'Joe Biden defense' no longer needed in Washington state gun case
August 20th, 2014
07:07 PM ET
7 years 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.

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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. tom l

    "a cop emptying his gun at a fleeing suspect (or one with his hands in the air) on a busy street, why that is perfectly okay"
    --

    Where did that happen because if you're trying to fit a narrative with what occurred in Ferguson this would be misleading, at best. He was not shot in the back and there are several different accounts on what happened. Were you there? Did you see it? Why are you trying to put your own facts on something that hasn't been figured out yet?

    August 21, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  2. ????

    @Dominican mama 4 Obama
    With the exception of calling Joe Biden a moron you actually make a very good point in regards to being seen outside brandishing a gun by the police, the police being as trigger-happy as they appear to be these days with people from a certain "continental" background.
    I don't particularly care for guns, but if I an intruder broke into my house, and I owned one, well, suffice it to say I'm not f'ing up my roof over somebody who is obviously trying to do me harm.
    We can sort it all out in court and the hospital.
    -----
    People like Joe Biden will get you either arrested, seriously injured or killed.

    Trigger happy police? Let me ask you a question. Pretend you are a policeman and you receive a call that someone is in fear of their life from an an unknown individual. You rush to the location and you see an unknown individual with a firearm, what do you do? Oh, by the way, you probably have ONE OR TWO SECONDS to make a decision. And by the way, if you make a "wrong" decision you might lose your job and go to prison for the rest of your life or you might end up in the morgue.

    August 21, 2014 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    tom l

    "a cop emptying his gun at a fleeing suspect (or one with his hands in the air) on a busy street, why that is perfectly okay"
    -

    Where did that happen because if you're trying to fit a narrative with what occurred in Ferguson this would be misleading, at best. He was not shot in the back and there are several different accounts on what happened. Were you there? Did you see it? Why are you trying to put your own facts on something that hasn't been figured out yet?
    --------------------------------
    Why do you assume Ferguson? 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.

    August 21, 2014 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  4. Ol' Yeller

    "We've not seen our two doves for a few years now."

    Well, don't look at me!
    Seriously, I haven't hunted dove in years and they usually don't come through our area for another month or so.
    I just used that experience to point out the inconsistencies (surprise, surprise) in smith's handwringing over concern for innocent bystanders of shotgun pellets fired in the air (danger quotient = 1) whereas he has absolutely no concern for innocent bystanders when cops are spraying 9mm slugs throughout city streets (danger quotient = 10). We had a cop open fire on a suspect in Wal Mart parking lot a month ago here. The crime... stealing beer (we used to call that 'Wahooing beer' here and it is kind of a right of passage... grab a 12 pack and run out the store yelling Wahoo! It's an Indian thing, I guess).

    I suppose those days are over though since the cops appear to be allowed to shoot you for the crime of raising you hands (or being black) and they have the support of the small government crowd (I find that hard to grasp, but a lot of their thought processes are very foreign to me... so inconsistent and just mean).

    August 21, 2014 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  5. tom l

    Sniffit

    '"200M had their healthcare turned upside down, paid higher taxes, lost their hospitals, doctor, healthcare plan, paid more and got higher deductibles, etc. and the worse of the obamacare nightmare is yet to come!! and it will, unless democrats are driven out of office."

    I relied on data, while you rely on self-serving ispe dixit propaganda from Faux and the rest. There's nothing whatsoever to support your assertion. Nothing. Not a scrap of evidence nor compilation of data.
    =======

    So, I work for a media company that has over 20,000 employees. The company has always offered 3 different types of plans. We had a PPO, HMO and low premium/high deductible HSA option that was always offered. This year, we only have one option – the low premium/high deductible HSA. Are you so blinded by your ideology that you don't realize that the sole reason for this change was due to the ACA? Of course it was. So, your particular assertion that nobody was affected is patently false as I am a real life example of a company that was completely and entirely affected by the ACA. You can blame the company or try to tap dance around and give me some long winded response because I know you would never, ever admit that the ACA has affected millions of Americans in a very negative way. I am just one of 20,000 here. How many other companies had this happen? I know for a fact that several of my friends in other industries have very similar stories to mine. So please save your politically driven and motivated comment for someone who might actually believe it because it is just, quite simply, not true. I can't wait for you or Rudy to blame the greed corporations and that will be your "out" to try and explain it away but it doesn't make your comment true. It actually demonstrates how false it really is.

