Biden: Public's guns shift similar to same-sex marriage
May 9th, 2013
05:35 PM ET
10 years ago

Biden: Public's guns shift similar to same-sex marriage

(CNN) – The progression of public attitude toward an acceptance of same-sex marriage can also be seen in the quest for more restrictive gun control laws, Vice President Joe Biden asserted in an interview published Thursday.

Biden, who led the Obama administration task force to develop proposals for new gun laws, said Americans' stance on guns had changed after the Newtown school shooting, but that some lawmakers have yet to acknowledge the shift.

"My argument was, 'You've got it wrong. The public has changed.' And guess what? It turns out we were right," Biden told Rolling Stone. "To use the vernacular, there's suddenly a lot of senators out there who have seen the Lord."

Noting the blowback Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-New Hampshire, has received for her "no" vote on expanding background checks on gun sales, Biden said he could name "four senators who called me and said, 'Jesus, I guess you were right – maybe we can find some other way of doing this. Can we bring this back up?'" – though in the interview he did not actually name those lawmakers.

Recalling his very public endorsement of same-sex marriage – he came out in support of the issue ahead of President Obama – Biden said a similar change could be seen on guns.

"I got blowback from everybody but the president," he recalled. "I walked in that Monday, he had a big grin on his face, he put his arms around me and said, 'Well, Joe, God love you, you say what you think.' I knew he agreed with me. It wasn't like he was in a different place. My point is: That's where the public is on guns. There has been a seminal shift in the attitude of the American public toward gun safety."

While gun control advocates received a substantial setback in April when the Senate defeated measures expanding background checks, the fight is not yet over, Biden said.

"We're going right back at it. The biggest thing that's changed is that the people who were for the background checks are saying it will be a determining issue. There's pace on the ball now; this is a different country. I'm convinced we'll be able to bring this back up, and I'm convinced we can win this."

In the wide-ranging interview with Rolling Stone, Biden also explained at length the administration's stance on climate change and Syria, and expounded on his own relationship with Obama.

Read the full Q and A with Rolling Stone here.

Filed under: Gun control • Vice President Biden
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Getoverit

    Yeah, big shift. Up to 4% that think it's important.

    May 9, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  2. just askin

    why isn't biden attacking the democrats that wouldn't support the gun legislation. had they supported it, it would have passed. and all those democrat senators in red states up for re-election in 2014 will find out what their party's endless attacks on our second amendment rights gets them.... booted!

    May 9, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    5 year old shoots 7 year old brother with daddy's gun
    3 year old kills himself with daddy's gun (FL)
    5 year old kills 2 year old sister with his gun that specifically made and marketed to kids his age
    2 year old blows his own head off with daddy's gun (TX)

    What? That's just the beginning of this week. Hold your horses, the week's not over yet...we'll make the NRA's quota for innocent blood spilled to pay for our freedumbs by Friday, don't you worry...either that or we'll die trying....

    May 9, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  4. rs

    why isn't biden attacking the democrats that wouldn't support the gun legislation. had they supported it, it would have passed.
    If the GOP wasn't running yet another filibuster (something like number 470 of the last 5 years) the bill would have passed cleanly with the support it had. I think as much as the public wants reform on gun show and Internet gun sales, it is really tired of the GOP's blatant obstruction- hend the plummeting GOP Senator's popularity- and some of their conversion since. Just 2 more votes...

    May 9, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    He is trying to convince us.......but he is, after all, an outrageous LIAR!

    May 9, 2013 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  6. ron

    its not about a shift,,,,,our rights our are rights, no matter what the country feels...miden is to blame and obama for not securing the schools after the colorado shootings...and then he acts tough.;..what a hypocrite

    May 9, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  7. DMG2FUN

    Gun safety? Just another name for leftist aka progressive socialist gun hater gun control!

    May 9, 2013 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  8. DumbDumbDem&RepVoters

    I love how Adam Kokesh's armed march on D.C. on July 4th has been completely ignored. Biden and the rest of the liars on capital hill are probably hopping we voluntaryists would just go away. For those of you who want real news: Adam Kokesh of Adam vs the Man will be conducting an illegal armed with loaded riffles march on D.C. as an act of civil disobedience against Police State Capital D.C.. Fore more info please tune-out CNN and all major media groups.

    May 9, 2013 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  9. bill of right

    Twenty year study proves gun violence is down. Current gun laws work fine. Personally I have never witnessed gun violence of any kind, unless it was through media. Our federal government lost over 2000 registered guns to Americans, which were supposed to be destroyed, yet continues to show up at crime scenes through fast and furious, and our tried to get to the truth but Eric Holder pulled Obama's wool skirt to hide behind, like a coward that he is. And then there's Benghazi, the international fast and furious. We lost America's best men to these cowards. Those men gave their lives because they believed in America. Any respect I had for Obama is long gone.

    May 9, 2013 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  10. Mr. Moderate

    The world is changing in lots of ways and that's why you see such hysteria on the right. They are seeing their power base slipping away to an America that is more diverse and accepting. That makes it harder for them to maintain their power base and it is scaring the heck out of them.

    May 9, 2013 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  11. Lynn

    We will see again who supports what. Flake is offering his vote for bribe. Since the law wont do anything about it i guess 2014 will tell just how much support they got. And we don't use SAMPLE polls.

    May 9, 2013 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  12. Mac

    I wonder if a study by the Dept of Justice covering the last 20 years that show that gun violence has dropped by 50% in the US makes a difference to Biden at all. I wonder if the fact that none of the last 4 mass killings would have been prevented by anything he is trying to pass makes a difference at all. Why doesn't Biden actually try to get something passed that would have an effect such as actually enforcing the background failures that go unpunished OR get the States to submit valid mental illness information to the background check system already in place instead of trying to further limit law abiding citizens rights?

    May 10, 2013 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  13. sally-ann

    ban the manufacture and sale of guns...registration and strict control of the ones we have...license, insurance, background checks, fingerprinting, and $500 fee- all renewed yearly for gun owners

    May 10, 2013 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  14. Dennis Young

    Yes Biden wants to revisit gun control. Attacking the 2nd amendment has really worked out well for Leftists. I am sure looking forward to the re-write of the bill that would disarm we disgusting, vile, dangerous, baby killing Veterans. No due process, no right to privacy, hey, veterans don't deserve to be treated like "normal people".

    I hope Joe Biden does keep this issue in the news, every time he opens his bigoted mouth he serves our interests.

    May 10, 2013 04:41 am at 4:41 am |
  15. Don P

    Trying to save a little bit of face Joey?

    May 10, 2013 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  16. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    SHIFT !!!

    NO ammo of the shelf.
    It's like stores in the former Soviet Union.

    Gun sales UP by 150%

    FORWARD >>> >>> >>>

    May 10, 2013 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  17. Ed

    Think for yourself. You are smarter than the media. Leave the Second Amendment alone.

    May 10, 2013 07:39 am at 7:39 am |