Senator Dianne Feinstein Mishandles "Assault Rifle" in Public

Important: see note at bottom

According to Jill Labbe, "Guns nowhere as dangerous as liberals who can't handle them" (Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, 3/27/99),

"There stood Dianne Feinstein, the anti-gun senator from California, posing for all the nation's media to capture on Kodachrome, holding an AK-47 with her finger firmly planted on the trigger."

"Here's a woman so concerned about the supposed recklessness of gun manufacturers that she's calling for a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines- the justification being little more than anecdotal evidence- who wouldn't know firearm safety if it bit her on the end of her upturned San Franciscan nose."

Labbe rightly points out Ms. Feinstein's violation of the rules of safe firearm handling. Any military person or police officer (along with millions of responsible civilian firearm owners- the people Ms. Feinstein, who has shown herself to be an irresponsible firearm owner, wants to disarm), will tell you, "Never put your finger inside the trigger guard unless you want to fire the weapon." Eddie Eagle, the NRA safety mascot who teaches firearm safety to children, probably has some good lessons for so-called adult Feinstein.

Robert Frenchu's page at shows a picture of Dianne Feinstein posing with the AK-47. (Originator: inform me if this is copyrighted, or if you would like credit or a link to your site.) If there's an audience in front of her, the muzzle is almost certainly pointed at it. Never point a gun at anyone or anything you wouldn't want to shoot! Also, note the apparent postion of Ms. Feinstein's right finger.

Kids! What does NRA mascot Eddie Eagle tell you to do when you see a firearm being handled this way?

That's right: "Stop. Don't Touch. Leave the Area. Tell an Adult."

It's disappointing that none of the adults (police officers) behind Ms. Feinstein whispered a reminder to her; they probably learned proper firearm handling the first day on the firing range. What's even more frightening is that this individual, although she wants strict gun laws for ordinary citizens, has a permit to carry a loaded and concealed pistol in California.

I used Corel PhotoPaint to resample (blow up) a section of the photo to six or seven times its original size. This shows the position of Ms. Feinstein's trigger finger, and it also shows that the semiautomatic rifle's breech is apparently closed. This is another blatant violation of the canons of safe and responsible firearm handling; the breech is always left open, especially around other people, unless the firearm is in use.* An open breech shows that the chamber is empty, and the weapon cannot fire when the breech is open. When the breech is closed, there is no way of telling whether there is a live round in the chamber- and whether there's a cocked firing pin behind it.

I can't tell whether the "high-capacity clip" about which Senator Feinstein and other gun control supporters complain is in the rifle. If it is, this is yet another safety violation; the clip is always removed from the weapon when it isn't in use.

Dianne Feinstein: "Gun laws are for everybody but me."

"If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an out-right ban, picking up every one of them... 'Mr. and Mrs. America, turn 'em all in,' I would have done it. I could not do that. The votes weren't here." CBS-TV's "60 Minutes", February 5, 1995. Does this statement include Ms. Feinstein's own handgun, which she has a permit to carry in California, or only the handguns of "common citizens?"

* Sometimes firearms must be stored with their breeches or cylinders closed to exclude dust and dirt. The first thing one does when taking the firearm out is to open the breech or cylinder to make sure it is empty; this also is the last thing one does before storing the weapon. On a firing range, the breech or cylinder is always left open before the shooter goes forward to retrieve a target. When handing a firearm to another person, one always opens it to show that it is empty.

Important note: reply from San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown

I received a reply on 3/13/2000 from Mayor Brown re: my letter about this incident. He states that:
  1. Ms. Feinstein voluntarily relinquished her pistol permit and weapon a long time ago.
    • I play hard but fair. If she no longer has the permit and the weapon, my other pages, leaflets, and so on will be modified accordingly.
  2. The firearm shown above was "unloaded, disabled, and 'locked.'"
    • "Unloaded" does not, of course, make it safe to handle as shown. If, however, "disabled" means it was rendered unable to fire under any circumstances, e.g. firing pin removed, breech disassembled, or something similar, I am willing to conclude that it was no more dangerous than an inert theatrical prop (such as one actor might safely point at another).
    • Nonetheless, I think Ms. Feinstein set a poor example by handling the weapon in this manner. I recall a Star Trek episode in which one person let a phaser point at another, who said, "Watch where you point that." The first replied, "Don't worry, the safety is on." The idea that "the safety is on" makes it all right to point any weapon (even a science fiction one) at another person should not be propagated by any media.
From (emphasis at the end is mine)
U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) on terrorism and self-defense:
The following comments were made by U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) during U.S. Senate hearings on terrorism held in Washington, D.C. on April 27, 1995:

"Because less than twenty years ago I was the target of a terrorist group. It was the New World Liberation Front. They blew up power stations and put a bomb at my home when my husband was dying of cancer. And the bomb didn't detonate. ... I was very lucky. But, I thought of what might have happened. Later the same group shot out all the windows of my home."

"And, I know the sense of helplessness that people feel. I know the urge to arm yourself because that's what I did. I was trained in firearms. I'd walk to the hospital when my husband was sick. I carried a concealed weapon. I made the determination that if somebody was going to try to take me out, I was going to take them with me."

Dianne Feinstein, the Night Stalker's Accomplice (New, 3/12/00)

From "Reign of Terror" at the "Amazingly enough, then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein held a news conference in which she told the press about all of the evidence that the L.A. task force had assembled with special attention to the Avia shoe footprints and ballistics evidence.  Back in Los Angeles, Salerno and Carrillo were aghast at the mayor had essentially tipped off the Stalker about the most important evidence they had, giving him the opportunity to get rid of the Avia sneakers and the guns." The Night Stalker raped a woman afterward, thanks partly to Dianne Feinstein, who says ordinary citizens can't be trusted with guns, but who doesn't have enough sense not to spill details of police investigations.
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