    August 21, 2014 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  6. Rudy NYC

    somebody wrote:

    People like Joe Biden will get you either arrested, seriously injured or killed.

    Trigger happy police? Let me ask you a question. Pretend you are a policeman and you receive a call that someone is in fear of their life from an an unknown individual. You rush to the location and you see an unknown individual with a firearm, what do you do? Oh, by the way, you probably have ONE OR TWO SECONDS to make a decision. And by the way, if you make a "wrong" decision you might lose your job and go to prison for the rest of your life or you might end up in the morgue.
    -----------------------------–
    If you call the police about an intruder in your yard, and then you go outside with a shotgun and scare him off. If you are stupid enough to be waiting outside for the police to arrive with a shotgun in your hands, then don't be too surprised if you do get shot.

    August 21, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  7. ????

    tom l
    "a cop emptying his gun at a fleeing suspect (or one with his hands in the air) on a busy street, why that is perfectly okay"
    ************
    A fleeing suspect would have entry wounds in his back. 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. The original narrative of this incident that originally broadcast by the media has changed considerably.

    August 21, 2014 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  8. tom l

    ????

    @Dominican mama 4 Obama
    With the exception of calling Joe Biden a moron you actually make a very good point in regards to being seen outside brandishing a gun by the police, the police being as trigger-happy as they appear to be these days with people from a certain "continental" background.
    I don't particularly care for guns, but if I an intruder broke into my house, and I owned one, well, suffice it to say I'm not f'ing up my roof over somebody who is obviously trying to do me harm.
    We can sort it all out in court and the hospital.
    -–
    People like Joe Biden will get you either arrested, seriously injured or killed.

    Trigger happy police? Let me ask you a question. Pretend you are a policeman and you receive a call that someone is in fear of their life from an an unknown individual. You rush to the location and you see an unknown individual with a firearm, what do you do? Oh, by the way, you probably have ONE OR TWO SECONDS to make a decision. And by the way, if you make a "wrong" decision you might lose your job and go to prison for the rest of your life or you might end up in the morgue.
    ====

    I think it's also noteworthy that I believe that there are an average of 100 African Americans that are shot by police every year, that's 2 per week. That doesn't say whether the shootings were justified or not – it's just a total. I'm sure you will acknowledge that at least some of these shootings are justified. That being said, and acknowledging that this is something that can be improved upon, should we really be using all of our efforts for that? Or is the bigger problem black on black shootings which account for 7,000 per year? I would think that we need to stop being politically correct and acknowledge all of the problems facing young black men today. 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?

    August 21, 2014 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  9. dotheflippin'math

    Gotta' love the NRA/TeaGOP double-standard. One minute they agree with Biden, but as soon as the winds change, they attack him for the one thing they thought was ok. Common sense, consistency, decency, anyone? TeaGOP always happy to meet you halfway – it makes it easier for them to take a "shot" at you.

    August 21, 2014 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    People like Joe Biden will get you either arrested, seriously injured or killed.

    Trigger happy police? Let me ask you a question. Pretend you are a policeman and you receive a call that someone is in fear of their life from an an unknown individual. You rush to the location and you see an unknown individual with a firearm, what do you do? Oh, by the way, you probably have ONE OR TWO SECONDS to make a decision. And by the way, if you make a "wrong" decision you might lose your job and go to prison for the rest of your life or you might end up in the morgue.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    I think stand a better chance of being injured, kiled or arrested if you follow the example of a Dick Cheney rather than a Joe Biden.
    But that's just my opinion.
    Trigger happy police. Yes. As it pertains to how some members of the police force deal with a certain segment of the population.
    I hear and understand where you're coming from. The police do have a tough job where they have to make lightning fast decisions that involve their life or their death.
    I get all that.
    What you fail to see is the fact that there is a tendency for the police to react more violently, and with unnecessary gun fire when the people involved are Black or Latino.
    I have all the respect in the world for the po-po. I have stated that in previous posts.
    I would not do their job for all the tea in China, but some of them are out of control when it comes to dealing with our Black and Latino youth/men.
    That's a fact.
    Trigger happy is as nicely as I can put it.

