'Joe Biden defense' no longer needed in Washington state gun case
August 20th, 2014
07:07 PM ET
3 months ago

'Joe Biden defense' no longer needed in Washington state gun case

(CNN) – When a Washington state man was charged last year with unlawfully firing a shotgun, he had a simple explanation: Joe Biden told me to do it.

It appears, however, he no longer needs that defense.

The prosecuting attorney in the case against Jeffery Barton, 52, told CNN on Wednesday that the weapons count is out. He’ll now be charged with obstructing a law enforcement officer.

In July 2013, Barton told a judge in Clark County that he thought people were trying to break into his car at his home so he fired his shotgun in the air to scare them off.

"I did what Joe Biden told me to do," Barton told CNN affiliate KOIN. "I went outside and fired my shotgun in the air."

Biden did, in fact, tell people to fire a shotgun in the air if "there's ever a problem."

At the height of the gun-control debate that followed the 2012 Newtown shooting, Biden said during an online question-and-answer session that "If you want to protect yourself, get a double-barreled shot gun."

He added that he tells his wife, Jill, that "if there's ever a problem just walk out on the balcony here ... put that double-barreled shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house."

His comments were likely intended to underscore the position that shotguns were sufficient for self-defense, rather than semi-automatic weapons.

But Barton used the defense in his case.

Tony Golick, the county's prosecuting attorney, told CNN that "the charge of unlawful discharge of a weapon will not be pursued" because from the outset it was a "close call."

"We were concerned based on the facts of the case that a jury will not convict," Golick said. "The area that he discharged the fire arm in is a no shooting zone," the attorney said, adding though that people have the right to "protect their property as long as they use justifiable force."

Golick's trial for misdemeanor obstruction is now set for October 24.


Filed under: Joe Biden
soundoff (105 Responses)
  1. Ol' Yeller

    "And I would think that would include 7,000 black on black shootings, as well as the police shootings. Not just the police shootings. Don't we want all of these issues to be solved or do we only want to go after the cops?"

    Comparing apples to oranges... we as citizens do not pay 'blacks' to patrol our streets and protect and serve us. Whole different issue altogether... one that I might add gets trotted out there a lot when the conversations involves guns, however nothing ever gets done about it, though I'm sure it will correct itself if we will stop regulating businesses and allow the free market to adjust.

    Right?

    August 21, 2014 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    "And I would think that would include 7,000 black on black shootings, as well as the police shootings. Not just the police shootings. Don't we want all of these issues to be solved or do we only want to go after the cops?"

    Are you saying there are too many guns in this country? Because, yeah. I agree. Way too many guns.

    August 21, 2014 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  3. Tommy G

    Ol' Yeller
    --
    "The medical examiner hired by Brown's family has admitted that all six shots entered the front of his body, therefore, he was not fleeing"
    --
    Uh... better change the channel. That is NOT what Baden's findings were, but I'm sure it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy to believe that.
    --

    Baden has stated that his autopsy cannot conclusively determine if the wounds were suffered while standing still or in charging towards the officer.

    Witnesses have stated Brown advanced toward the officer that told him to freeze. This is AFTER the 6'4". 300lb Brown had assaulted the police officer, hitting him in the head, fracturing his skull around the eye socket, and reaching into the car to try and take the officers gun. At the point he started coming towards the officer, he had every right to unload his weapon into Brown because Brown had already made his intentions known and had already severely wounded the officer. The officer had every reason to fear for his life and was lucky to still be alive after Brown's initial assault through the car window.

    August 21, 2014 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    tom l
    (Please don't let this be a mistake on my part God...)
    Let's say your stats are correct tom l.
    Then let's say that your stats don't really matter because the CRUX of this issue is that there is something inherently sick, wrong and unfair in having the people that you pay to protect you shoot you to death.

    August 21, 2014 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The sad truth is that an African-American male in the United States has a much greater chance of being killed by another African-American male than being killed by the police.
    The police are not the problem.
    -----------------------------------------------------Your stat might be correct, but there is an even sadder truth and that is that the police tend to react with disproportionate violence when dealing with Black and Latino youths.
    Your stats do not change that fact.
    We're discussing Ferguson here, not Black on Black crime.
    The police have a problem.

    August 21, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  6. tom l

    Dominican mama 4 Obama

    tom l
    (Please don't let this be a mistake on my part God...)
    Let's say your stats are correct tom l.
    Then let's say that your stats don't really matter because the CRUX of this issue is that there is something inherently sick, wrong and unfair in having the people that you pay to protect you shoot you to death.

