US News: Biden’s legal advice will get you arrested

posted at 2:41 pm on February 21, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

When I first heard about Joe Biden’s response to a question about home defense, I said, “What?” As it turns out, I wasn’t alone in my shock over the extremely dangerous advice given by Biden as an alternative to owning an AR-15 or a high-capacity magazine for any other semiautomatic.  If you follow the Vice President’s advice here, you may well find yourself in prison for negligent homicide, as US News explains:

“I said, ‘Jill, if there’s ever a problem, just walk out on the balcony here, walk out and put that double-barrel shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house,’” Biden said.

“You don’t need an AR-15—it’s harder to aim,” he added, “it’s harder to use, and in fact you don’t need 30 rounds to protect yourself. Buy a shotgun! Buy a shotgun!”

Before we get to Steven Nelson’s analysis of the “the worst type of advice,” Allahpundit made a point about the weapon choice:

Here’s the vice president of the United States encouraging you to go on out and get yourself a 12-gauge, just like the one he’s got. Why? Because it’s easier to aim and use than an AR-15, which … I’m pretty sure isn’t true, but whatever. Just buy a shotgun. Buy a shotgun. That way, if ever you snap and head off on a killing spree, the death toll will be limited. Unless you bring a bag of shells with you and reload quickly, I guess. In which case, who knows?

A shotgun is a good choice for home defense, but not the double-barreled type, unless you’re fortunate to only have one threat in front of you.  It takes too much time to open the weapon, pull out the spent shells, and reload, especially when frightened and stressed.  A pump-action shotgun is a much better choice because (a) it holds more rounds in case there is more than one threat, and (b) no one can possibly mistake the cha-chunk of a pump loading the shell.  A shotgun is easier to aim because you don’t need as much precision to hit the target, as you would with an AR-15 and especially a pistol under stress.  If you get close, you’ll probably score a hit.

The rest, however, is nonsense — and dangerous nonsense, seemingly taken from TV shows rather than any sort of instruction on firearms use. Anyone who has gone through a firearms safety course knows this basic rule: Never fire a “warning shot” into the air — especially when it means you have to reload immediately, as you would with two blasts from a double-barreled shotgun; you’ve just effectively disarmed yourself.

But more to the point, it ignores the physics of the ammunition.  What goes up must come down, and when it does, it can kill — and often does:

Rob Wiltbank, a gun rights advocate who founded Delaware Open Carry in 2008, told U.S. News he agrees with the vice president that a shotgun would be good for home protection, but he was also troubled by the hypothetical.

“It would be incredibly irresponsible of a gun owner to blindly discharge a firearm into the air,” said Wiltbank. “What goes up, must come down and this specific behavior has been the cause of many negligent homicides over the years.”

Tom Shellenberger, a lawyer who serves as a spokesman for the Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association, told U.S. News that Biden’s security tip was “the worst type of advice.”

It also ignores another key legal fact that people who study to carry weapons learn immediately, which is that one cannot use deadly force to protect property.  Self-defense in homicides only apply when there is a reasonable belief that one’s life is in imminent danger (or that of another):

Garey said that under Biden’s scenario, Jill Biden could be charged with aggravated menacing, a felony, and reckless endangering in the first degree.

“You cannot use deadly force to protect property” in Delaware, added Garey.

“It is not uncommon” for people to be charged with crimes under similar circumstances, he said. “I’ve seen cases where lawful citizens have used guns outside their homes and they end up arrested.”

Besides, it’s also tactically stupid:

In addition to felony charges, Shellenberger cited the “Discharge of a firearm within 15 yards of a road (7 Del.C. § 719), a misdemeanor,” and “Violation of the residential dwelling safety zone as set forth in 7 Del.C. § 723, also a misdemeanor.”

“Beyond the potential criminal liability, it is simply bad advice,” added Shellenberger. “Not only does blasting blindly away put innocent persons at risk, it also tells the bad guys where you are and that you are armed. In most circumstances, it might be better if that comes as a surprise to the bad guys.”

If Biden doesn’t have the common sense to understand any of the above, let alone all of the above, why should anyone trust his efforts to rewrite gun laws that limit our legal rights to self-defense?


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in pretty much every shooter I play, the shotgun is hands down the best weapon

I can clear rooms of guys with assault weapons and SMGs

nonpartisan on February 21, 2013 at 2:43 PM

This man makes me feel smarter every day.

BobMbx on February 21, 2013 at 2:44 PM

But, but, but….Sarah Palin is a dope.

SNL told me so. /average libtard

sentinelrules on February 21, 2013 at 2:46 PM

In Joe Biden’s defense anyone dumb enough to actually follow his advice on anything isn’t long for this world in any case.

sharrukin on February 21, 2013 at 2:47 PM

in pretty much every shooter I play, the shotgun is hands down the best weapon

I can clear rooms of guys with assault weapons and SMGs

nonpartisan on February 21, 2013 at 2:43 PM

Joe?

sharrukin on February 21, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Bob Owens covered this yesterday, Ed. It was much better than this and replete with examples.

Why is it always a post sucking up to the big news organizations here at HA, instead of linking to our own team?

Dusty on February 21, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Well, but, but Sheriff Joe said……

redguy on February 21, 2013 at 2:48 PM

I think Biden should try his own advice (in Delaware).

nobar on February 21, 2013 at 2:49 PM

And with those words….

“Shotgun Joe” was born.

William Eaton on February 21, 2013 at 2:49 PM

Actually, in the event that his wife followed Sheriff Joe’s advise in such a situation, there would be virtually no consequence for her whatsoever, so he thoughtlessly speaks from a hypothetical personal situation.

