WASHINGTON--Vice President Joe Biden's weapon of choice for personal protection: a shotgun, he said yesterday during a forum on gun violence hosted by Facebook and Parents Magazine. "Buy a shotgun. Buy a shotgun," he said.
Biden also smacked down a questioner who said drug bans did not work, so why would a gun ban "be different," noting no one in the Obama team is suggesting a gun ban--and what's the alternative " we just legalize all drugs? .....That would go real well in Parents magazine."
Biden used a pragmatic approach in arguing for a ban on assault weapons and a limit on the number of bullets in magazine clips, aiming at those who say they need the firepower for self-defense: "You don't need an AR-15"--a semi-automatic rifle-- if there is a problem at home because "it's harder to aim, it's harder to use," he said.
Biden owns two shotguns at home--referring to his Delaware residence--and in taking a question during the forum said "if you want to protect yourself, get a double-barrel shotgun, have the shells -- a 12-gauge shotgun -- and I promise you -- as I told my wife -- we live in an area that's wooded and somewhat secluded.
"I said, Jill, if there's ever a problem, just walk out on the balcony here, walk out, put that double-barrel shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house. I promise you: Whoever's coming in is not going to -- you don't need an AR-15. It's harder to aim, it's harder to use, and in fact, you don't need 30 rounds to protect yourself. Buy a shotgun. Buy a shotgun."
The Obama administration is not proposing any overall gun ban. Biden had a strong answer when he was asked "if the ban on drugs did not work with taking them off streets, how do you think a ban on guns is going to be different?"
"There is no ban on guns. No one's banning the gun. No one's taking my shotguns. I have two shotguns at home. They're in a -- in a cabinet. They're locked. There is a ammunition there as well. No one is going to come and take my gun," Biden said.
"No one's going to take anyone's gun. We're talking about a background check.
"And the analogy to -- if there was a ban on drugs, how could there be a ban on -- you know, how would any regulation of the type of weapon available out there, why would that make sense? Are you suggesting we have no -- we just legalize all drugs? Is that what you're suggesting? That would go real well in Parents magazine. Let's talk about everybody being able to -- no matter what your age, go out and be able to purchase cocaine. What do you think about that idea? Look, these comparisons are not appropriate, quite frankly.
"But secondly, the idea on -- you should have no law unless the law you have prevents all violations of that law, that is not the way society works. That is not the way we -- the moral disapprobation of society has an impact on behavior in societies. And the moral disapprobation of the idea that you can leave a loaded gun around your house, there shouldn't be gun safety practiced by families that own weapons, et cetera, is a very important element in seeing to there's greater gun safety and security for our children."