    ======

    I won't let you down. I agree with you and ol yeller that we are talking about different things with regards to police shootings and black on black shooting and I don't want to be misunderstood on that. Yes, absolutely, 100% there is something incredibly wrong with having to pay people that shoot and kill you and I believe I said that in my comment; not exactly but I certainly acknowledged that this is a problem. But the real problem is violence within the community and there is too many instances of black on black crime to not acknowledge that. Both are big problems and in different ways. We need to be honest, though, that black on black crime is a major issue that needs to be dealt with much like rogue cops acting unfairly and shooting black men. However, if it is indeed correct that there are 2 per week, why should all the focus be there blaming someone else rather than rectifying another problem. Shouldn't we at least add that to the discussion? And if more gun control laws is the solution, then I must ask how many of those 7,000 shootings were made by someone who legally had that gun? What law or greater gun control would have stopped those crimes? All I'm trying to say is that I believe we need to look at both major issues, not just one. And not one of you has acknowledged that problem even exists.

    August 21, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Have you ever heard of Amadou Dialo? He had his hands in the air, holding his wallet, and the NYC police shot him 40 times at close range
    -----------------------------------------------------
    My stats may be off.
    I thought it was 41 times Rudy.
    In NYC no less, INSIDE an apartment building (how about thattsmith? I'd say the po-po violated all kinds of safety training and, gun handling and blah blah nevermind the damage inflicted on UNARMED Dialo).

    August 21, 2014 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  8. smith

    @Rudy-Im not debating you on the methods you use to chase away a bear.

    August 21, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  9. Ol' Yeller

    @Tommy (eyewitness) G
    "Baden has stated that his autopsy cannot conclusively determine if the wounds were suffered while standing still or in charging towards the officer.

    Witnesses have stated Brown advanced toward the officer that told him to freeze. This is AFTER the 6'4". 300lb Brown had assaulted the police officer, hitting him in the head, fracturing his skull around the eye socket, and reaching into the car to try and take the officers gun. At the point he started coming towards the officer, he had every right to unload his weapon into Brown because Brown had already made his intentions known and had already severely wounded the officer. The officer had every reason to fear for his life and was lucky to still be alive after Brown's initial assault through the car window"

    Wow... I mean wow...

    Really? These are the 'facts'? I have not seen this level of detail (or plain made up fantasy) in any of the news reports I have seen (and I even watched a little of hannity the other night, with my barf bag close by... he was being his usual racist self, but did have two black rwnj's on there to bolster his credibility and make him appear to people like you to be 'fair and balanced').
    Talk about just making up a scenario based on little or no evidence and stating it as fact, I have never (oh, who am I kidding... all your posts are just over the top ignorant BS where you just rant like a moron for a few lines, call people some names, blame the Dems for everything and lie with impudence).

    How about we let the Court decide whether or not this Officer had the right to use deadly force based on the evidence presented, rather than your false narrative based solely on right wing radio nuts and faux news?

    August 21, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    And not one of you has acknowledged that problem even exists
    -----------------------------------------------------
    The problem exists tom l.
    Happy now?
    But stop trying to switch the subject.

    August 21, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  11. ????

    You guys might want to find another incident for the basis of your charges of systemic police brutality, There are lot of discrepancies about what was originally alleged versus what is now being reported.

    August 21, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  12. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Witnesses have stated Brown advanced toward the officer that told him to freeze. This is AFTER the 6’4″. 300lb Brown had assaulted the police officer, hitting him in the head, fracturing his skull around the eye socket, and reaching into the car to try and take the officers gun. At the point he started coming towards the officer, he had every right to unload his weapon into Brown because Brown had already made his intentions known and had already severely wounded the officer. The officer had every reason to fear for his life and was lucky to still be alive after Brown’s initial assault through the car window.

    This sounds a lot like the GZ story. Like that story, I don't believe this one either.

    August 21, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    This is AFTER the 6'4". 300lb Brown had assaulted the police officer, hitting him in the head, fracturing his skull around the eye socket
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Pretty good aim for somebody with a "fractured skull around the eye socket".
    I guess you CAN make this ish up.

    August 21, 2014 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  14. Jay

    Obstructing a officer from what??? Seizing his lawful weapon? Arresting him for defending his home/property? This is about ridiculous, what has happened to our country. Oh, too many government lawyers looking to up their resume.

    August 21, 2014 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  15. smith

    @DM40-Your way off again. Im talking warning shots being a bad idea and your talking about someone who murdered. Really? Your getting pretty bad with the false comparisons..smh

    August 21, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    smith

    @Rudy-Im not debating you on the methods you use to chase away a bear.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    So ultimately it didn't make any difference on whether he was chasing the bear away in the city or out in the woods smith because you are not debating the methods that he used to chase it away....
    Right.
    Flip
    Flop

    August 21, 2014 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  17. Ol' Yeller

    First two paragraphs of the St Louis Times front page story of the Baden autopsy of Michael Brown:

    "FERGUSON • A police officer’s bullet that killed Michael Brown here 10 days ago, igniting protests around the country, entered the top of the teen’s head as he was bent over or falling down, a private autopsy performed for Michael Brown’s family says.