Of course an ordinary private citizen not of the political or social elite would most certainly face serious consequences in doing the same.

hawkeye54 on February 21, 2013 at 2:50 PM

I loved the 911 tape of that woman who shot an intruder that was coming out after she and her kids as they were cowering in the attic.

The woman had called her husband who called 911 so you heard him telling the dispatcher what was going on. At one point he’s telling the dispatcher “she’s shooting, she’s shooting, she’s shooting.” and then afterwards, apparently his wife tells him that the intruder is still moving, so the man says “Well shoot him again.”

That Mr. Vice President is home security. Not some crazy idea about shooting a gun into the air. Those would be warning shots and your stupid wife wouldn’t have time to re-load if she really were in danger. And while she’s under Secret Service protection now, there will be a time when she will have to rely on safe zones, call boxes, or peeing on herself for protection should you and your rat-eared boss have anything to say about it.

Happy Nomad on February 21, 2013 at 2:50 PM

Joe Biden Recommends Pop-Gun As Criminal Deterrent
http://thepeoplescube.com/peoples-blog/joe-biden-recommends-pop-gun-criminal-protection-t10749.html

Ask about our Biden Special:

http://thepeoplescube.com/peoples_resource/image/19866

Colbyjack on February 21, 2013 at 2:50 PM

It’s no wonder that Colorado representative said women shouldn’t defend themselves from potential rape because they might shoot someone other than the perpetrator – he’s been getting his advice from Slow Joe.

Bitter Clinger on February 21, 2013 at 2:52 PM

“Discharge of a firearm within 15 yards of a road (7 Del.C. § 719), a misdemeanor,” and “Violation of the residential dwelling safety zone as set forth in 7 Del.C. § 723, also a misdemeanor.”

We in Michigan don’t have such requirements. Besides, I live over 40′ from the road. BWAhahahaha…

Also, legs make pretty good targets and rarely does a leg shot end up as a homicide.

DannoJyd on February 21, 2013 at 2:53 PM

Make ‘Five Phone Calls for Freedom’
GRNC Alert 2-21-13: Fight Pending Attack by Obama Radicals
http://www.grnc.org/grnc-alerts-archive/424-grnc-alert-2-21-13-fight-pending-attack-by-obama-radicals

Southern by choice22 on February 21, 2013 at 2:54 PM

If Biden doesn’t have the common sense to understand…

I’m not quite sure what the word “if” is doing in this sentence.

Mr. Bingley on February 21, 2013 at 2:54 PM

But, but, but….Sarah Palin is a dope.

SNL told me so. /average libtard & bluegill

sentinelrules on February 21, 2013 at 2:46 PM

Fixed for accuracy.

totherightofthem on February 21, 2013 at 2:55 PM

Here is another consideration: Would you rather spend money on a lawyer or a doctor and/or a funeral home. Shooting first keeps the doctor away when unwelcome intruders invade your property.

DannoJyd on February 21, 2013 at 2:55 PM

in pretty much every shooter I play, the shotgun is hands down the best weapon

I can clear rooms of guys with assault weapons and SMGs

nonpartisan on February 21, 2013 at 2:43 PM

I always take advice from video games too…

RationalIcthus on February 21, 2013 at 2:57 PM

Warning shots? But what if you’re limited to one round like so many gun-grabbers want?

http://www.nationalreview.com/sites/default/files/nfs/uploaded/u87252/2013/02/pic_slideshow_022013_SM_idex116.jpg

Liam on February 21, 2013 at 2:58 PM

I think Biden should try his own advice (in Delaware).

nobar on February 21, 2013 at 2:49 PM

Sad part is it sounds like Biden speaks from experience. I wonder how many times old Joe has combined alcohol and shotguns together?

William Eaton on February 21, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Southern by choice22 on February 21, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Here is a follow-up for those who don’t like clicking on links:

Find Your Representatives

NC STATE House & Senate: http://www.grnc.org/contact_reps.htm

FEDERAL Congressman: http://www.house.gov/writerep/

FEDERAL Senators: http://www.senate.gov/

DannoJyd on February 21, 2013 at 3:00 PM

I assume that Biden also tells his wife, if there is “ever a problem,” to pee on herself and vomit?

Because that’s what women need to do!

Sincerely,
The Democrats

LASue on February 21, 2013 at 3:00 PM

in pretty much every shooter I play, the shotgun is hands down the best weapon

I can clear rooms of guys with assault weapons and SMGs

nonpartisan on February 21, 2013 at 2:43 PM

In many video games I can break floating bricks with my head. Doesnt’ mean I can do it in real life.

DethMetalCookieMonst on February 21, 2013 at 3:01 PM

I mean…

Alcoholic Joe + Shotgun Joe + Stupid Joe = Manslaughter Joe.

William Eaton on February 21, 2013 at 3:02 PM

What is it with our VPs and doing stupid things with shot guns?

DethMetalCookieMonst on February 21, 2013 at 3:02 PM

Given’s Joey’s incompetent advice, I’d suggest his shotgun be taken away from him before he hurts someone.

GarandFan on February 21, 2013 at 3:02 PM


Here is a follow-up for those who don’t like clicking on links:

Find Your Representatives

NC STATE House & Senate: http://www.grnc.org/contact_reps.htm

FEDERAL Congressman: http://www.house.gov/writerep/

FEDERAL Senators: http://www.senate.gov/

DannoJyd on February 21, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Thank you – I didn’t want to post the whole alert from another state.

But I think it’s a worthwhile effort we all should make.

Southern by choice22 on February 21, 2013 at 3:03 PM

I always take advice from video games too…

RationalIcthus on February 21, 2013 at 2:57 PM

Cut him some slack. He has to affirm his manhood somehow.

CurtZHP on February 21, 2013 at 3:03 PM

Well, whathisname got away with brandishing an assault weapons clip on the air. If you’re a dem, you get special immunity from the law.

