Vice President Biden is known far and wide as being the master of the gaffe. Were he a Republican instead of a Democrat, the ‘pet media’ would have long since convinced the American public to have him committed to some nice facility where he could watch Bugs Bunny cartoon for the rest of his life.
But instead, we are stuck with a skinnier version of Peter Griffin as Vice-President, and may God preserve and keep President Obama because we never … ever … want Biden sitting in the Oval Office.
And that brings us to today’s topic. Biden likes to think of himself as a bit of an expert on … well … just about everything; and guns are no exception. During a Facebook question and answer session yesterday, Biden insisted that no one would ever need an AR15 or similar semi-auto firearm for self-defense because you could just use a double barrel shotgun.
His advice to Americans is the same as his advice to his wife Jill. “[I]f there’s ever a problem just walk out on the balcony here … put that double-barreled shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house.”
He went on to add that “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.”
Well … since we, unlike Vice President Biden, are all bound by the laws of the states in which we live as well as the laws of physics, let’s do a breakdown of his assertions.
Fire Two Blasts From The Balcony
The first problem with this is that Biden apparently forgets that many Americans do not live in a multi-acre, 2.9 million dollar mansion with balconies such as the one he shares with his wife.
Nor do most of us enjoy round-the-clock Secret Service protection on-site (in a cottage that he actually forces them to pay rent for to the tune of $12,000 a month if you can believe it).
In any case, if your average American were to follow ‘Average Joe’ Biden’s advice, they would almost certainly be committing multiple crimes. Simply walking onto your back porch (which is what most of us have in lieu of balconies) and firing both barrels of a double barrel shotgun in a random direction would probably criminally endanger the neighbors of most Americans who dwell in cities or urban areas.
But don’t blame Joe for his lack of knowledge of the law. After all, he did finish 76th out of 85 in his law school and only barely managed to graduate after being caught plagiarizing 5 out of 15 pages of his law review article. So give him a break on that score. He may have been out with a hangover the day that reckless endangerment was covered in Criminal Law class.
However, to further the debate, let’s just pretend that we all have multi-million dollar mansions on a palatial estate like ol’ ‘Average Joe’ there.
If all we have is a double barrel shotgun and there are home invaders attempting to enter your house, why in the world would you recommend that your wife empty both barrels into the air and put herself in a situation where she is lower on ammo and needs to reload before the gun is useful again?
Makes you think doesn’t it.
How about the next comment?
An AR15 is Harder to Use
As we analyze this comment, we are going to continue the scenario we started earlier. Remember that we are just ‘average’ Americans like Joe with our multi-million dollar estate and our double barrel shotgun which our wife has just fired twice into the air as the bad guys try to break down the door.
At that point, if she had an AR15 with a standard 30 round magazine, she would still have 28 rounds available to actually confront the bad men should they gain entrance to the home and would not be facing a reload situation that, even if successful, will only give her two more rounds.
And how hard is it to reload a double barrel shotgun while panicking? It is extremely hard! Unless you are a practiced shotgunner, it is hard to reload a double barrel shotgun quickly in a non-stressful situation when you do have fine motor skills available to you.
In a home invasion scenario such as the one painted by Biden, adrenaline would be coursing through your wife’s body, robbing her of all but her gross motor skills; making the task of reloading a double barrel shotgun a daunting one indeed.
The good news? It only takes gross motor skills to insert a new magazine in an AR15. And you would only have to do so if you had already had to fire 30 times.
And that brings us to his final comment.
You Don’t Need 30 Rounds to Protect Yourself
Well of course not … that’s why we only arm law enforcement officers with 2 shot firearms. Wait … what? You mean we don’t? Well that can’t be right can it?
This just in. The most popular handgun for police officers in the US is the Glock 22 which features a 15 round magazine and officers carry at least one backup magazine as well. Hmm … that’s 30 rounds minimum. Strange.
But at least they don’t carry AR15s right? Oh wait … they do? They call them ‘patrol rifles’? Now I am just confused. Joe told me no one needed an AR15.
Wait … I know. Maybe the police just don’t use all that ammo. Let me Google a little.
Holy smoke! In a 2011 study of NYPD officers, it was determined that, on average, officers discharged 11.5 rounds in a gunfight with a bad guy. Even more startling is the fact that only 30% of those rounds, fired by presumably proficient officers, actually struck the bad guy. And even fewer were fatal or sufficient to stop the threat.
It looks like even 30 rounds might not be enough to stop a determined attack by a group of armed criminal.
Wow. Myth busted!
Vice President Biden might want to consider not offering any further advice on self defense until he gets that stupid of his fixed.
UPDATE: Steve Griffiths does a great job of covering the manual of arms differences between the AR15 and a double barrel shotgun in his column at Ordnance Corner.