    August 21, 2014 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  11. Ol' Yeller

    "Trigger happy police? Let me ask you a question. Pretend you are a policeman and you receive a call that someone is in fear of their life from an an unknown individual. You rush to the location and you see an unknown individual with a firearm, what do you do? Oh, by the way, you probably have ONE OR TWO SECONDS to make a decision. And by the way, if you make a "wrong" decision you might lose your job and go to prison for the rest of your life or you might end up in the morgue."

    I take a position behind my vehicle and unholster my weapan and engage the suspect verbally, ordering him to place the weapon on the ground.
    Okay, that was fun... now your turn. Pretend you are a policeman and you are driving down the street and see two black teens walking in the street. What do you do? Now keep in mind, these are just two black teens walking down the street... that is all...

    August 21, 2014 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  12. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Dominican mama 4 Obama says:
    August 21, 2014 11:00 am at 11:00 am
    People like Joe Biden will get you either arrested, seriously injured or killed.

    Trigger happy police? Let me ask you a question. Pretend you are a policeman and you receive a call that someone is in fear of their life from an an unknown individual. You rush to the location and you see an unknown individual with a firearm, what do you do? Oh, by the way, you probably have ONE OR TWO SECONDS to make a decision. And by the way, if you make a “wrong” decision you might lose your job and go to prison for the rest of your life or you might end up in the morgue.
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————————
    I think stand a better chance of being injured, kiled or arrested if you follow the example of a Dick Cheney rather than a Joe Biden.
    But that’s just my opinion.
    Trigger happy police. Yes. As it pertains to how some members of the police force deal with a certain segment of the population.
    I hear and understand where you’re coming from. The police do have a tough job where they have to make lightning fast decisions that involve their life or their death.
    I get all that.
    What you fail to see is the fact that there is a tendency for the police to react more violently, and with unnecessary gun fire when the people involved are Black or Latino.
    I have all the respect in the world for the po-po. I have stated that in previous posts.
    I would not do their job for all the tea in China, but some of them are out of control when it comes to dealing with our Black and Latino youth/men.
    That’s a fact.
    Trigger happy is as nicely as I can put it.

    I couldn't agree more. Very well said my sister! 👏👏

    Like you, the warden is on the move!!! TTYL!!

    August 21, 2014 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    smith

    @DM40-So now I am persecuting Rudy by asking a question? What, are you still mad that I was right about jumping to conclusions about so-called shot in the back that didn`t happend.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Your question was ridiculous smith as everyone knows that Rudy lives in NYC.
    So yeah, it was a set-up question in my opinion.
    Angry? Not at all as I did not debate the shot to the head with you.
    If you will recall, my response to you centered around the fact that ALL the witnesses in Ferguson were in complete agreement that yet another unarmed Black youth had been shot to death by the police.
    This was addressing your statement that unlike Bergdahl the witnesses in Ferguson were not all in agreement.
    I try not to let gnats or Usual Suspects get under my skin smith.

    August 21, 2014 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  14. 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.

    August 21, 2014 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  15. Lynda/Minnesota

    Ol' Yeller
    "We've not seen our two doves for a few years now."

    Well, don't look at me
    --------------–

    Nah. I wasn't. They'd been coming around for well over 10 years. I suspect they aren't flying much anymore.

    And for the rest of your comment: 100% yeah.

    "I just used that experience to point out the inconsistencies (surprise, surprise) in smith's handwringing over concern for innocent bystanders of shotgun pellets fired in the air (danger quotient = 1) whereas he has absolutely no concern for innocent bystanders when cops are spraying 9mm slugs throughout city streets (danger quotient = 10)."

    August 21, 2014 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  16. Rudy NYC

    tom l posted:

    I think it's also noteworthy that I believe that there are an average of 100 African Americans that are shot by police every year, that's 2 per week. That doesn't say whether the shootings were justified or not – it's just a total. I'm sure you will acknowledge that at least some of these shootings are justified. That being said, and acknowledging that this is something that can be improved upon, should we really be using all of our efforts for that? Or is the bigger problem black on black shootings which account for 7,000 per year? I would think that we need to stop being politically correct and acknowledge all of the problems facing young black men today. 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?
    ---------------------------
    It's called stricter gun control laws in urban areas, but the NRA has convinced conservatives that stricter laws in urban areas is a bad thing. The NRA even got Chicago's handgun ban overturned a couple of years ago or so, and since that time handgun violence has spiked. It used to be illegal to carry a handgun in Chicago, not anymore.

    August 21, 2014 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  17. ????

    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.