Mr. Arrogant on February 21, 2013 at 3:05 PM

in pretty much every shooter I play, the shotgun is hands down the best weapon

I can clear rooms of guys with assault weapons and SMGs

nonpartisan on February 21, 2013 at 2:43 PM

Congratulations. You just made Joe Biden sound rational.

That is some heavy hauling, right there.

Jabberwock on February 21, 2013 at 3:05 PM

in pretty much every shooter I play, the shotgun is hands down the best weapon
 
I can clear rooms of guys with assault weapons and SMGs
 
nonpartisan on February 21, 2013 at 2:43 PM

 
You can regain life points by just pushing a button, too, right?
 
I guess your views on healthcare must be equally valuable.
 
(And again, I love your work here.)

rogerb on February 21, 2013 at 3:06 PM

This guy is the second most powerful man in the country. Says it all right there.

HiJack on February 21, 2013 at 3:06 PM

There’s one more problem with your article, Ed. Shotguns don’t have as large of a spread as most people think. The rule of thumb is this: 1″ of spread for every yard of range. So if the bad guy is 15 feet away from me, the buckshot will spread to a 5″ pattern by the time it reaches him. Sure, it increases the probability of hitting the bad guy, but not nearly as much as you would think.

There are two other reasons why a semiautomatic rifle might be better for home defense:
1) it’s semiautomatic. You don’t have to rack it.
2) there’s far less recoil, making it much easier for people of smaller stature to use, and making it easier to get back on target for a follow-up shot.
3) it can be a lot shorter than a shotgun. I bought my first shotgun last fall. It’s about four feet long, which makes it sort of unwieldy in hallways. An AR-15 with a 16″ barrel is about 36″ long, and potentially shorter with a collapsible stock.

Mohonri on February 21, 2013 at 3:06 PM

I assume that Biden also tells his wife, if there is “ever a problem,” to pee on herself and vomit?

Because that’s what ordinary women need to do!

Alas, peons are instructed to do such things….not the ruling elite. They have people with firearms to protect them if there is “ever a problem”.

hawkeye54 on February 21, 2013 at 3:06 PM

in pretty much every shooter I play, the shotgun is hands down the best weapon
I can clear rooms of guys with assault weapons and SMGs
nonpartisan on February 21, 2013 at 2:43 PM

And mushrooms make you big and turtles can be used as weapons.

MechanicalBill on February 21, 2013 at 3:07 PM

A shotgun is easier to aim because you don’t need as much precision to hit the target, as you would with an AR-15 and especially a pistol under stress. If you get close, you’ll probably score a hit.

I’d sure like to hear from someone who knows more about this and has reflected on the presumed circumstances of it’s use for defensive purposes.

First, can you shoot an AR-15 without it securely resting on the shoulder and not breaking your finger or something? Secondly, pump action means you have to pump it, something you don’t need to do with an AR-15. Thirdly, which is lighter, easier to handle and les cumbersome.

Fourthly, this discussion of which is better in close environments like rooms of a house, so hitting the target is exactly rocket science. As such, the spread pattern from a shotgun is not all that relevant over a 10 or 15 foot distance.

I would think neither is as good as a pistol, is the close environment of a home, but I’m just estimating because I would think the advantage of not necessarily being square with the target is of great value under the circumstances.

Dusty on February 21, 2013 at 3:08 PM

So let me get this straight:

We have one of our esteemed geniuses in the oval orifice shooting a shotgun horizontally when he’s supposed to shoot it up in the air – where the skeet are…

And we have another of our esteemed geniuses who wants you to fire off two blasts into the air when you shouldn’t.

Yup, real glad we’ve got this crew ruling over us….

Galt2009 on February 21, 2013 at 3:09 PM

isn’t exactly rocket science

Dusty on February 21, 2013 at 3:09 PM

[Mohonri on February 21, 2013 at 3:06 PM]

Well, there you go, someone answered most of my questions while I was typing them. Thanks.

Dusty on February 21, 2013 at 3:11 PM

My collie says:

You can’t fix stupid.

He IS what he IS, n’est-ce pas?

CyberCipher on February 21, 2013 at 3:12 PM

Well, I’m very pro-second amendment, but I’m inclined to think that maybe Joe Biden shouldn’t be allowed to own a gun.

morganfrost on February 21, 2013 at 3:12 PM

I’m amazed that anyone still expects Biden to say something intelligent.

RadClown on February 21, 2013 at 3:12 PM

So let me get this straight:

We have one of our esteemed geniuses in the oval orifice shooting a shotgun horizontally when he’s supposed to shoot it up in the air – where the skeet are…

And we have another of our esteemed geniuses who wants you to fire off two blasts into the air when you shouldn’t.

Yup, real glad we’ve got this crew ruling over us….

Galt2009 on February 21, 2013 at 3:09 PM

Both firing blanks. So to speak.

Jabberwock on February 21, 2013 at 3:13 PM

Nothing we’re going to do is going to fundamentally alter or eliminate the possibility of another mass shooting or guarantee that we will bring gun deaths down to a thousand a year from what we’re at now,” Biden told reporters after meeting with Senate Democrats in the Capitol.

These new gun laws are for what purpose ?

J_Crater on February 21, 2013 at 3:13 PM

A shotgun is easier to aim because you don’t need as much precision to hit the target, as you would with an AR-15 and especially a pistol under stress. If you get close, you’ll probably score a hit.

I’d sure like to hear from someone who knows more about this and has reflected on the presumed circumstances of it’s use for defensive purposes.

