Fox News' Eric Bolling selectively cropped footage of Sen. Dianne Feinstein discussing her proposed ban on assault weapons in an attempt to claim she flip-flopped on gun control.
On The Five, the co-hosts took up the topic of Feinstein's new proposed legislation to ban semi-automatic assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips. Bolling aired a one sentence from Feinstein's press conference introducing the assault weapons ban, in which she said, "Our weak gun laws allow these mass killings to be carried out again and again and again in our country." Bolling then claimed, "But the senator wasn't always so anti-gun." The next video showed Feinstein in 1995 testifying before the Senate, in which she explained she once carried a concealed weapon for self-defense after being targeted by terrorists.
Bolling declared that this was "a perfect example of political hypocrisy."
A look at Feinstein's full press conference disproves Bolling's claim. In the portion of her remarks Bolling chose not to air, Feinstein emphasized (at about 5:25 in the video): "[In the bill] we have tried to recognize legal hunting rights. We have tried to recognize legal defense rights. We have tried to recognize the right of a citizen to legally possess a weapon. No weapon is taken from anyone. The purpose is to dry up the supply of these weapons over time.
Feinstein has often expressed support for stronger gun laws while supporting an individual's right to possess some firearms in self-defense. She authored the 1994 assault weapons ban, one year before her Senate testimony where she described carrying a firearm to defend herself and her family. In a San Francisco Chronicle op-ed in July, Feinstein reiterated this position:
Let me be clear: If an individual wants to purchase a weapon for hunting or self-defense, I support that right.
But a semiautomatic assault rifle with a 100-round ammo drum - or a handgun with a 30-round magazine like the one used to shoot former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona - has but one purpose: to kill as many people as possible in as short a time as possible.
I challenge anyone who claims that prohibiting the purchase of military style assault weapons infringes on American freedoms.
Notably, Bolling is not the only Fox figure to selectively edit Feinstein's remarks on the assault weapons ban at her press conference.