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. TSB8C

    Obama needs to share his teleprompter with Biden. Left to his own speaking abilities, Biden can't keep is foot out of his mouth.

    February 20, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  2. Joe

    Is the vice president also going to tell us what brand of toilet paper we should use? Maybe tell us what our favorite color is? What our favorite flavor of ice cream should be?

    February 20, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  3. pettis

    how in heavens name did we get stuck with such a moron for VP?

    February 20, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  4. Orionwy

    Funny, discharging a wepon outside the house is a crime. Least in city limits.

    February 20, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  5. vance jones

    that's just it there biden. i can buy a machine gun and a grenade launcher. in fact i can buy a fully automatic grenade launcher. that is the MK-19 a crew served 40mm automatic grenade launcher that shoots 325 rounds a minute on a cyclic rate of fire. i must have my federal firearms license, pay the proper taxes and have the proper stamps and i can have one.

    biden needs to stick to something he's good at it. and that isn't being in the position he's in now. he knows nothing upon which he speaks.

    February 20, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  6. Hillarity Clinton

    Sounds like Pistorius got his gun advice from Wacky Joe Biden. We are so lost with poiticos like we have!

    February 20, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  7. Cogito

    The point is, Joe, that it is my RIGHT to chooses whatever firearm I wish, whether you agree it's the best choice or not.
    If you want to infringe on that RIGHT, then do it the correct way and pass a constitutional amendment.
    Home defense isn't the only reason to own a gun, and it isn't the only reason I do.

    February 20, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  8. Romney is Still NOT My Hero

    Yep – Uncle Joe is proving yet again why President Obama is secure in his office. Thanks Joe for keeping our President safe – one quote at a time.

    February 20, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  9. J Mantifel

    how in heavens name did we get stuck with such a moron for VP?

    Because we have a moron for a president. They go hand in hand.

    February 20, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  10. Bernie

    This coming from a man who has around the clock protection from men carrying automatic weapons...paid by the tax payers. I recommended that Joe lets his protection go and go buy that double barrell shotgun like he recommends for the rest of us. Being a former Deputy Sheriff of 13 years, I totally think anyone has the right to use what they want for protection. Law Enforcement is not there for your protection. They arrive afterward to take the report. They carry weapons for their protection ...not yours. I know of no L.E. that carries double barrell shotguns! You are the first line of defense for your safety...when Joe and Obama lets their protection detail go and buy that double barrell...let me know!

    February 20, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  11. Oakspar77777

    "The constitution does allow the government to conclude that there are certain types of weapons that no one can legally own,"

    We agree, Mr. Biden, so long as the government doesn't use it, it is fine to ban. To say that something is illegal for us, but legal for the government is NOT okay.

    February 20, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  12. scieng

    Biden understands that what he proposed is a felony in most places. He also understands that taking on multiple criminals with what would then be an empty shotgun is ridiculous. Even Biden should be smarter than this. He is simply telling people "the only good victim is a dead one (or something like that)".

    February 20, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  13. just sayin

    what an embarrassment to this country. i still think the guy ain't playin with a full deck and needs to get checked out.

    February 20, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  14. us_1776

    The 2nd amendment was written at a time when the US was 99% rural and sparsely populated.

    Neither of those are true today.

    We need to institute reasonable gun control.

    No mental cases allowed to buy or possess weapons.

    No military-style assault rifles.

    Full background checks. No instant checks.

    Mandatory waiting periods.

    Mandatory firearms training in handling and safety.

    This is just common sense stuff.


    February 20, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  15. bryanfred

    A double-barrel?? So after you've fired off that blast you have to break the gun, remove the spent shells and reload. Better hope the intruder ran off, otherwise you're going to be scrambling for new shells, loading them, then aiming (and possibly firing) the gun at someone coming at you...all in a matter of seconds. Something the typical civilian can surely handle, provided they remembered to carry more shells and their hands aren't shaking uncontrollably.

