February 19th, 2013
05:44 PM ET
9 years 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.

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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. sonny chapman

    VP Biden is right re: Real Life threats to safety where a firearm COULD help. A shotgun is great weapon on humans up to 75 yards. It doesn't need to be aimed precisely. One or two shots should do the trick. It's safer than pistols re: accidents at home, especially involving children. Unfortunately, there are too many GUN NUTS out there w/vivid imaginations, like Lyndsey Graham, who lie awake at night thinking up imaginary dangers. This is CHILDISH thinking by supposed adults.

    February 20, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  2. Bobbbb

    yea, yea, yea. Nobody needs a AR 15 to shoot a deer, yada, yada, yada. The reason everybody needs a AR 15 is the same reason the Syrians need Ar 15's which by the way our government is trying to give them.

    February 20, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  3. Manuel J.

    If "improving mental health care" means allowing for mental health access-only, then this is a non-starter. People are too concerned about privacy clauses and such. Second, 2011 FBI statistics PROVE that <1% of homicide, by firearms, are due to so-called assault rifles.

    As for Biden touting shotguns... If I chose ONE shotgun Bullet/Round of 00, I could eliminate or wound NINE PEOPLE with one shot versus one person using one round from a so-called assault rifle. Long story short, you Lib's and anti-gun folks don't know your head from your backside-hole.

    February 20, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  4. Rodger

    2 rounds of 00 buck = 30 33 cal. rounds if 2/3 hit that is 10 33 cal. rounds cutting through your home. Hope nobody you love is home.

    February 20, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  5. JEB

    As a very experienced gun enthusiast, I agree with Joe. By the way, to who said "what goes up must come down..." (insinuating the neighborhood would be endangered) I guess you never did any duck hunting and fired straight up in the air. The pellets do come down again, but wouldn't hurt a fly when they landed. The sound of a 12 ga. blast will certainly scare off the average intruder.

    February 20, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  6. Joemoma

    Maybe a sawed off shotgun Joe, oh wait they're already banned...

    February 20, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  7. DLF

    Please Please Please anyone who is reading this without doing their homework, DO NOT just shoot your gun off your back porch to "scare the intruder away". You will be the person going to jail and your intruder will get off free. You do not shoot to wound, or to scare away. Besides if you shoot a double barrel and "shoot both barrels" guess what.. you're empty. Please do not listen to his reasoning. Yes shotguns make great home defense guns but do not shoot to scare them away... what are they pigeons?

    February 20, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  8. Diraphe

    " '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.'"

    Now your wife has an unloaded weapon to defend herself with and has just demonstrated it to the assailants.....brilliant

    February 20, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  9. JEB

    to rbnlegend101 How old are you? You're knowledge on shot guns is nil! many years ago, when I was 16 years old and 120 lbs., I had a remington 1100 semi-auto,12 gage which I used to fire one handed over head – 5 shots emptying the gun in about 2 seconds. I did this many, many times with no problems

    February 20, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  10. Joe

    Doesn't Joe 'the Village Idiot' realize that what he suggested (as legal advice – it is from the VP!) 1) would be against the law in most jurisdictions (firing a weapon in your back yard would probably be a misdemeanor) and 2) in most states 'brandishing' a weapon to intimidate someone is considered assault with a deadly weapon. Our VP just suggested commiting a misdemeanor and a felony! Someone get this clown off the stage!

    February 20, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  11. Fubarack

    Biden should not own a gun, he is telling his wife to shoot indiscriminately out the door wtf For defense in the home, shooting out into the street is illegal, and not really home defense. But this white house beaks several gun laws, so this is not too surprising. He is correct about shotguns being a better home defense weapon. An auto loader 12 gauge makes a AR 15 look like a pea shooter.

    February 20, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  12. Michael

    Actually he's not right, he couldn't be more wrong. First, he violate the most time honored safety warning by suggesting step out on your balcony (not everyone lives in two story homes btw) and fire both barrels into the air and watch the suspect run. What goes up, is pretty much guaranteed to come down again with great force, usually through someones roof and possible into someone just minding their own business. Second, if the suspect can see you and notices you fired off both barrels, the suspect then knows, hey, he's out of ammo at the moment and might not flee. Its also very easy for him to say that being he and his family are guarded around the clock by armed federal agents. Shotguns are also referred to as scatter guns, because the buck shot basically scatters out over a wide arc in front of you which might be good for hunting turkey or whatever in the woods, but in an urban envrionment, precision is key. IN this day where criminals and home invaders are better armed the average police officer, don't think for one second that the average gun owner is going to give up theirs. Bottomline, if you don't like guns, don't buy one.