Dusty on February 21, 2013 at 3:08 PM

Shotgun Mythbusting with the Remington 870

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsN2AugB5pw

sharrukin on February 21, 2013 at 3:14 PM

in pretty much every shooter I play, the shotgun is hands down the best weapon

I can clear rooms of guys with assault weapons and SMGs

nonpartisan on February 21, 2013 at 2:43 PM

You must be playing this game, right?

The Cheney game is called CheneyStar. It is sold for download for a dollar on the Xbox 360, in the Indie Games Channel, which is essentially the home video game equivalent of the untamed iPhone app store. Anyone can make a game for the channel, and any of these games can be about Dick Cheney. Sadly, the games don’t have to be good.

CheneyStar’s creators describe their game as some sort of sci-fi shoot-em-up, with a big Cheney head as a sort of floating Death Star. “Half Vice President, Half Killer Space Robot,” blurbs the developer Johnny Death Games. The CheneyStar name is a riff on Sinistar, a classic arcade game with a similar style of gameplay. The Cheney head will spout some gibberish about hating liberals and shooting his shotgun. Nothing too clever, but still worth a buck for me to sample.

Del Dolemonte on February 21, 2013 at 3:16 PM

Manslaughter Joe.

[William Eaton on February 21, 2013 at 3:02 PM]

Now there is a silly nickname I can endorse. Kudos.

Dusty on February 21, 2013 at 3:18 PM

“You don’t need an AR-15—it’s harder to aim,” he added, “it’s harder to use, and in fact you don’t need 30 rounds to protect yourself. Buy a shotgun! Buy a shotgun!”
==============================

Harder to aim,try an RPG,er wait…………….
(sarc)

canopfor on February 21, 2013 at 3:18 PM

A Democrat challenging the Law,
well,

I never……………….

canopfor on February 21, 2013 at 3:19 PM

There’s usually a tradeoff. Reliability versus range, weight versus recoil, ease versus impact.

Laughs versus brains.

Seth Halpern on February 21, 2013 at 3:20 PM

One heartbeat away, folks . . .

mwbri on February 21, 2013 at 3:22 PM

“You don’t need an AR-15—it’s harder to aim,” he added, “it’s harder to use, and in fact you don’t need 30 rounds to protect yourself. Buy a shotgun! Buy a shotgun!”

 
Anyone have a rough estimate of how many rounds are within 500 yards of Biden when he’s in public solely for the purpose of protecting him?

rogerb on February 21, 2013 at 3:22 PM

At least in Texas we have the right to use deadly force to protect property too.
http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/PE.9.htm#9.42

TX-eye on February 21, 2013 at 3:22 PM

So,Democrats are saying to Arm Up,
boy is Hopey going to have a fit,over
mixed message with Biden!!

canopfor on February 21, 2013 at 3:23 PM

Results for #guncontrol

https://twitter.com/search?q=%23guncontrol

canopfor on February 21, 2013 at 3:25 PM

MeanWhile,more Dazzling GaffeBiden Brilliance:

US VP Biden at Connecticut event says it’s not ‘culture’ killing people; it’s high-capacity ammunition – live video

Feb. 21, 2013, 6:49 p.m. GMT by editor

canopfor on February 21, 2013 at 3:26 PM

in pretty much every shooter I play, the shotgun is hands down the best weapon
I can clear rooms of guys with assault weapons and SMGs
nonpartisan on February 21, 2013 at 2:43 PM

I said it the other day. You are either a management plant to boost posting/views or a 14 year old boy. Or,a third possibility, implied by rogerb. There’s no room for anything else. Your posts are too juvenile to be taken seriously.

totherightofthem on February 21, 2013 at 3:27 PM

iirc many states castle laws cover the property issue.
and if not they should.
kill a thief starve a lawyer.

dmacleo on February 21, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Mohonri on February 21, 2013 at 3:06 PM

A Remington 1100 with a rifle barrel with solve most of those problems. A Benelli Mk4 will solve ALL of them.

Cleombrotus on February 21, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Dusty on February 21, 2013 at 3:08 PM

You can in fact shoot an AR-15 from the hip, though I don’t advise it, and weights depend on the weapon types, but the reality is that for home defense, especially for night encounters of low light, a 20 gauge semi auto is a pretty solid weapon, no pumping and penning on the tube you could get at least 4 rounds to take on anyone. 12 gauge is standard, but the 20 provides less kick, still defends and is easier to wield than the 12. I will say though that a .410 with slugs will do well also, and it is shorter and lighter than a regular rifle. Pistols are great self defense weapons, but require a bit of training to be proficient, that’s why shotguns are more effective for a more novice home defender.

MarshFox on February 21, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Speaking of Shot-Guns:

Houston Group Giving Away Shotguns In High-Crime Neighborhoods To Test If Crime Is Reduced
February 20, 2013 4:44 PM
***************************

http://houston.cbslocal.com/2013/02/20/houston-group-giving-away-shotguns-high-crime-neighborhoods-to-test-if-crime-is-reduced/

canopfor on February 21, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Manslaughter Joe.

[William Eaton on February 21, 2013 at 3:02 PM]

Now there is a silly nickname I can endorse. Kudos.

Dusty on February 21, 2013 at 3:18 PM

You can’t say manslaughter without laughter.

RadClown on February 21, 2013 at 3:32 PM

US VP Biden at Connecticut event says it’s not ‘culture’ killing people; it’s high-capacity ammunition –

Yeah, and its not reckless drivers killing people, its the gas they put in their cars.

hawkeye54 on February 21, 2013 at 3:32 PM

How many gaffes does one have to make before they are officially considered an imbecile?

carson53 on February 21, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Cleombrotus on February 21, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Very fine choices indeed, though for the smaller framed shooter, a 20 gauge is and easier wield and less recoil.

MarshFox on February 21, 2013 at 3:33 PM

MarshFox on February 21, 2013 at 3:29 PM

What about pistols with bird shot rounds?

