February 19th, 2013
05:44 PM ET
1 year ago

Biden gives parenting advice, reloads shotgun line

(CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden explained the importance of gun safety to parents Tuesday with this analogy:

"You keep the cookies on the second shelf so they can't reach and then grab them all the time. People should not be in a position where their children have access to weapons and ammunition," he said.

He advocated for the gun violence reduction proposals President Barack Obama has advanced in an online chat on Tuesday sponsored by Parents Magazine. Biden answered questions submitted to the magazine by parents - including one question on how gun control could reduce individuals' ability to defend themselves.

Repeating advice he's offered previously, Biden again advocated for the shotgun in home defense.

"If you want to protect yourself, get a double-barreled shotgun," he said. "Have the shells of a 12-gauge shotgun and I promise you - as I told my wife … 'Jill, if there is ever a problem, just walk out on the balcony here, walk out, put that double barreled shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house. I promise you whoever is coming in is not going to.' "

The shotgun, he said, is more effective than an assault-style weapon such as the AR-15, which he said "is harder to aim, it is harder to use. … Buy a shotgun."

Biden has become the Obama administration's public face on gun control, first leading a group Obama tasked with meeting various stakeholders on the gun control issue and then promoting the platform in a series of ongoing public appearances. He will attend a gun violence conference on Thursday near Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 students and six adults were killed by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December.

In the online chat, Biden said he does not favor constitutional amendments to refine or adjust the Second Amendment, which as the constitutional source of gun rights is cited by both proponents and opponents to make their cases.

"The constitution does allow the government to conclude that there are certain types of weapons that no one can legally own," Biden said in the online chat. "Now if that were not the case then you should be able to legally go buy a flamethrower that the military has; you should be able to go - if you're a billionaire - buy an F-15 loaded with ordnance; you should be able to buy an M-1 tank; you should be able to buy a machine gun; you should be able to buy a grenade launcher."

The limits are imposed for "public safety," he said, and the Second Amendment allows space to "eliminate assault weapons and limit the number of shells or bullets in a magazine."

An assault weapons ban proposed by Obama and several members of Congress, however, is not expected to pass. The president's proposal also includes making background checks before gun sales universal, increasing police resources, and improving the mental health care and reporting system.


Filed under: Gun control • Joe Biden
soundoff (184 Responses)
  1. J100409

    With a proper background check and controls, one should be able to get an F-15 or M-1 tank...the 2nd Amendment isn't there to protect skeet shooting.

    February 19, 2013 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  2. RINO Bill

    Vice-President or not, it is not this clown's place to: (1) tell me what I must use to use to protect my home and my family and (2) interfere with the 2nd Amendment and restrict my choice of weapons with which I may defend my home and family.

    In other words Mr. Biden, what part of, "... shall not be infringed" do you not understand?

    February 19, 2013 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  3. SmarerthanPrez

    ... You can legally buy all of those if you have enough money. It's just REALLY, REALLY expensive.

    February 19, 2013 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  4. Daniel Phillips

    Hopefully individuals will not follow Mr. Biden's advice, walk out on the balcony and let loose with both barrels of a shotgun because they "heard" something. May be the pizza delivery man or the kid next door. As a firearms and hunter safety instructor we always taught our students to make sure they know what they are shooting at before pulling the trigger. Mr. Biden failed to share that bit of advice or does it matter because it's only a shotgun?

    February 19, 2013 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  5. JCommonSense

    Hey Joe, you're wife just fired off BOTH shots in the air. Now the intruder doesn't just know she has it, but she will have to reload now and may be hesitant to use it on a person. Brilliant! Idiot!

    February 19, 2013 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  6. Hryan

    Does Vice President Biden know that firing warning shots is illegal in most states?

    February 19, 2013 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  7. GBM

    Biden is obviously only into what is stereotypically "elite" in the shooting sports. Really dumb making the comment the shotgun is easier to handle. Probably never shot a modern semi auto sporting rifle.

    He probably doesn't have a clue that most people don't buy a firearm to kill intruders and doesn't have a clue that competitive firearms sports using modern semi auto sporting rifles (AKA Evil Black Rifles, "assault rifles"), semi auto handguns and higher capacity pump and semi auto shotguns are considerably more popular than his skeet and trap shooting.

    So, Mr. Biden in a recently reported incident an attacker walked away after being shot point blank 5 times. What if he had decided to get his back before walking away? How many shots does it take to stop an attacker that just ate the face off a homeless person as happened recently in Florida?

    February 19, 2013 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  8. Know Your Subject

    Biden's advice to his wife to go on the balcony and shoot outside the house is pretty amazing. I had no idea that Delaware had a Castle AND GROUNDS Law to allow indiscriminate shooting.

    February 19, 2013 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  9. Jeremy

    The VP is clueless....first off telling people to negligently discharge a firearm....

    then saying that it's not legal to buy a flame thrower...(it is) or buy a tank ...(it's legal) or buy a machine gun (legal) or a grenade launcher (again still legal).

    Again Biden is just being the useful id ot for teh administration....

    February 19, 2013 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  10. J:I:AM

    Hey plugs what's the maximum effective range of that shot gun? I've got a couple of weapons on a good day a thug/thugs could be up to a mile out and there they'll drop :) plus i like my large capacity mags it keeps those who mean us harm guessing will it be 20 or 30 rounds heading there way :)
    Hey be sure to tell your boss, He's a great salesman for the firearms industry!!! Quite Ironic that your boss while claiming he's for gun control had actually put more guns into the hands of the people. That's not counting that gun running operation "Fast & Furious".
    Remember, Against all enemies Foreign or Domestic we shall defend ourselves!!!

