July 23rd, 2007
10:30 PM ET
7 years ago

Biden, Richardson on guns and 'babies'

(CNN) - Jerry Townsend of Clio, Michigan calmly told the candidates in his video he had sincere concerns about protecting his baby.

"To all the candidates, tell me your position on gun control as myself and other Americans really want to know if our babies our safe," Townsend said.

But Townsend's baby doesn't need health care reform, protection from terrorists or No Child Left Behind. His 'baby' was a gun.

"I'll tell you, if that's his baby, he needs help," Sen. Biden, D-Delaware, said. He went on to say that efforts should be focused on making sure people who are mentally imbalanced or who have a criminal record don't get their hands on guns.

Gov. Richardson, D-New Mexico, said instant background checks are key, in addition to "attacking poverty, bringing people together, dealing with those kids in the ghettos that are heavy users of gun violence, and they are victims of gun violence, to make sure that this country attacks the core problems of poverty, having childcare, bringing people together."

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soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Brenda Bridgett - Swartz Creek, MI

    Anderson, you did a fabulous job at keeing the candidates on the current question–despite some ignoring you!
    My husband and I thought this was the best political debate ever! Thanks to you and CNN/YouTube for a clever way to allow the public to ask the questions. And, not all people in Michigan are like that Jerry Townsend. I hope the Clio Police were watching!

    July 23, 2007 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  2. Josh, Waterbury CT

    "...Those kids in the ghettos that are heavy users of gun violence...?" I, along with most of America, understand what he's trying to get at, but whichever aide prepped him for tonight's debate forgot to mention that offending the inner-city minorities he referred to does not appear very presidential.

    July 23, 2007 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  3. Jaime, Orlando, FL

    Biden's verbal assault against the "gun baby" guy was completely unprofessional but totally hilarious. He certainly doesn't have my vote (Hillary 08!) but that remark earned him a standing ovation in my living room. It's nice to see politicians be real and make jokes for a change.

    July 23, 2007 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  4. Alan Tufft, Stockton, California

    Both Biden and Richardson, as did the audence, recognized the scarry mental attitude of the questioner, who is not unlike many gun owning Americans. Biden was more blunt, but Richardson stayed focused on policy specifics here to his credit, noting that guns are heavily used by the ignorant and poor. Sorry if this offends some living in the inner city, but it's reality.

    July 24, 2007 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  5. Jarrod- Santa Rosa, CA

    As far as Richardson goes, he's a long shot for a nomination- so I'm not worried about him. He talks about a lot of good ideas and principals, but at the end of the day- I wouldn't expect any more from him.

    I think it's important for our Constitutional right to bare arms is protected, because if our country was ever invaded or our own government started attacking its' people, it is essential to be armed and to be able to protect our families.

    But I think the NRA and the conservatives need to realize that gun-"control" is important for America. The rules for purchasing a weapon should be very strict. I also think that several safety classes should be taken and passed in order for a citizen to purchase fire arms. I think getting a license to own a fire arm should be 10 times harder than getting a license to drive.

    July 24, 2007 05:56 am at 5:56 am |
  6. Anonymous

    Biden can kiss by "baby's" barrel. I'm sick and tired of the gun grabbers violating my second amendment rights because of the actions of criminals who break the laws anyway.

    July 24, 2007 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  7. Jody Bourque Lafayette Louisiana

    I am appalled by what I saw last night. If this is what the democrats have to offer the United States, "God Help Us!"

    I find it very curious that more have not commented on Sen. Joe Biden's childish and aimed remarks toward the United States Citizen on gun control. It was appalling, childish, and very un-becoming of a would be U.S. President. Yes, the young man wasn't dressed in a suit or had the looks of a politician, but he did speak very well and had a legitimate question.

    Oh, and did anyone notice the young man made it clear that the gun he was holding and owned was purchased under the useless "1994 Clinton Assault Ban." Democrats, this is one of your so called acceptable firearms. Would you take that one away as well?

    Maybe everyone in this great country should hit the history books and read what happens to a society when you take away its means to defend itself from threats foreign and domestic. Oh,and if you can't read, just turn on the TV.

    July 24, 2007 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  8. jennifer, Livingston, NJ

    Senator Biden was absolutely right! He spoke what most people think of that guy honestly and non politically. We deserve a leader like him.
    He got my vote!

    July 24, 2007 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  9. Will - armed in Miami, FL

    Tufft from Stockton, California,

    It's a complete lie to say that most gun owners have a "scarry mental attitude". Try doing some research about the number of crimes committed with a firearm by concealed weapons permit holders in Florida for the last 5 years. I'm betting you won't find much.