Cleombrotus on February 21, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Every time this senile git opens his mouth, I become more and more convinced he’s actually trolling here at HotAir.

It seems he simply cannot resist making himself look like a buffoon, and when the buffoonery is pointed out, he doubles down.

CurtZHP on February 21, 2013 at 3:37 PM

It also ignores another key legal fact that people who study to carry weapons learn immediately, which is that one cannot use deadly force to protect property.

While this is true in general, it is specifically not true in many states when it comes to your home. The vast majority of states, either formally or as a matter of practice, have a ‘castle doctrine,’ which imposes no duty to retreat and allows the use of deadly force to protect your home. The assumption is that if an unauthorized person is in your home, that in and of itself constitutes a reasonable fear that your life is in jeopardy without any additional evidence required.

Shump on February 21, 2013 at 3:37 PM

Shotgun Mythbusting with the Remington 870

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsN2AugB5pw

sharrukin on February 21, 2013 at 3:14 PM

Thanks for that. I don’t think that expresses my point as much as I’d like. My comment was the result of the Jessie Duff video from Hannity’s show and the pattern for the shotgun was about 4″, I’d guess and the distance is more of what I’m talking about, even though it appeared shorter than I’d like to use as a reference.

From the first of the guy in your video, he said it was 21 to 25 feet away and it’s a pretty good spread, I guess for what he’s shooting. Now Biden’s wife might have many arrangements in her home to shoot that far, in my home and most of those I know of from growing up, etc, you’d be lucky to get 10′ from tip of shotgun to target. Most rooms are 12′ to 15′ max. Most city homes, while having a lot of square footage, have very few long clear distances, because they are made up of many smaller rooms and unaligned entries from room to room.

Like anything else, I suppose it all depends on the environment, who is wielding the firearm and how good they are, with the last one kind of defining whether they should rely on 5 rounds or 30 rounds.

Dusty on February 21, 2013 at 3:38 PM

How many gaffes does one have to make before they are officially considered an imbecile?

carson53 on February 21, 2013 at 3:33 PM

I think he passed that mark about 6mos into the first term.
HOWEVER, one would have to be the biggest imbecile in the world to have hired him.

avagreen on February 21, 2013 at 3:39 PM

Twice.

avagreen on February 21, 2013 at 3:39 PM

Joe should demonstrate for people who don’t understand his advice from his comments.

/

Christien on February 21, 2013 at 3:41 PM

Can we all agree that the media would never allow an idiot such as Joe Biden to be a heart beat away from the Presidency if he were a Republican?

Not only has the media jeopardized the future of America by allowing Joe Biden to be Vice President, but they are also looking the other way as Chuck Hagel becomes Secretary of Defense.

OxyCon on February 21, 2013 at 3:41 PM

How many gaffes does one have to make before they are officially considered an imbecile?

carson53 on February 21, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Normal politicians; one or two.

Joe is more like Yogi Berra. He is kept talking in hopes that more come out.
Some folks can reach such a mythical level.

Jabberwock on February 21, 2013 at 3:42 PM

Cleombrotus on February 21, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Duel purpose pistols aren’t a bad choice at all, I would suggest as I am sure you are aware since you made such fine selections, that it is also about presentation and a bit of psychology for bot the shooter and the intruder on what choice you make, plus with a DP weapon you can easily switch and use the regular round if you need.

MarshFox on February 21, 2013 at 3:42 PM

Anybody who takes Biden’s advice seriously deserves to be arrested.

Any advice, not just this one.

Kingfisher on February 21, 2013 at 3:44 PM

A shotgun is easier to aim because you don’t need as much precision to hit the target, as you would with an AR-15 and especially a pistol under stress. If you get close, you’ll probably score a hit.

I’d sure like to hear from someone who knows more about this and has reflected on the presumed circumstances of it’s use for defensive purposes.

First, can you shoot an AR-15 without it securely resting on the shoulder and not breaking your finger or something? Secondly, pump action means you have to pump it, something you don’t need to do with an AR-15. Thirdly, which is lighter, easier to handle and les cumbersome.

Fourthly, this discussion of which is better in close environments like rooms of a house, so hitting the target is exactly rocket science. As such, the spread pattern from a shotgun is not all that relevant over a 10 or 15 foot distance.

I would think neither is as good as a pistol, is the close environment of a home, but I’m just estimating because I would think the advantage of not necessarily being square with the target is of great value under the circumstances.

Dusty on February 21, 2013 at 3:08 PM


Let me apologize in advance for the length of this response (which I posted on ARFcom some time back). It is long because there are a LOT of things to consider when using a gun for home defense.

Let’s cover the common ground first:

1) I agree with the Box o’ Truth regarding their penetration tests
2) I agree the AR-15 is a highly effective, configurable CQC weapon and allows for rapid delivery of likely fatal rounds in an efficient method.
3) I agree that racking a shotgun is not a guaranteed deterrent and wholeheartedly agree that any HD weapon should be kept ready to fire with one in the chamber.

And having conceded all of the above, I would like each of you to take the time to realize that with regard to points I am about to make – it’s not worth a bucket of spit.

My perspective is driven by what may be a unique set of circumstances:

Our home was robbed 20+ years ago while we were sleeping. Fortunately for us the pair of crackheads were, according to the police, a couple of real pros who were only interested in getting in and out quietly. Unfortunately, their MO was to wait 6 – 8 weeks until you had replaced what had been stolen and then come back and rob you again. Ever since then, we have been active practitioners of the idea of layers of defense.

I have spent a fair amount of time dealing with a civil suit and the reality of lawyers. Lawyers, if they are trying real hard, will only cost you a Noveske – unless you go to trial, in which case THEY may only cost you as much as a new Ford F150. Note: this excludes any judgment a court may decide is reasonable.