    The autopsy couldn’t say, however, whether the unarmed teenager was retreating, charging or if he had his hands up when he was killed, a claim that has become a central rallying cry of protesters demanding justice in cities across the United States."

    So, righties... please tell us again how the autopsy proves Michael Brown was not hit in the back as many, many of the witnesses say. I'm sure all these people in Ferguson are just lying and in their second week of protests (risking their own lives, being tear gassed by police, and having their 1st Amendment rights trampled) because they saw an Officer defend himself against a charging giant of a man intent on killing him.
    Those 'blacks' are just making this all up and making a big deal out of nothing (and righties truly believe this because they do not see a young black man as deserving to have the same rights as them... and THIS is the problem).

    August 21, 2014 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  18. smith

    @DM4O-Your way off again. Im talking about warning shots being a bad idea because it could result in an unintented shooting. Your talking about someone who was murdered. Your false comparisons are getting pretty bad..smh

    August 21, 2014 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Ol' Yeller

    First two paragraphs of the St Louis Times front page story of the Baden autopsy of Michael Brown:

    "FERGUSON • A police officer’s bullet that killed Michael Brown here 10 days ago, igniting protests around the country, entered the top of the teen’s head as he was bent over or falling down, a private autopsy performed for Michael Brown’s family says.

    The autopsy couldn’t say, however, whether the unarmed teenager was retreating, charging or if he had his hands up when he was killed, a claim that has become a central rallying cry of protesters demanding justice in cities across the United States."

    So, righties... please tell us again how the autopsy proves Michael Brown was not hit in the back as many, many of the witnesses say. I'm sure all these people in Ferguson are just lying and in their second week of protests (risking their own lives, being tear gassed by police, and having their 1st Amendment rights trampled) because they saw an Officer defend himself against a charging giant of a man intent on killing him.
    Those 'blacks' are just making this all up and making a big deal out of nothing (and righties truly believe this because they do not see a young black man as deserving to have the same rights as them... and THIS is the problem).
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Thank you 'Ol Yeller.
    It won't shut them up, but thank you.

    August 21, 2014 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  20. Tom l

    How about we let the Court decide whether or not this Officer had the right to use deadly force based on the evidence presented, rather than your false narrative based solely on right wing radio nuts and faux news?
    ---

    I agree! So I want to be clear here, it's perfectly fine for you to say to smith that smith is ok with cops shooting a man in the back with his arms in the air (clearly you were referencing ferguson as that's what was being talked about) but tommy g is wrong to make assumptions (which I think he is wrong, as well).

    August 21, 2014 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  21. smith

    @Dm40-WOW, you didn`t read my comments. I will do this slow for you. Warning shots against people bad anyplace anytime. Warning shots to scare off a wild animal ok in the country side where no one is likley to get hurt and bad in the city where the chance of someone getting hurt increases alot. This isn`t hard.

    August 21, 2014 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  22. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Ooops smith.
    Mea culpa. My bad.
    I misread your post.
    Let me address it correctly now.
    I was referencing your post of a few days ago where you were going on and on about proper gun use and handling, and violation of gun training.
    And I was being tongue-in-cheek about it, obviously.
    Sorry if that nuance was lost on you.

    August 21, 2014 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  23. Tom l

    So, righties… please tell us again how the autopsy proves Michael Brown was not hit in the back as many, many of the witnesses say. I’m sure all these people in Ferguson are just lying and in their second week of protests (risking their own lives, being tear gassed by police, and having their 1st Amendment rights trampled) because they saw an Officer defend himself against a charging giant of a man intent on killing him.
    Those ‘blacks’ are just making this all up and making a big deal out of nothing (and righties truly believe this because they do not see a young black man as deserving to have the same rights as them… and THIS is the problem).

    ---–

    Why is this a left-right issue? And the autopsy showed that he was shot in the front, not the back. What is in dispute is what he was doin when was shot. But was is a fact is that he was shot in front, not in the back as witnesses claimed. The autopsy shows the exact opposite.

    August 21, 2014 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  24. everett walker

    It kind of make you wonder what he might have done to make the police mad at him. The Joseph Bidet Shotgun Thing road completely over that in all the media. Invoking anything Joe Bidet says as a defense might qualify a person for not guilty due to diminished capacity anyway.

    August 21, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  25. smith

    @Tom l-Im not taking a side in the Ferguson case until the facts come out. There is alot of smoke in the way of the truth at this point. Where somebody got the narrative that I think the police officer is innocent or Im okay with an unjustified shooting beats me because I never said that.

    August 21, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
1 2 3 4 5