    Do some research before you speak.

    July 24, 2007 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  10. David, Gilbert Arizona

    "Maybe everyone in this great country should hit the history books and read what happens to a society when you take away its means to defend itself from threats foreign and domestic. Oh,and if you can’t read, just turn on the TV."

    Come on Jody. If your government really wanted to attack you your gun isn't going to save you. Your government has weapons your gun can't even come close to. Your argument is so incredibly outdated and invalid it's laughable. It may have been true in the distant past but considering the highly technical weapons used by our armed forces the argument is null and void.

    I agree that gun bans are not the answer to violent crimes in the United States. Statistical data shows countries that have gun bans and countries that do not have gun bans still have very similar violent crime rates. Banning guns is not going to keep children safe. Owning a gun is not going to keep children safe either.

    Be real and honest. People own guns because they're fun to own. People who buy guns thinking they will be safer are fooling themselves. If this were true then violent crime rates in this country would be less than countries with gun bans. It isn't.

    Banning guns isn't going to keep you safe either. The number of violent crimes in the UK is just as high as that of the US.

    July 24, 2007 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  11. Mike, HI

    the scarry mental attitude of the questioner, who is not unlike many gun owning Americans.

    Wow, that's very fair...

    July 24, 2007 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  12. Jarrod- Santa Rosa, CA

    There's a difference between owning a decent gun that will protect you and owning an outrageous semi-automatic or fully-automatic machine gun...

    The 2nd Amendment is important, yes- but so is regulation on these weapons. I don't know if I approve of Joe Biden's comment about the YouTube questioner, but I certainly don't approve of the irresponsible NRA gun crazed right who only make it easier for criminals to access firearms.

    No one is banning the 2nd amendment- we just want to regulate gun "control"- this isn't the wild wild west. I know you guys from the midwest and Texas like the think otherwise.

    No one is taking your gun away- we're just simply making it harder to access these guns and attain a proper license and permit.

    Let me know when your kid goes to school one day and gets caught in a crossfire- and then tell me about your "baby"...

    July 24, 2007 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  13. Joeva Rock San Francisco, CA

    Richardson's comment about "those kids in the ghettos" was absolutely ridiculous and uncalled for. Not only was it completely not PC, but it could be perceived as racist as well. His comment is should be a red flag for all Americans.

    July 24, 2007 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  14. Mike, Orlando FL

    The comments that Biden made about the gun owner has made me so unbelievably mad! It is frustrating when I read comments that applaud Biden's anti-gun rant. There is NO proof that guns make our country more dangerous. Look at England and the huge increase in violent crime since they banned guns. I can't believe people who choose to ignore the constitution and treat the second amendment like nonsense. The news only reports how criminals use guns but rarely report how guns save lives.

    July 25, 2007 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  15. Tyler, Agoura Hills CA

    Jarrod- Santa Rosa, CA: We already have laws that say you have to take a gun safety course to be able to carry a firearm. How many laws do you think we should put in place before we are "safe"? What would stop politicians like Joe Biden from making it so tough to get a firearm that NO ONE will be able to buy one? More laws hurt good people, not criminals who BREAK laws. If guns are regulated than the government will know exactly who (law abiding citizens only) has guns, how many guns they have, and will be able to confiscate them. Look at what happened in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina when the government ILLEGALLY took away people's firearms! It can and has happened. People were left defenseless. More guns in the hands of law abiding citizens actually makes us SAFER. Including YOU Jarrod.

    July 25, 2007 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  16. Mike Chambers / Alabama


    July 26, 2007 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  17. Marie des L-S, University City, MO

    Bravo, Biden! Glad to see that not everything he says off the cuff, unplagiarized, is regretable. To me, this MORE than makes up for his innocently unPC, "Obama is clean and articulate" gaffe. Senator Biden should NOT back down one iota on this one! His highly "clean and articulate," refreshingly candid analysis and diagnosis of the questioner's SCARY (and bloggers, the word is SCARY, one 'r,' not scarry, altho the guy also seems scarRed), indeed, PATHOLOGICAL devotion to his dangerous "baby," is spot-on and completely merited. This head case was later quoted as saying he uses his "baby" (is that his offspring, or his lover?)to hunt coyotes! WTF?! Is his hunting skill so lame that he needs a bleeping MACHINE GUN to mow down scrawny, feral canine scavengers? Girl, please! And this mental inadequate is now the NRA's new darling, their poster child? That says it all. I may be for Edwards (and y'all, don't enable the demonizers of the word label; be PROUD of it; we are out there and we vote, too), but on this issue, Rock on, Joe.

    July 26, 2007 12:45 am at 12:45 am |