    February 19, 2013 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  11. Nicholas Smith

    I want you to know that a Russian Officer told me once that, "...The only reason we didn't attack you was that you can't get two Americans to agree on anything, and you're all heavily armed."

    Gun Background Checks would be acceptable to the anti-gun control folks if you can guarantee the weapon serial number is not included in the Gun Background Checks.

    What is a "Background Check?" A Background Check is a request for information from the gun dealer to the law enforcement agency of the Federal Government (ATF). If the person wanting to buy a gun is cleared the gun dealer is free to sell them the gun.

    The problem for anti-gun control folks is that the background check is tied to the serial number of the gun, and the anti-gun control folks believe the government cannot have that information that they consider a violation of their 2nd Amendment Rights.

    This is worth repeating.
    Make no mistake, background checks are de facto gun registration. The dealer keeps the forms, but the gun serial number is forever tied to the buyer, and in case of invasion, the first thing the enemy would do is get those forms then get the weapons. Just like in the movie "Red Dawn."

    Now, if you doubt this information, call your local gun dealer and ask about it.

    Gun registration is unconstitutional, therefore de facto gun registration background checks are unconstitutional. QED.

    February 19, 2013 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  12. Steve

    Flamethrowers are legal, yes you can own a tank if you can afford to restore it, yes you can have an F-15, again if you can afford to restore it. Double barrel shotgun is nice, but you only have two rounds, then reload. Boom Boom, you are now vulnerable until you can reload. AR-15 has 30 rounds before you need to reload. 2 chest, 1 head. An AR-15 easier to shoot than a shotgun, there's less recoil in a .223 than a 12 gauge. Adjustable stock can make it more comfortable to hold than a butt stocked shotgun. 00 Buck will cause more damage to soft tissue than a .223, but a .223 will leave a small mess to clean up. The best home defense solution is whatever you feel comfortable with using in the dark.

    February 19, 2013 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  13. Solomon Walker

    Let it go, Joe.
    You're embarrassing me.

    February 19, 2013 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  14. jess

    Uncontitutional laws arent laws

    February 19, 2013 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    The 2nd amendment is not about JUST home defense. Its about the U.S. people being the last line of defense for democracy.

    February 19, 2013 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  16. fm2833

    I just learned from the Vice President that it is o.k to shoot wildly and recklessly out in public as long as it is not a AR-15. Im glad the government cleared it up for us evil gun owners, double barrels o.k, AR's not o.k. But was the V.P talking about over unders or side by sides? I hope he clears that up so there will be no loop holes for myself and others to jump through.

    February 19, 2013 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  17. Sanity

    Wow, really? A shotgun is easier to use and easier to aim compared to an AR-15? The recoil on a 12-gauge is huge, on the AR its negligible.
    Oh yeah, and about that double barreled shotgun, go blast both barrels into the air, thats nice and safe, and now your empty and have to go scramble to get more shells and reload if they do come after you.......
    As for restrictions on what civilians can own, a flamethrower is not a firearm, nor is a grenade launcher, nor is a M1 Tank or an F-15 fighter......
    One thing to remember is the founding fathers wanted the government to be afraid of the people, NOT the people to be afraid of government. Enforce the laws, PUNISH criminals, turn prisons and jails back into places of punishment rather than glorified rec rooms and stop the revolving door that lets repeat criminals back out on the street hours after they are booked for multiple felonies and you WILL see the crime rates drop.
    I can 100% guarantee that crime rates will drop because the crooks will STAY LOCKED UP!
    Meanwhile stop treating law abiding citizens as criminals, stop wasting time and money on coming after gun owners who are responsible and well behaved. Turn that attention to the criminals and deal with the problem.

    February 19, 2013 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Shoot a double barrel in the air. What a dope.

    February 19, 2013 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    What a stupid comment from our second in command. Must not like his wife too much.

    February 19, 2013 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  20. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    That makes sense to me. At one point, the NRA and police were on the same page. The split happened when the police said that no one should have armor piercing bullets. The NRA thought that everyone should have access to that. I can see the problem. There is no need for anyone but the police to have that.

    February 19, 2013 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  21. Nicholas Stevens

    How is this misinterpreted.
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    It doesn't say anything about exceptions. As stated by the constitution, anything that isn't addressed in the constitution as being under federal control of the federal government is up to the states to control. So even if you can find an exception somehow, it is prohibited for the federal government to control it and is left up to the states to decide.

    February 19, 2013 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  22. Pleb

    This Biden thing is one heck of a nauseating character !

    February 19, 2013 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  23. Matthew Carberry

    So we're to take life and death advice from a man who feels women should be limited to two, harder kicking, still have to be aimed at defensive ranges, shots with a slow reload from a heavier and less ergonomic weapon, when the average home invasion involves 3 or more attackers?

    Not to mention the Veep doesn't know that flamethrowers are not firearms and are not and never have been federally regulated?

    How bout we let the people with actual knowledge and experience, not political hacks like Biden and assorted politically appointed Chiefs of Police, give the self-defense advice, hmmm?

    February 19, 2013 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  24. Ronald Paul Erwin

    Shooting a shotgun in the air as self defense is not an effective strategy. If you fear for yoru safety and employ deadly force, then use the shotgun for what it was intended, shoot the perps.

    February 19, 2013 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  25. Frank

    His advice is so stupid its frightening to think he's so close to the Presidency. First its illegal to discharge a weapon in public in his state. Secondly, what goes up must come down somewhere. Thirdly, shooting two shots in the air with a double barrel shot gun essentially disarms you, fourthly, shot guns are used more often in committing crimes than AR 15's and lastly why does he think women can't handle a rifle and what gives him the right to decide what's best–he's dumber than Palin and I wouldn't want her telling me either.

    February 20, 2013 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
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