Biden advises those with personal safety concerns to 'buy a shotgun'
US vice-president Joe Biden, who is leading the president’s push to pass tighter gun controls through Congress, has advised people concerned about defending themselves to buy a shotgun rather than an assault rifle.
Speaking at on an online questions-and-answers session hosted by Parents Magazine, Mr Biden said that a couple of blasts from a shotgun would scare off intruders whereas an AR-15 rifle was harder to aim.
The vice-president said he has two shotguns and shells that he keeps in a locked cabinet at home. The administration was not seeking to ban guns. “No one is taking my shotguns. If you want to protect yourself, get a double-barrel shotgun, have the shells for the 12-gauge shotgun,” he said, advising people against an AR-15.
He said he has advised his wife, Jill, to defend herself at their home in Delaware against would-be intruders by going outside and firing a double-barrelled shotgun twice. “We live in an area that’s wooded and secluded. I said, ‘Jill, if there’s ever a problem, just walk out on the balcony here. . . put that double-barrelled shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house. I promise you, whoever’s coming is not gonna’,” said Mr Biden in a broadcast streamed live from the White House. “You don’t need an AR-15 [assault rifle] – 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.”
Mr Biden was responding to a question posted on Facebook about whether the Obama administration’s proposal to ban assault rifles would make law-abiding citizens more of a target of criminals because they would not have a sufficient way of protecting themselves.
The vice-president, who is prone to gaffes in public speeches, said he had never heard such sentiments expressed in the pages of Parents Magazine.
Responding to questions, he said new limits on the use of assault rifles would not infringe on a citizen’s constitutional right to bear arms under the second amendment, nor did he think that a change to the amendment was necessary.
In the aftermath of the Newtown, Connecticut, shootings that left 26 dead including 20 children in December, the president wants to introduce background checks for gun buyers, and bans on military-style semi-automatic assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.