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Letter: Feinstein has reason for her positions on guns

During the course of the gun debate, I have come across many letters to the editor bemoaning Senator Dianne Feinstein's stance on assault weapons and gun bans in general. People are quick to criticize the senior senator from California about her ideas about gun safety, but it seems to me that many people have no idea why she takes the stance she does.

Let me be clear -- she is certainly not an ultra left-wing politician, In fact, she votes with Republicans quite often on issues of national security and fiscal responsibility. She is, in fact, pro- death penalty, which I suspect few people know.

Sen. Feinstein stepped on the national stage because of gun violence. As many scholars of political history should remember, in 1978, former San Francisco supervisor Dan White -- after being angered at not being re-appointed to his supervisor's seat -- shot and killed mayor George Moscone and supervisor Harvey Milk.

Feinstein had just returned to San Francisco earlier that weekend from a trip to Tibet and had made the decision to retire from politics. While she was in her office she saw Dan White whip by, and she tried to stop him and speak with him. Of course, Dan White was on his way to murder Harvey Milk. White subsequently escaped, and Feinstein went to Harvey Milk's office to see what happened. She tried opening the door to his office, which was blocked by his body. Smelling gunpowder and fearing the worst, she grabbed his wrist to check for a pulse and it slipped into a bullet hole.

To me that would be a traumatic event, and I know this scarred her for life. Feinstein is not about to take away your guns; she simply believes in stricter background checks and bans on assault rifles. So if you care to criticize Sen. Feinstein and think she knows nothing of guns and their effect on people, try thinking again.