So, on to the “what is likely” (as opposed to what-if) scenarios:

You have just successfully defended your home from a pair of invaders with your AR-15. One of them is dead, the other was wounded and escaped. After you and whoever else lives with you has stopped shaking enough to call 911 (an adrenalin dump is a unique experience) you are going to begin the process of defending your actions. The police officers that first show up will be uniforms. Their job is to control the situation, preserve evidence and gather basic information for the detective assigned to the case. They are investigating a homicide (the bad guy) resulting from gun shot. The weapon you used to defend yourself is evidence. If you have half a brain, you will not contest them taking possession of the weapon … because otherwise they will get, justifiably, very agitated. YOU know it is a simple case of self defense. THEY don’t know that YET.

Everything you say to the police will be admissible in a court of law – including civil court. Presuming things are on a reasonably friendly basis, they will ask you questions and expect answers. Everyone has to make a choice at this point but I will be someone who says to the officers after I give an outline of what occurred, “I respect the difficult task this situation presents for you but before I answer any additional questions about it, I want to have my lawyer present to insure I protect my rights and the rights of my family members.” They may get unfriendly at that point but go back and note that the second sentence starts with “Presuming”. Some police officers are ambivalent with regard to the castle doctrine. Some don’t think you have ANY reason to own an AR-15 much less to have used it to kill someone with it. Some police forces share the two previous points of view. Some District Attorneys will still want the police force to treat YOUR situation as manslaughter, at a minimum. If that is the case, you can expect to easily spend the cost of a Ford F150 establishing your innocence and one of the reasons will be because you used an AR-15 to defend yourself.

ARFcom is effectively a small group of people who generally agree with one another and bare little resemblance to the mindset of the outside world. Most people think of an AR-15 as a weapon of war … because for the last 50 years they have watched American soldiers use them for that purpose. They and their friends may have gone hunting but the odds are really good they used shotguns. A smaller percentage have hunted with high powered bolt rifles. Few hunt with a semi-automatic weapon. Your choice of the weapon used to defend your home will determine what percentage of people can identify and feel comfortable with the weapon you used. This is important if the D.A. decides to take your case to a Grand Jury. If indicted for a criminal offense, your legal costs are easily going to exceed $ 100,000

Enough of your potential to be charged with a crime – let’s think positively and presume that doesn’t happen. I live in one of the states that has a fairly clear and broad castle doctrine defined for self defense in both the home and a car. Unfortunately, that doesn’t prevent the person you injured or the dead person’s family from suing you for wrongful death. The better off you are financially, the more likely they are to sue BECAUSE your lawyer is going to tell you it is a lot cheaper to settle and pay less than what he/she will charge to represent you. It will be easier to talk the scum suing you into taking that amount of money than it will be to convince a judge or a jury that “the best defensive weapon for you to use to protect your home” was the military rifle used to fight wars for the last 50 years … and that’s presuming you didn’t say something written down by a police officer in a moment when you are not thinking clearly that you were “glad you killed that son of a bitch” OR that you had an NRA bumper sticker OR you had “a safe full of guns” OR opposing council has discovered you are an active participant in ARFcom and had previously stated …

A number of you have cited the real world advantages an AR-15 has over other weapons. I’ve conceded most of those points above. Please stop and think about the points I’ve made – because while I agree there are some discernible differences, they are not great enough to make it worth risking your ability to put a nightmare scenario behind you as quickly and cheaply as possible. The reality is the AR-15 has MORE disadvantages in the AFTERMATH of a home defense scenario.

PolAgnostic on February 21, 2013 at 3:44 PM

Ed, you’re a good man and an excellent commentator, but your firearms advice isn’t a great improvement on Joe’s. A shotgun is NOT “easier to aim.” The pattern of shot coming out of your gun at across-the-living-room distances is not going to open up more than an inch or two. Unless you are throwing clouds of shot at birds thirty yards away, a shotgun charge will behave like a single projectile. And you BETTER have good aim, because that charge of buckshot will penetrate farther through walls and sleeping neighbors that the 55 or 62 grain bullet out of an AR. It’s just as easy to miss with the shotgun as with the rifle, period.
A big 12-gauge pump shotgun is not going to be easy to handle under stress, especially if you are smaller in stature. An AR is lighter, more compact, has less threatening recoil, is easier to load, and most of them these days have adjustable stocks to fit any size adult.
And every gun in the world makes an ominous clack-clack when charged. If you are buying the gun to try to scare away burglars with the noise, I’d respectfully suggest getting a dog or a good alarm system rather than a deadly weapon. This ain’t Hollywood, baby.

unclejack on February 21, 2013 at 3:45 PM

At least in Texas we have the right to use deadly force to protect property too.
http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/PE.9.htm#9.42

TX-eye on February 21, 2013 at 3:22 PM

You beat me to it.

In fact, a Texan recently killed one intruder and wounded the other when they were trying to steal his SUV parked on the sidewalk. There are no charges against the man.

In other words, his property didn’t even have to be in his house for him to protect it with deadly force.

The Rogue Tomato on February 21, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Somebody needs to give Joe a whistle.

Kingfisher on February 21, 2013 at 3:46 PM

A Remington 1100 with a rifle barrel with solve most of those problems. A Benelli Mk4 will solve ALL of them.

Cleombrotus on February 21, 2013 at 3:28 PM

I’d prefer a blunderbuss.

Nothing says “You picked the wrong house!” like a 0.5GA spraying lead shot, sheet metal screws, broken drill bits, and whatever else I had laying around the work bench.

The noise alone would have the guy demonstrating the preferred democrat methods for dealing with rape.

CurtZHP on February 21, 2013 at 3:47 PM

Parked on the road by the sidewalk, I mean.