    August 21, 2014 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  18. tom l

    Rudy NYC

    tom l

    "a cop emptying his gun at a fleeing suspect (or one with his hands in the air) on a busy street, why that is perfectly okay"

    Where did that happen because if you're trying to fit a narrative with what occurred in Ferguson this would be misleading, at best. He was not shot in the back and there are several different accounts on what happened. Were you there? Did you see it? Why are you trying to put your own facts on something that hasn't been figured out yet?
    ----------–
    Why do you assume Ferguson? 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.
    ====

    So, while the Diallo case is tragic and shows the cops were totally wrong, you had to go back to 1999. And are you seriously so obtuse not to say that he was talking about Michael Brown? Why do you have to do that and try to get us off a tangent when we all know full well he was referring to Ferguson.

    August 21, 2014 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  19. tom l

    Rudy NYC

    tom l posted:

    I think it's also noteworthy that I believe that there are an average of 100 African Americans that are shot by police every year, that's 2 per week. That doesn't say whether the shootings were justified or not – it's just a total. I'm sure you will acknowledge that at least some of these shootings are justified. That being said, and acknowledging that this is something that can be improved upon, should we really be using all of our efforts for that? Or is the bigger problem black on black shootings which account for 7,000 per year? I would think that we need to stop being politically correct and acknowledge all of the problems facing young black men today. 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?
    ---------
    It's called stricter gun control laws in urban areas, but the NRA has convinced conservatives that stricter laws in urban areas is a bad thing. The NRA even got Chicago's handgun ban overturned a couple of years ago or so, and since that time handgun violence has spiked. It used to be illegal to carry a handgun in Chicago, not anymore.
    ====

    So you think the solution to the black on black shooting is stricter gun control? Really? So basically you're saying that all of these 7,000 shootings were done by people who had a legal right to possess the gun they used? Are you serious?

    August 21, 2014 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  20. ????

    @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.
    ********************
    "In a news conference, Dr. Baden says Brown was shot four times in the arm. He was also shot twice in the head. The private autopsy was performed by Dr. Michael Baden, former Chief Medical Examiner for New York City. Dr. Baden says all of the gunshots appeared to have been fired into Brown’s front. He didn’t find any gunpowder residue on his body. This suggests the shots were fired from a distance. The unarmed 18-year-old was shot to death August 9th by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson."

    August 21, 2014 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  21. Rudy NYC

    @smith Chasing bears away can actually be easier at long range, than it is at close range. Echoes of the blast can confuse the animal. At longer ranges, the direction of the shot's origination is easy to discern, and echoes will usually sound like distant shots that pose less of an immediate threat. So, the bear runs away from the original shot.

    At closer ranges, bears can behave erratically because they cannot always discern the direction of where the shot originated, If you are in an area prone to echoes, which I am, then shots can seem to come from all directions. So, when bear, or other animal, is within 100 feet of the house I will fire a shot out the opposite side of the house, which seems to make it easier for the animal to discern a direction for the danger. Besides, I like having the house between me and the bear, anyway.

    August 21, 2014 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  22. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Lynda Minnesota
    We've not seen our two doves for a few years now
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Dick Cheney.
    That's all I'm going to say...!

    August 21, 2014 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  23. smith

    @DM40-First, how and heck am I supposed to know when the event that Rudy was talking about was recent or in the past. Better yet, how am I supposed to know that Rudy has lived in NYC his whole life? Im not a cleric or mind reader. Second, some of witnesses have had different accounts of what happend that has been reported on CNN as well as other networks. Third, in the Bergdahl case there was no witness that said anything different from what his fellow troops said, the Afghan villagers said, or the statemnts made by his captors.

    August 21, 2014 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  24. Silence DoGood

    Tom l: "And I would think that would include 7,000 black on black shootings"
    -----------------
    This shows the absurdity of NRA "solutions". How is the mostly white NRA suggestion of arming more white folks going to stop black on black shootings?

    August 21, 2014 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  25. Rudy NYC

    "...Or is the bigger problem black on black shootings which account for 7,000 per year?..."
    ---------------------------------
    The biggest problem is 20,000+ gun related suicides by year, very few of which are committed by blacks.

    The right wing can try to change the subject if they want to, but people have noticed that conservatives haven't done anything about black on black crime, either. If anything, gun rights, political activists have made the problems worse.

    August 21, 2014 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
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