    February 20, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  16. OhPlease

    It's interesting that you all know so much about Joe Biden. Wait, I meant DON'T know. The things he says that he is criticized for are largely things that are true and ok, just not "politically correct". This man knows more about his job that any of you will ever know about it. He has lived with senseless loss and yet he has such a positive character. Ever hopeful but not unaware of the hurdles, he just moves forward. You might think that is stupid but it's called "getting on with it". Just because he doesn't practice a moronic script when he talks, and because he talks from his heart and his experience unlike most politicians doesn't make HIM the moron. It makes him one of the "good" ones. Why can't people see past what they don't like in a person, lose the FEAR that a few vocal gun owners instill in them, and see the heart of the matter. No one needs any type of gun they can get their hand on. The guns in questions are arms of WAR. You want to end the violence, end the FIGHT. Focus on living in peace, not fighting war. Or go somewhere where you see an automatic weapon every 10 feet, on the back of a revolutionary or a soldier. That's what you really want anyway, right. An indisputable reason to keep your killing machines – or at least your "right" to own them.

    February 20, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  17. much thunder.little rain

    the gift that keeps giving ..uncle joes stupid remarks

    February 20, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  18. awaiting moderation

    With a class 3 license you should be able to buy most any weapon out there.Commerce could not exist if every thing was put on the list of forbidden.Most of the weapons, down through history, were invented by regular people with an unclouded mind and no particular ax to grind.

    February 20, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  19. JT

    First of all, those of you assuming that the pellets aren't going to do any damage must be assuming he's loaded up with bird shot. I've shot buckshot throuh 1/4" steel at fairly close range so I'm pretty sure it's going through any walls in your house (maybe not a solid wood door) and maybe into the neighbor's house. If you shoot it up in the air, you're probably safe, but again it's not loaded with little bb's it's full of large metal balls much bigger than your average hail stone, and falling much faster, too.

    Secondly, while shotguns are indeed "scatter" guns that spread is only going to cover 1-2 feet at any range you're going to be shooting, so accuracy is still just as important.

    Why on earth would anyone suggest owning a double barrel shotgun for anything besides an interesting piece of wall art? A simple pump shotgun is a much better choice.

    February 20, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  20. awaiting moderation

    Obiden is the only sane one there,he speaks his mind unlike the other politicians who beat around the bush with their answers.You always know what he is thinking.

    February 20, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  21. Steve

    A pump or semi-auto shotgun would be more effective than a double barreled model.

    February 20, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  22. OhPlease

    Oakspar77777, are you off your rocker? Does the government use those weapons you refer to against the every day citizen? They are weapons of WAR. While I agree, I wish we didn't fight wars or at least not fight them by sending men and women to put their lives on the line, you can't justify sending them to war with rocks and a slingshot! Obama already shows how he prefers to fight violence – by targeting the specific source of the violence. Not by putting boots on the ground with tons of guns. And that's only if diplomacy fails. I think if he and Joe could snap their fingers and change the way rights and freedoms are defended they would take every one of those weapons out of the equation. Then what would whiney fear-driven paranoids use as their excuse to think they have the right to carry arms of war? I'm sure the republicans would think of some other "reason" to make you fear for your existence. Stop living in fear. You are perpetuating a lie that will only create what you fear. Do it for your children. And if you don't have any, do it for the children of your friends. If you have any.

    February 20, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  23. Rabble Rouser

    We had moron for President during the Bush 43 administration and a moron for VP during the Bush 41 administration. It tends to even out.

    February 20, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  24. Chris

    The nut job that killed those school children and teachers got the idea from -– TELEVISION! He watched hours and hours of violent VIDEO GAMES to learn how to attack. His plan -- to outdo the nut job from Norway! Lack of a specific gun type was not going to stop him. Eliminate violence from video games and television. They serve no purpose.

    February 20, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  25. NameA MARINE

    If Mr biden was smart he would read up on what the laws are prior to trying to change them. Any citizen can buy a machine gun (full automatic) and can also buy a grenade launcher. But only after purchasing a license ($2000.00), and passing a background check.
    Another thing Mr biden, some people can't handle the recoil of a shotgun. A pistol is easier to use, aim, and reload than a shotgun, has more rounds in needed. And Mr biden, your biggest mistake is you told your wife to fire her 2 shots off the balcony. Do you not know that firing a gun off in the air is more dangerous to your neighbors, since you have no idea where the buckshot or slug will come down. Every year people are hurt or killed by stray rounds fired into the air to celebrate holidays. Do you like giving out bad advice and incorrect information? Your starting to remind me of Dan Quail, another VP that proved stupidity is a qualification for public office. And I am a Democrat.

    February 20, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
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