    February 20, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  13. Fed-Up

    The Vice President of the United States advocating walking out onto your deck and firing a double barrel shotgun into the air as a means of deterring criminals, is laughable and further demonstrates just how far out of touch with reality professional politicians have become. It also demonstrates just how ignorant they believe the American people are. Very bad form, Joe.

    February 20, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  14. Bryant

    This is the most uninformed thing I've heard. Somebody needs to take Biden to a range and show him the difference in recoil with an AR and a 12ga. An AR 15 is a lot more easy to shoot than a shotgun. Especially for a woman. And people DO own ALL of the things he mentioned. He doesnt know that because nobody is using them to cause harm.

    February 20, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  15. pushingiron

    You people that know nothing of firearms or self defense need to leave this to the professionals, not Joe Biden either. Biden may be an effective politican in ways, but when it comes to self defense or firearms knowledge he is a buffoon plain and simple. An AR-15 is in many ways a safer option than a shotgun, or even a pistol in the home. A small 9mm round will penetrate through many more walls than a 5.56/.223 round will. A shotgun blast, from #8 shot, or buckshot, does travel through many more walls than a AR-15 bullet will. This false belief that you do not have to aim a shotgun is the biggest bunch of bs that I have ever heard. The spread on a shotgun within the confines of a home is not very large, ask any firearms trainer or expert and they will blow this myth up. If the AR-15 is good enough for the military and law enforcement, it is good enough for civilians as well, that is why it has been the #1 selling firearm for many years. The 2nd Amendement is not about self defense or hunting, it is about the citizenry having the ability to overthrow a corrupt gov. You ask why is an AR-15 needed? Well last I checked it was the "Bill of Rights" not the "Bill of Needs."

    February 20, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  16. USVET

    JEB _there's one fault with your statement that the pellets won't hurt when they come down. Think about eye injuries. A random pellet, striking at just the right angle, can penetrate the eye resulting in loss of vision. So shooting into the air is not good is not a valid option in a home invasion situation anytime.

    February 20, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  17. JoePublic

    Watch how many dems get cleared out come election time..over their twisted agenda. It will be alarming how many get sent home over this. Address the mentally insane in this country for a start.

    February 20, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  18. USVET

    Biden needs to educate himself about what types of ammo are available for the AR-15. Some types disintegrate on impact but deliver a lethal punch. That precludes a bullet going through walls.

    February 20, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  19. PatheticCNN

    @Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer
    My Parents told me Do Take Advise from Fool.

    February 20, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  20. Drew

    Shotgun Joe Biden. I like it.

    February 20, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  21. Fubarack

    Biden needs to take a gun safety course.

    February 20, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  22. Fubarack

    Shooting guns in the air sounds more like Osama bin Laden, than Obama bin Biden.

    February 20, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  23. DrewVA

    I live in Park Place, Norfolk Va in a duplex I own, a very rough part of town. I live there because it was the only place I could responsibly afford. I have a Mossburg shot shotgun for home protection for the simple fact double 00 buckshot will evecerate anyone that happens to kick in my back door (as what happened to my next door neighbor at 1pm last sunday) but won't go through my walls (8" of plaster and lathe for all the gun nuts that say they will). If I did the same with an AR-15 or a 9mm I would have a good chance of shooting through a wall and KILLING MY TENNANT!

    February 20, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  24. DW

    More advice from our wanna be sportsman! LOL

    Ok shotguns do make good defense weapons but a Pump is a better choice than a double barrel shotgun, it holds more shells and you can pump it and most anyone that knows guns will know that sound which is a deterrent in itself.

    It has been said a few times already and that is DO NOT fire your gun unless you are defending yourself! It is very dangerous to shoot when you don't know what is in your line of fire even if it is in the air...

    The things that can happen if you fire your gun are you can injure or kill anything around you, you can damage your property or your neighbors and you can cause panic for those around you! Not to mention that it is illegal to discharge a firearm in the city limits.

    My advise is choose a protection gun based on what YOU are comfortable with and not what someone else thinks you should get as they are not the one that will need it if the time comes!

    I have a pump shotgun and a pistol for protection at home both with tactical lights for night use. The pistol is my first choice and the shotgun is for the wife since she doesn't need to be a good aim to hit an intruder with it.

    Of course I have different pistols for concealed carry and choose based on what I am doing or where I am going.

    February 20, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  25. Fair is Fair

    This is the best advice that Joe has given since he told the guy in the wheelchair to "stand up and take a bow".

    February 20, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
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