Biden's gun advice for earthquakes
January 24th, 2013
03:50 PM ET
2 years ago

Biden's gun advice for earthquakes

(CNN) – Assault weapons aren't needed, period. Not even in earthquakes. At least, that's what Vice President Joe Biden says.

Answering critics who say assault weapons would be useful as a last line of defense should a natural disaster result in chaos, Biden gave some advice Thursday in a discussion about gun control during a Google+ Hangout.

The vice president, known for his colorful, off-the-cuff remarks, said a double-barrel shotgun would be more practical in such a scenario, adding assault weapons are harder to handle for people unfamiliar with the firearms.

"It's harder to use an assault weapon to hit something than it is a shotgun, OK?" he said, as he mimicked holding a gun with both arms. "So if you want to keep people away in an earthquake, buy some shotgun shells."

Biden's comments came the same day Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein introduced her assault weapons ban bill, a piece of legislation with strong support from President Barack Obama. The president and vice president rolled out their own proposals to curb gun violence last week, and Biden will hit the road Friday to take the administration's case before the public in Richmond, Virginia.

Feinstein's measure would stop the sale, transfer, importation and manufacture of more than 100 specialty firearms and certain semi-automatic rifles.

Along with banning assault weapons, the administration and Feinstein also want to install a 10-round limit for magazines.

"I'm much less concerned quite frankly about what you'd call an assault weapon than I am about magazines and the number of rounds that can be held," Biden said.

One participant in the web discussion–who had initially asked the question about earthquakes–also followed up by asking whether a magazine cap would actually have an impact in a scenario such as the mass shooting at the Connecticut elementary school that left 26 dead, including 20 children.

Biden said that gunman, who had 30-round magazines, had to swap out "four or five times." If limited to 10 rounds, however, the vice president argued the gunman would have had to swap out 25 or 30 times.

"And so what would happen is the response time, in fact, may have saved one kid's life. Maybe if it took longer, maybe one more kid would be alive," Biden said.

He also pointed to the gunmen in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting and the Tucson, Arizona shooting, both of whom had to pause because their magazines either ran out or jammed.

When pressed on whether he expects an assault weapons ban or magazine limit to actually reduce crime, Biden said he's "not making the argument that this will end crime."

"I'm making the argument this way: There's no sporting need that I'm aware of that has a magazine that holds 50 rounds. None that I'm aware of. And I'm a sportsman."


Filed under: Gun rights • Joe Biden
soundoff (487 Responses)
  1. duane st.pete Florida

    wow...and this guy is number 2 in line to the Prez?? Dumber than a bag of hammers....you libs must be proud...lol

    January 25, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  2. Southerner01

    He's making a gun with his fingers, ban him from elementary shcools for life.

    January 25, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  3. syntnw

    I don't think Biden knows what he is doing. These senseless laws he, Obama, and Fienstien want will only cause senseless problems from law abiding citizens. Why push buttons?

    January 25, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  4. letsgostate08

    "Biden said that gunman, who had 30-round magazines, had to swap out "four or five times." If limited to 10 rounds, however, the vice president argued the gunman would have had to swap out 25 or 30 times." Our country is way behind in math and this proves it.

    January 25, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  5. Steve

    If shotguns are easier to use and more dangerous than "assault rifles," then why not ban shotguns instead?

    January 25, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  6. jefnvk

    "I'm much less concerned quite frankly about what you'd call an assault weapon than I am about magazines and the number of rounds that can be held," Biden said.

    First intelligent thing he has said about guns.

    "Biden said that gunman, who had 30-round magazines, had to swap out "four or five times." If limited to 10 rounds, however, the vice president argued the gunman would have had to swap out 25 or 30 times. "

    And then he has to go and sound not so smart. Major math fail on that one.

    January 25, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  7. don in albuquerque

    All I can say after reading some of these Marvin the Martian style reasons for needing assult weapons is "Oooh–Somebody hep me, hep me. Duh Evil Empire is coming to get me." I can tell you whose coming to get some of these people and it isn't the "gubmint".

    January 25, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  8. Jeff

    "I'm much less concerned quite frankly about what you'd call an assault weapon than I am about magazines and the number of rounds that can be held," Biden said.

    First intelligent thing he has said about guns.

    "Biden said that gunman, who had 30-round magazines, had to swap out "four or five times." If limited to 10 rounds, however, the vice president argued the gunman would have had to swap out 25 or 30 times. "

    And then he has to go and sound not so smart. Major math fail on that one.

    January 25, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  9. NYBoyinTexas

    Joe Biden is a joke. My wife is 90 lbs. There is no way she is going to shoot a shotgun. It would kick her from one end of the room to the other. An AR-15 is perfect. The stock can be shortened and since it is a semi-auto and a small caliber, the recoil is manageable. Joe should spend a little time studying statistics and he'll see that less than 350 people are killed in the US from ALL rifles, not just what the media gladly mislabels "assault weapons". If you want to stop the gun violence Joe, let's do something useful; put criminals in Jail.

    January 25, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  10. ME

    Ok joe. Let's have a shootout. You a double barrel shotgun, me an AK with a high capacity magazine. We'll see who wins.

