

Feinstein, 79, was president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and was at City Hall when former Supervisor Dan White fatally shot Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk on Nov. 27, 1978. She was the first to discover Milk’s body and identified both victims for police.

“I have seen death up close and personal. It isn’t like what you see on television,” she commented.

Elsewhere

Sen. Feinstein blames NRA on gun control [Chron]
Dianne Feinstein: I Used To Be A Gun Owner Myself [HuffPo]

As Board of Supervisors president, Feinstein succeeded to the office of mayor after the assassinations and remained in that position until 1988. She was first elected senator to fill a vacancy in 1992 and has been
re-elected three times, most recently in November.

Feinstein said campaigning by the National Rifle Association caused several legislators who supported the 1994 ban to be voted out of office, and said she thinks some members of the current Congress are intimidated by the threat of similar retaliation.

“Members fear that if they vote for the bill they won’t be re-elected,” she said.

“My view is they shouldn’t go up to the Senate if they are unwilling to stand up and vote,” she said.

On environmental matters, Feinstein, who has previously voted against the Keystone pipeline, reiterated her opposition to the project.

The pipeline to carry crude oil extracted from Canadian tar sands to the Gulf Coast is the target of planned demonstrations by environmental groups at President Obama’s appearances in San Francisco and the Peninsula tonight and Thursday.

Feinstein said deforested tar sand extraction reservoirs in Canada will leave permanent environmental scars and asked, “Do we want to deface large portions of the earth forever?”

“I don’t think so,” she answered, “because we’re making progress on clean energy.”

Asked about water issues, Feinstein responded, “There is no question in my view that we are on our way to a much drier planet.”

She said water shortages during drought years are threatening California’s agriculture industry and that the state’s most urgent need is for increased water storage facilities “to hold water from the wet years for the dry years.”

“I really do believe this is the time to have a water storage bond,” she said.

On the subject of climate change, Feinstein said she thinks the impact of increased global warming by one or two degrees Fahrenheit would be manageable, but a change of four to seven degrees would not be.

“I’ve spent 40 years in government,” she said. “To end without the creation of an earth capable of sustenance and beauty for my grandchildren is just a crushing blow.

“I hope that in the next six years you’ll see a climate change bill,” she said.

Julia Cheever, Bay City News

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  • viperwsu

    Senator –
    “Members fear that if they vote for the bill, they won’t
    be reelected” – you mean, if the senators actually vote for what their
    constituents want, they’re cowards? That’s their JOB, to represent the
    people of their state. If they fail to do that, they don’t get
    reelected. That’s WHY we have elections in the first place. Or are you going to
    lecture me on how long you’ve spent in politics, instead of addressing
    the issue?

    ““I have seen death up close and personal. It isn’t like what you see on television” – two people shot, and you make it your lifelong passion to disarm the whole country. Meanwhile, there are over 1000 Special Forces soldiers, who have seen a whole lot more death than you, argue that your ban is utterly ridiculous. These men, and hundreds of thousands more soldiers (including me) who didn’t get to sign the letter, know more about serving their country and sacrifice than you do, yet you discount their service because a small number of them MIGHT have PTSD. Which they got, by the way, fighting for this country.
    You blame the NRA for standing up for the rights of citizens and say they’re pressuring the representatives. What, exactly, is Obama doing when he flies around the country to parrot “common sense common sense common sense” and deliver outright lies, like that Lanza used a “Fully Automatic” rifle? Sounds like pressure to me.
    At least the NRA is using money freely donated by their members, and not tax-payer money stolen from those of us who actually work for a living.

  • viperwsu

    Senator –
    “Members fear that if they vote for the bill, they won’t
    be reelected” – you mean, if the senators actually vote for what their
    constituents want, they’re cowards? That’s their JOB, to represent the
    people of their state. If they fail to do that, they don’t get
    reelected. That’s WHY we have elections in the first place. Or are you going to
    lecture me on how long you’ve spent in politics, instead of addressing
    the issue?

    ““I have seen death up close and personal. It isn’t like what you see on television” – two people shot, and you make it your lifelong passion to disarm the whole country. Meanwhile, there are over 1000 Special Forces soldiers, who have seen a whole lot more death than you, argue that your ban is utterly ridiculous. These men, and hundreds of thousands more soldiers (including me) who didn’t get to sign the letter, know more about serving their country and sacrifice than you do, yet you discount their service because a small number of them MIGHT have PTSD. Which they got, by the way, fighting for this country.
    You blame the NRA for standing up for the rights of citizens and say they’re pressuring the representatives. What, exactly, is Obama doing when he flies around the country to parrot “common sense common sense common sense” and deliver outright lies, like that Lanza used a “Fully Automatic” rifle? Sounds like pressure to me.
    At least the NRA is using money freely donated by their members, and not tax-payer money stolen from those of us who actually work for a living.

  • ““I have seen death up close and personal. It isn’t like what you see on television”
    Well I have too lady.One shot 15 times & one severely mutilated with a axe & machete.The one shot didn’t bother me at all compared to the other.But it didn’t damage me to the point where I thought emotionally & thought banning the tools with make any difference.Sad you had to see it,but get over it & move on feinstein.Quit using it as a crutch for an excuse to push your personal views into law

  • ““I have seen death up close and personal. It isn’t like what you see on television”
    Well I have too lady.One shot 15 times & one severely mutilated with a axe & machete.The one shot didn’t bother me at all compared to the other.But it didn’t damage me to the point where I thought emotionally & thought banning the tools with make any difference.Sad you had to see it,but get over it & move on feinstein.Quit using it as a crutch for an excuse to push your personal views into law

  • I can’t stand this woman. What a lying dimwit.

