Sunday June 21, 2015
Melting Guns into Crosses
In the aftermath of the murders of nine black churchgoers by a white supremacist in Charleston, S.C. this week, and the various Confederate flag/gun control debates that have followed, I've been reading an excellent New Yorker profile by Connie Bruck on Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), a cool, insider technocrat, doing battle with both the CIA and (sadly) the White House over the efficacy and morality of torture in our post-9/11 world. In the midst of that, we get this background:
In 1992, she ran for the Senate against an incumbent Republican, John Seymour. In their biggest debate, her political consultant Bill Carrick recalled, Seymour charged that Feinstein, a strong advocate of gun control, had owned a handgun. “Dianne explained that at one point the ['70s left-wing guerilla group] New World Liberation Front had planted a bomb in a flower box outside her daughter Katherine's bedroom window,” Carrick said. “And, yes, she had gotten a gun. But, she said, after a while she realized it would do no good. She launched a citywide campaign, urging San Franciscans to turn in their guns. And she concluded, 'The Pope was coming to town. So we melted down all these guns we'd collected and gave them to him, in the form of a cross.' ” Feinstein won easily.
Would that South Carolina had similar leaders.