The Rogue Tomato on February 21, 2013 at 3:47 PM

Never fire a “warning shot” into the air — especially when it means you have to reload immediately, as you would with two blasts from a double-barreled shotgun; you’ve just effectively disarmed yourself.

Hang on a minute there Sparky. You haven’t disarmed yourself you’ve merely traded for a mighty fine wood and metal club. And as I learned on this site earlier, blut objects have killed more people than all rifles combined. That’s probably what Joe was going for. Sly as a fox that one is.

SoonerMarine on February 21, 2013 at 3:47 PM

You can in fact shoot an AR-15 from the hip, though I don’t advise it, and weights depend on the weapon types, but the reality is that for home defense, especially for night encounters of low light, a 20 gauge semi auto is a pretty solid weapon, no pumping and penning on the tube you could get at least 4 rounds to take on anyone. 12 gauge is standard, but the 20 provides less kick, still defends and is easier to wield than the 12. I will say though that a .410 with slugs will do well also, and it is shorter and lighter than a regular rifle. Pistols are great self defense weapons, but require a bit of training to be proficient, that’s why shotguns are more effective for a more novice home defender.

[MarshFox on February 21, 2013 at 3:29 PM]

Thanks. I appreciate the insight.

Dusty on February 21, 2013 at 3:48 PM

What Biden says is never worth this much analysis. He does not know what he is talking about ever.

Thanks for the tabloid news, HA BuzzFeed.

Sherman1864 on February 21, 2013 at 3:51 PM

[CurtZHP on February 21, 2013 at 3:47 PM]

LOL.

Dusty on February 21, 2013 at 3:53 PM

In a home invasion if you can just get a shot off in any direction, any shot from any weapon, the intruder will flee. Just make sure you close your eyes to protect your night vision in case you need it for any subsequent firing.

HiJack on February 21, 2013 at 3:54 PM

MarshFox on February 21, 2013 at 3:42 PM

For myself I’ll stick with the 12 ga. semi-auto shotgun but I can see what you’re saying for the smaller person. I’ve heard that one drawback to the bird shot is that they don’t autoload in some pistols.

Cleombrotus on February 21, 2013 at 3:55 PM

Pistols are great self defense weapons, but require a bit of training to be proficient, that’s why shotguns are more effective for a more novice home defender.

[MarshFox on February 21, 2013 at 3:29 PM]

One session at the firing range and you have all need to handle a pistol inside your home against attacks.

HiJack on February 21, 2013 at 3:57 PM

Most rooms are 12′ to 15′ max. Most city homes, while having a lot of square footage, have very few long clear distances, because they are made up of many smaller rooms and unaligned entries from room to room.

Dusty on February 21, 2013 at 3:38 PM

At those shorter distances the spread will be even less so you definitely had better be able to hit what you are aiming at with a shotgun. The idea that a shotgun is a “you can’t miss” weapon is false.

sharrukin on February 21, 2013 at 3:59 PM

nonpartisan has the wrong nom.

S/b nobrain.

Schadenfreude on February 21, 2013 at 4:02 PM

Let’s see if taking one word out gets this past the kill filter …

A shotgun is easier to aim because you don’t need as much precision to hit the target, as you would with an AR-15 and especially a pistol under stress. If you get close, you’ll probably score a hit.

I’d sure like to hear from someone who knows more about this and has reflected on the presumed circumstances of it’s use for defensive purposes.

Dusty on February 21, 2013 at 3:08 PM


This is a looong response I made on ARFcom on this topic because there are a lot of aspects to using a gun for home defense people need to consider.

Let’s cover the common ground first:

1) I agree with the Box o’ Truth regarding their penetration tests
2) I agree the AR-15 is a highly effective, configurable CQC weapon and allows for rapid delivery of likely fatal rounds in an efficient method.
3) I agree that racking a shotgun is not a guaranteed deterrent and wholeheartedly agree that any HD weapon should be kept ready to fire with one in the chamber.

And having conceded all of the above, I would like each of you to take the time to realize that with regard to points I am about to make – it’s not worth a bucket of spit.

My perspective is driven by what may be a unique set of circumstances:

Our home was robbed 20+ years ago while we were sleeping. Fortunately for us the pair of crackheads were, according to the police, a couple of real pros who were only interested in getting in and out quietly. Unfortunately, their MO was to wait 6 – 8 weeks until you had replaced what had been stolen and then come back and rob you again. Ever since then, we have been active practitioners of the idea of layers of defense.

I have spent a fair amount of time dealing with a civil suit and the reality of lawyers. Lawyers, if they are trying real hard, will only cost you a few thousand dollars – unless you go to trial, in which case THEY may only cost you as much as a new Ford F150. Note: this excludes any judgment a court may decide is reasonable.

So, on to the “what is likely” (as opposed to what-if) scenarios:

You have just successfully defended your home from a pair of invaders with your AR-15. One of them is dead, the other was wounded and escaped. After you and whoever else lives with you has stopped shaking enough to call 911 (an adrenalin dump is a unique experience) you are going to begin the process of defending your actions. The police officers that first show up will be uniforms. Their job is to control the situation, preserve evidence and gather basic information for the detective assigned to the case. They are investigating a homicide (the bad guy) resulting from gun shot. The weapon you used to defend yourself is evidence. If you have half a brain, you will not contest them taking possession of the weapon … because otherwise they will get, justifiably, very agitated. YOU know it is a simple case of self defense. THEY don’t know that YET.

Everything you say to the police will be admissible in a court of law – including civil court. Presuming things are on a reasonably friendly basis, they will ask you questions and expect answers. Everyone has to make a choice at this point but I will be someone who says to the officers after I give an outline of what occurred, “I respect the difficult task this situation presents for you but before I answer any additional questions about it, I want to have my lawyer present to insure I protect my rights and the rights of my family members.” They may get unfriendly at that point but go back and note that the second sentence starts with “Presuming”.