    January 25, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  11. Anonymous

    you people are all nuts. Those who think they need these guns in case someone comes to take over your country are delusional. No one is going to take over your country, you have the biggest defense system in the world, your government is a democracy. Do you see all the people in other countries trying to take back their countries, they are not democracies, they want what you have. The rest of the world thinks you are absurd. No one wants to take away your right to bear arms and if the founding fathers could have seen into the future, they also would have made proivsions in that amendment concerning these types of weapons. If you think only mentally disturbed people should not have guns, take a good look at what you have posted and then go and see a good phyciatrist!

    January 25, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  12. i12bphil

    Joe Biden is a used car salesman.

    January 25, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  13. UDidntBuildThat

    Hey people! U voted for these Dems in office. More debt & deficits, high unemployment, lower wages, more taxes, cost of living higher, standard of living lower, higher health insurance cost, poverty rate increases in the very demographics that voted for DEMS, while the fat cats in govt and wall street get fatter. All Obama & media has do is come out and say anything, you low informed fools, want to hear and u all cheer. Then he goes and does the complete opposite or worse nothing. Obama says everything is getting better. REally did gas prices, & cost of living go back down to where it was when he took office in 2008? Dems talk about "equality" but Obamacare does not apply to them. They talk about economic equality but unemploymet stays high and the elites gets richer. Now the "equality" for guns is that only govt and criminals must have them. Not the rest of us.
    Don't u just love your HOPE & CHANGE?

    January 25, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  14. Mr Angry

    No one wants to endanger their neighbors if using a firearm to defend their home. A shotgun or pistol is very effective for defence... if you have enough ammunition. But what do you think is safer for the neighbors, discharging a pistol, shotgun or a modern rifle indoors? I have witnessed the test myself... a slower moving pistol round such as a .45 or 9mm or a shotgun round will penetrate walls and keep going. The higher velocity round of a modern rifle breaks up when it hits a hard surface and had much less chance of endangering you neighbors.

    January 25, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  15. chrisb

    Wow... really... in an emergency situation, Easier to handle a shotgun than a semi-auto rifle?
    In what reality Mr Biden?

    January 25, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  16. theinfamousratman

    It's not about needing assault weapons. I should be able to do whatever the hell I want with whatever I want as long as I'm not hurting someone else or infringing on their rights. The government has no reason to infringe on what I keep locked away in my home when I'm not infringing on any laws or the rights of others.

    January 25, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  17. Rush L.

    People should be allowed to have assult weapons in case there is a earthquake, or we are attack by beings from Mars.

    January 25, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  18. Mr

    Wow. Is this guy for real? He needs a new handler. Whoever I babysitting him now is failing.

    January 25, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  19. josh

    So where in the second amendment does it say the right to bear arms is for hunting and sports?

    January 25, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  20. i12bphil

    In a nut shell, here's the Democrat platform: We want to take your money and give it to people who did nothing to earn it, we want you to do what we say in regards to your individual freedoms and personal beliefs, we want to tax you to oblivion so we can keep spending ...and we want your guns so you can't do anything about it.

    January 25, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  21. Becky R.

    Use your heads, people. There's a reason why the old pioneers all had shotguns. Yeah, if you know how to use an assault rifle, that's one thing. But most people don't. At short range, in the middle of the night, with some pill head in your house planning to rob and kill you, grab old Betsy and point her in his general direction. You are not going to miss. Is the whole idea to look tough with an assault rifle, or to protect your family from a home invader?

    January 25, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  22. geckopelli

    Last Friday, while out in the middle of the desert miles from anything, two BLM cops swooped down on me out of nowhere then held me at bay while they tore up my camper looking for guns. They had no cause– but what was I going to do about ?
    They held me without cause for 1 1/2 hours while they ran a background check on me and my three guns– a single shot shotgun, a bolt action .22 rifle, and a .22 mag single action revolver. Of course I'm clean– but not Free!

    Keep your guns, people– looks like you might need them after all.

    January 25, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  23. guncrazy

    Hey Uncle Joe, 5 reloads with 30 rounds per mag = 150 shots fired. 30 reloads with 10 rounds per mag = 300 shots fired. Thanks for showing us all that the killer would be more dangerous with the 10 round mags !!!! WOW. Who voted for this guy ???

    January 25, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  24. tucsonBill

    This from a man with guaranteed 24/7 armed security! It can't be about preventing deaths, because very few are caused by the guns in question, and nobody is screaming for banning things like baseball bats. It can't be about preventing violent crime, because crime is down without a ban, these guns are used very infrequently in crime, and studies show that police presence has far more impact than gun control. It can't be about any reasoned, scientific studies, because the only thorough scientific studies show no advantage to gun control. It could be unreasoned panic or paranoia, but these would be more effectively addressed by getting to know your scary neighbors or getting some counseling about fear of inanimate objects. Or it could be a simple demonstration that a radically progressive government is indeed afraid of a well armed populace. Large magazines and modern firearms, and, most of all, the second amendment, aren't for hunting. They are for assuring the government never gets bigger than we, the people.

    January 25, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  25. geckopelli

    Last Friday, while out in the middle of the desert miles from anything, two BLM cops swooped down on me out of nowhere then held me at bay while they tore up my camper looking for guns. They had no cause– but what was I going to do about ?
    They held me without cause for 1 1/2 hours while they ran a background check on me and my three guns– a single shot shotgun, a bolt action .22 rifle, and a .22 mag single action revolver. Of course I'm clean– but not Free!

    January 25, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
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