Joe Biden on Self Defense

February 20th, 2013

Joe Biden gave us this sage advice on self-defense while doing a talk for Parents magazine:

We live in an area that's wooded and secluded. I said, Jill [his wife], 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. I promise you whoever's coming in is not gonna…

He trailed off after that and rambled that the AR-15 was more difficult to aim and use. He closed by imploring the audience in hushed tones to "buy a shotgun."

OK, let's round up the number of things wrong with that statement.

First off, discharging a weapon without knowing your target violates one of the four fundamental rules of firearms safety. Before Jill goes blasting away, she might want to make sure the imaginary intruder isn't one of her kids trying to sneak back into the house after a furtive night about town.

Second, firing a gun at someone when they aren't presenting a clear, present threat is illegal in most jurisdictions. Even for the wives of politicians.

Third, this is the kind of ignorant, chauvinistic, and utterly odious advice I hear given to women by folks who have no place giving gun advice. We're talking about a carbine that's been in use for over 60 years by many of the world's armies, but as a machine, it's just too darned tricky for a college-educated woman to figure out?

I believe "misogyny" is the word we're looking for here.


That's the peep sight on a typical AR-15. It works so well, it's been used on every American military rifle since 1943. It's also used on many civilian target and hunting rifles. How that's harder to aim than the tiny, unsupported bead on most shotguns is a mystery to me.

Try harder next time, Joe.

1 Comment
  1. Chase wrote, running Mozilla Firefox 18.0 on Windows 7

    It sounds like Joe Biden was speaking based on his own mental image of how rural people use guns. He was not analyzing the situation in terms of self-defense, he was encouraging people to conform to his image of the one type of gun use that he finds acceptable.

    It's always embarrasing when an elected official gives stereotype-based advice.

    Comment on February 24, 2013 @ 7:10 pm

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