Some police officers are ambivalent with regard to the castle doctrine. Some don’t think you have ANY reason to own an AR-15 much less to have used it to kill someone with it. Some police forces share the two previous points of view. Some District Attorneys will still want the police force to treat YOUR situation as manslaughter, at a minimum. If that is the case, you can expect to easily spend the cost of a Ford F150 establishing your innocence and one of the reasons will be because you used an AR-15 to defend yourself.

ARFcom is effectively a small group of people who generally agree with one another and bare little resemblance to the mindset of the outside world. Most people think of an AR-15 as a weapon of war … because for the last 50 years they have watched American soldiers use them for that purpose. They and their friends may have gone hunting but the odds are really good they used shotguns. A smaller percentage have hunted with high powered bolt rifles. Few hunt with a semi-automatic weapon. Your choice of the weapon used to defend your home will determine what percentage of people can identify and feel comfortable with the weapon you used. This is important if the D.A. decides to take your case to a Grand Jury. If indicted for a criminal offense, your legal costs are easily going to exceed $ 100,000

Enough of your potential to be charged with a crime – let’s think positively and presume that doesn’t happen. I live in one of the states that has a fairly clear and broad castle doctrine defined for self defense in both the home and a car. Unfortunately, that doesn’t prevent the person you injured or the dead person’s family from suing you for wrongful death. The better off you are financially, the more likely they are to sue BECAUSE your lawyer is going to tell you it is a lot cheaper to settle and pay less than what he/she will charge to represent you.

It will be easier to talk the scum suing you into taking that amount of money than it will be to convince a judge or a jury that “the best defensive weapon for you to use to protect your home” was the military rifle used to fight wars for the last 50 years … and that’s presuming you didn’t say something written down by a police officer in a moment when you are not thinking clearly that you were “glad you killed that son of a bi***” OR that you had an NRA bumper sticker OR you had “a safe full of guns” OR opposing council has discovered you are an active participant in ARFcom and had previously stated …

A number of you have cited the real world advantages an AR-15 has over other weapons. I’ve conceded most of those points above. Please stop and think about the points I’ve made – because while I agree there are some discernible differences, they are not great enough to make it worth risking your ability to put a nightmare scenario behind you as quickly and cheaply as possible. The reality is the AR-15 has MORE disadvantages in the AFTERMATH of a home defense scenario.

PolAgnostic on February 21, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Sooo, Joe Biden isn’t a genius, after all?

hawksruleva on February 21, 2013 at 4:09 PM

If Joe Biden is the White House’s idea of a typical gun owner, then no wonder Obama wants to disarm as many citizens as possible.

Regarding the “what goes up must come down”, shooting bird shot into the air would be relatively safe, since the small pellets slow down quickly and can’t carry much energy once they start falling. It’s not uncommon for bird hunters to get rained on by some other hunter’s bird shot. It’s annoying and very bad manners, but rarely hazardous.

That said, firearms are always deadly weapons, and discharging one in a populated area absent a credible threat to life or limb will usually result in a police arrest, a confiscated firearm, and a potential conviction and jail sentence.

As usual, Biden doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about.

An actual self-defense expert will provide you with several viable, LEGAL alternative defense strategies and equipment choices and let you weigh which one suits your particular threats, abilities, training, liabilities, etc. Liberals characteristically can’t extend their imagination beyond their own needs and limitations, and require everyone else to be restricted by them under penalty of law.

Socratease on February 21, 2013 at 4:24 PM

I was going to comment on the misconceptions regarding shotgun and shot patterns but I see it is well covered.

People who choose to arm themselves for self-defense need to make choices based on their personal situations. They need to educate themselves on the legalities, and take some professional self-defense training. They need to shoot various firearms and choose a weapon they are competent and comfortable with.

Unless you shoot and practice mag changes and jam clearing regularly, a revolver is probably a better choice than a semi-auto pistol.

One of the best reasons to choose a shotgun is that you can use light birdshot loads, still deadly at close range but unlikely to penetrate walls and do damage beyond. A short-barrel pump is stone reliable, and even smaller and weaker shooters can handle the 20 gauge, which is formidable at close range.

But a shotgun isn’t as easily handled as a handgun. It makes sense to choose the most powerful weapon you can shoot effectively. If that is a .22, I would rather hit a threat once with a .22 than miss three times with a .357 Mag.

As for “Double-Barrel” Biden’s advice, it is dangerously misguided. I think most folks would find an AR-15 type rifle far easier to shoot than a 12 ga double, if not in operation at least in terms of felt recoil.

novaculus on February 21, 2013 at 4:24 PM

PolAgnostic on February 21, 2013 at 4:08 PM

While I see what you are saying, alot of what you say is dependent on what state you live in, and quite possibly the actual city/town.

D-fusit on February 21, 2013 at 4:33 PM

In urban situations, I’m partial to the AR pistol, depending on the circumstances. (Or AR SBR with a sound-supressor if you can get one.) But obviously a couple of traditional pistols are also vital, possibly as primaries, depending on the situation. Also: NIGHT VISION IS YOUR FRIEND.

Kriss (http://www.kriss-usa.com/index.php )is also making some interesting CQC weapons. 45 ACP with low-recoil (so I’m told – haven’t fired one).

WhatSlushfund on February 21, 2013 at 4:34 PM

And, if something happens to BHO, Joe Biden will be in charge of shooting at foreign nations. What’s he going to do, fire off a “warning ICBM” over North Korea to get their attention and have it land on Japan?

IndieDogg on February 21, 2013 at 4:41 PM

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