Biden's gun advice for earthquakes
January 24th, 2013
03:50 PM ET
9 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.

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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. fiftyfive55

    Here's a novel approach to gu n control.First get the criminals disarmed first,then take away Biden's bodyguards so he's on the same playing field as us and then we can have a fair discussion about self protection.

    January 25, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    guest wrote:

    ok. I don't own gun nor intend to buy one. My question is if guns are taken away from the general pubic, and the criminals can get hold of any kind of weapons, what good is that?
    Allow me to demonstrate the just how absurd that question really is.

    If they take away guns from everyone, then they would be taking guns away from you. Furthermore, if the criminals can get their hands on weapons, then you would also be able to obtain them, too.

    Finally, the only one talking about taking away all guns is the NRA.

    January 25, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  3. Idiots Believe Anything

    He didn't have an assault rifle people.

    January 25, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  4. S. Douglas

    I have several 30 rnd mags for my .223/5.56 carbine. I don't hunt and I don't have this rifle for defense. I have a .40 cal semi-auto hand gun for that. I do enjoy target shooting and being able to fire several bullets down range with out having to replenish the magazine is beneficial when working on accuracy. If you take a gun safety course being able to make a correction from the instructor without having to stop and shove bullets into a magazine saves valuable time and does not interrupt the thought/learning process. I love how these left wing politicians claim to be speaking for me; the "sportsman"! There are a lot things in this country that are not necessary; William Devane flying around his ranch in his private plane asking "what's in your safe?" for one.

    January 25, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  5. JakeF

    Anyone who has ever played a FPS game will tell you shotguns are the preferred weapon of choice in close quarters. That BFG just takes too much time to recharge.

    January 25, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  6. Kory P.

    Since we're catering to "what-if" situations, why don't we cover the fact that shotguns have horrible range and accuracy past 80 yards, sure they're devestating in close-quarters battle, but that's the point of a firefight.....making sure the enemy doesn't penetrate your defenses/perimeter. A man with a Remington 700 could take out five shotgun-wielding persons from 500 yards without reloading. Biden's an idiot.

    January 25, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  7. Ironic isnt it....LOL

    Does anyone else find it funny that Joe's shotgun has a pistol grip? Oh wait, it also has a foregrip!!! I hate to break it to you Mr. Joe, but that shotgun is an assault weapon....not a double-barrel. (For some reason all I can think of is Zombieland, and the salute to Bill Murry.) "Sorry, I have to reload....Its a double-barrel."

    January 25, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  8. jsmoulder

    Yep a double barrel shotgun is going to help you during a time of crises like the LA riots or what may happen after an earth quake. Shoot twice reload get attacked by the other twenty or so people behind the first ones shot before you can reload. He likes to point out that, that is how the Tucson shooter was stopped after emptying a magazine people jumped on him and stopped him. Biden is spouting a bunch of malarkey.

    January 25, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  9. Wilson

    Contrary to media myth, of course, these are not "assault weapons." Indeed, this bill is written by people who don't even know what an "assault weapon" is, other than the Left's prevailing definition: "Assault weapon - noun, 1. a scary-looking black rifle, 2. anything a politician says it is." Indeed, to determine the restrictions in both her bills, Feinstein recently admitted that she looked at pictures of guns.

    January 25, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  10. UDidntBuildThat

    RudyNYC-Allow me to demonstrate the just how absurd that question really is.
    If they take away guns from everyone, then they would be taking guns away from you. Furthermore, if the criminals can get their hands on weapons, then you would also be able to obtain them, too.
    Allow me to demonstrate how blatantly stupid YOUR argument is. If guns r illegal then the good law abiding citizens will not break the law, pay the exorbetant cost resulting fr the ban, risk their families & lives to get them. So who does that leave to get them? Criminals! So we whould accept your belief that we as citizens of this contry don't have a right to protect families, ourselves, &property. Because u and the rulers, the Dems, opinion is that we should not?

    January 25, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  11. Brian

    People always confuse what "assault weapons" and "assault rifles" are. "Assault rifles" are heavily regulated by the government. Why? They are fully automatic and intended for military use. "Assault weapons", are merely scary looking weapons that aren't any more dangerous than your standard hunting rifle.

    January 25, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  12. kmac

    here is a section of the Texas Penal Code...........