  • I can’t stand this woman. What a lying dimwit.

  • StopitnowUS

    I can’t really imagine trying to have a conversation with the people who continuously vote this woman into office. Absolutely amazing at the amount of complacency we have developed.

  • StopitnowUS

    I can’t really imagine trying to have a conversation with the people who continuously vote this woman into office. Absolutely amazing at the amount of complacency we have developed.

  • I’m sorry, and I know I will get “flamed,” but frankly I’m tired of this socialist witch milking the “assassination” incident in 1978. A pissed off city council member blows away a gay activist councilman and the mayor of San Fran. Hardly what we call an “assassination” but hey, let’s make Feinstein some sort of Kennedy-esque figure of tragedy.

    Further, about seeing “death up close and personal.” OK, so you milked that one incident too. Cry me a river. I trained at Johns Hopkins in surgery. I saw hundreds of deaths due to stabbings, shootings, auto accidents. And I treated a medical student who was raped by an HIV infected homeless monster…she was grabbed while walking back to her car after a long day treating…more homeless. I’ve seen all sorts of death…dead on arrival, dead after I tried to resuscitate for ten minutes, death on my operating room table, death when a Jehovah’s Witness who was stabbed stuck by her religion and refused blood transfusions…she died 12 hours later from slowly bleeding to death. So I’ve seen horrible stuff.

    And yet, I don’t peddle my views on guns, knives, autos, homeless, etc. on others. I don’t use my personal experiences of tragedy as an excuse to force others to give up their rights so that I feel “safe.” Feinstein is supposed to represent her constituents. Admittedly, many are wacko Californians, but many are noble and good people. They didn’t elect this sea witch to spew her one moment of horror onto paper, onto a law, and take away our right to (among other things) defend ourselves against (1) the raping homeless guy; (2) thugs who will beat, stab, or shoot you for sport; (3) apes that will kill you over a car, invade your home, etc.

    Feinstein, despite her “up close and personal” one time experience respun as “assassination” still carries a gun of her own for personal protection and says she will use it. I hope she’s a good marksman. If she comes to New York, I hope she can take out four thugs attacking her with 7 bullets. My wife? She’s now got a 17 round pistol because while she’s trained in shooting, she’s not trained in self-defense killing. Like me, she’s going to be nervous, and she’ll miss…maybe a lot. But she won’t have to reload.

    As for AR-15’s and the like: get over it. Poor old Harvey Milk, and the vast majority of gun deaths, are handguns. The two clearly insane, and clearly identified as insane, punks who recently used a rifle would not have been able to do so if, instead of gun control, you libs would give up on “civil rights for the crazy” and get me “lunatic control.”

    So all of you blowhards who want to grab my guns: good luck. I’m not going down easy. I’ve seen too much slaughter when you DON’T have a gun to defend yourself. But unlike Senator Feinstein, I won’t push my views on everyone. I won’t demand a law. I already have one…and in fact it’s a right that lies in the Constitution.

  • I’m sorry, and I know I will get “flamed,” but frankly I’m tired of this socialist witch milking the “assassination” incident in 1978. A pissed off city council member blows away a gay activist councilman and the mayor of San Fran. Hardly what we call an “assassination” but hey, let’s make Feinstein some sort of Kennedy-esque figure of tragedy.

    Further, about seeing “death up close and personal.” OK, so you milked that one incident too. Cry me a river. I trained at Johns Hopkins in surgery. I saw hundreds of deaths due to stabbings, shootings, auto accidents. And I treated a medical student who was raped by an HIV infected homeless monster…she was grabbed while walking back to her car after a long day treating…more homeless. I’ve seen all sorts of death…dead on arrival, dead after I tried to resuscitate for ten minutes, death on my operating room table, death when a Jehovah’s Witness who was stabbed stuck by her religion and refused blood transfusions…she died 12 hours later from slowly bleeding to death. So I’ve seen horrible stuff.

    And yet, I don’t peddle my views on guns, knives, autos, homeless, etc. on others. I don’t use my personal experiences of tragedy as an excuse to force others to give up their rights so that I feel “safe.” Feinstein is supposed to represent her constituents. Admittedly, many are wacko Californians, but many are noble and good people. They didn’t elect this sea witch to spew her one moment of horror onto paper, onto a law, and take away our right to (among other things) defend ourselves against (1) the raping homeless guy; (2) thugs who will beat, stab, or shoot you for sport; (3) apes that will kill you over a car, invade your home, etc.

    Feinstein, despite her “up close and personal” one time experience respun as “assassination” still carries a gun of her own for personal protection and says she will use it. I hope she’s a good marksman. If she comes to New York, I hope she can take out four thugs attacking her with 7 bullets. My wife? She’s now got a 17 round pistol because while she’s trained in shooting, she’s not trained in self-defense killing. Like me, she’s going to be nervous, and she’ll miss…maybe a lot. But she won’t have to reload.

    As for AR-15’s and the like: get over it. Poor old Harvey Milk, and the vast majority of gun deaths, are handguns. The two clearly insane, and clearly identified as insane, punks who recently used a rifle would not have been able to do so if, instead of gun control, you libs would give up on “civil rights for the crazy” and get me “lunatic control.”

    So all of you blowhards who want to grab my guns: good luck. I’m not going down easy. I’ve seen too much slaughter when you DON’T have a gun to defend yourself. But unlike Senator Feinstein, I won’t push my views on everyone. I won’t demand a law. I already have one…and in fact it’s a right that lies in the Constitution.