    (6) "Illegal knife" means a:
    (A) knife with a blade over five and one-half
    (B) hand instrument designed to cut or stab
    another by being thrown;
    (C) dagger, including but not limited to a dirk,
    stiletto, and poniard;
    (D) bowie knife;
    (E) sword; or
    (F) spear

    But not much prohibeted on guns. The Leg has even expand silencers for hunting. Don't want no skunks to hear the shots.

    January 25, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  13. Boytjie

    Let me correct your statement.
    A person with a gun is citizen.
    A person WITHOUT a gun is a subject.
    Therefore, the people of New York are Mayor Bloomberg's subjects. like in slaves, indentured servants, peons, etc.
    What a nutty statement! So anyone that chooses not to have a gun is not a citizen?? I am neither a slave, servant nor a peon. I am a citizen. I don't own a gun and have no desire to own one. And yes, when I was in the military I was trained to shoot a gun.

    January 25, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  14. Kevin

    "There's no sporting need that I'm aware of that has a magazine that holds 50 rounds"

    There are MANY sport shooting events that are built around speed and accuracy in which you try to hit as many targets as possible as fast as possible. It takes very good reflexes and hand/eye coordination to do it well. And no, they are not all based around becoming "more leathal". The VAST majority of participants simply enjoy the challenge, just as the VAST majority of F1 drivers enjoy pushing a car to it's limits on the track without any desire to do so on public roads

    As for the shotgun, one of the attractions to the AR15 is that it is more shootable for inexperienced or smaller framed persons... an inexpierenced 110lb woman fire a shotgun for self defence had better hit the first shot because the recoil will stun her to being incapactiated long enough for her attacker to react.... an AR15 has virtually no recoil and is easier for even an amateur to keep on target

    January 25, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  15. craig

    He is also acting like people wait for an earthquake then go to the store to buy an AR without knowing how to shoot it. Anyone that owns one knows how to use it already so his arguement is dumb.

    January 25, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  16. Mobius123

    The reason we have a 2nd amendment is to allow the citizens of the country to ensure that they remain free, and can repel government aggression – something that has happened in all major countries throughout history.

    The founders clearly had the best intentions in mind for the population at large.

    January 25, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  17. GuestCT

    II live in Ct and retired from law enforcement after a 20 year career. Have talked to several state cops at local gun shop and this is the scuttlebut going around among cops about the newtown school shooting; The AR!15 was not used or fired by Lanza. There is a gag order on this until after new gun legislation is put into law. The police report will not be out until after State and national legislation is enacted. Cops are upset that the country is being misled.

    January 25, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  18. Wilson

    "Kids would be alive today in Newtown, Connecticut, if the law that we're proposing today were in place on December 14th of last year. It's as simple as that." –Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT)

    53 million kids would be alive if abortion was never legalized. So it is not about kids lives.

    January 25, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  19. Get over it

    Is Joe trying to say if the CT shooter had used shotguns he would have been able to kill more innocents?

    January 25, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  20. Wake up People!

    Looks like Fox-Lite is once again doing their best to discredit Joe Biden. Trying to make him look foolish. Look at the stupid headline, that in itself speaks volumes. We know Fox-Lite, you let Mittens down last time..... You'll do better next time. I'm sure this will be trending all weekend.

    January 25, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  21. jim

    is there any mandatory medical testing of the president,vice pres,and members of congress to see if they are suffering from any form of mental illness.since many of the things they do and say effect all u.s. citizens ,we should have some protection of our rights to see if they need to leave office before doing damage to us.a good place to start would be the vice president as the news media keeps saying he makes many wierd comments all the time.maybe he has some form of dementia and needs to be evaluated.

    January 25, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  22. Draka

    Yes Rudynyc did not give the brightest response for his/her cause. But there are anti-gun people out there that can make good points .I grew up with longarms pistols and revolvers and have a ccl .I can survive without 10 + round magazines. Nut if you are asking me to give up something I should get something. I hear everyone should be afraid of the NRA evidently everyone is afraid of Hollywood and the Video game manufacturers .Biden has said practicly nothing to them

    January 25, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  23. Rob-Texas

    I never liked Joe Biden until today!

    January 25, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  24. California Gary

    And GuestCT – how often have you found the latest "scuttlebutt" about anything to be accurate? Just saying.......

    January 25, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  25. Kickstart

    Is'nt a baseball bat also an assault weapon? If I assault you with a birthday cake, is the cake not an assault weapon?

    January 25, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
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