US Vice-President's tip for self-defence: Get a shotgun

Feb 21, 2013, 07:19 IST | Agencies

Joe Biden, who headed the task force on gun control, said a 12-gauge shotgun was more than enough to see off intruders

US Vice President Joe Biden has urged Americans who want to protect themselves to ‘buy a shotgun’. The 70-year-old, who led the national task-force on gun control after the Newtown school shooting, made the remark during a Tuesday Facebook town hall event with Parents Magazine.

A woman named Kate, asked Biden, “Do you believe that banning certain weapons and high capacity magazines will mean that law abiding citizens will then become more of a target to criminals as we will have no way to sufficiently protect ourselves?”

Gun Control: Joe Biden, the US vice-president, with US President Barack Obama issued an executive order designed to tackle gun control in wake of the horrific Sandy Hook school shooting where 26 people, including 20 children were shot down. File Pic/AFP

In response, Biden encouraged Kate to ‘get a double-barrel shotgun’ to scare off potential intruders, adding that an automatic weapon was unnecessary. “Kate, if you want to protect yourself get a double-barrel shotgun,” he said.

“Have the shells of a 12 gauge shot gun. And I promise you, as I told my wife... we live in an area that is 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 shot gun and fire two blasts outside the house — I promise you whoever is coming in...”

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

Biden’s comments come days before he is due to travel to Danbury, Connecticut, to promote the gun control agenda he headed up in the wake of Sandy Hook.

He will speak at an event on Thursday at Western Connecticut State University. Biden, who is known for sometimes telling long, personal stories in his public appearances, is pushing Obama’s plan for curbing gun violence after the December school shooting massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.

But some of the proposals, including a ban on the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips, have run into stiff opposition from the influential US gun lobby and its advocates on Capitol Hill.

Biden has expressed a predilection for shotguns before. In January, during a similar chat session, he said that in a catastrophic scenario such as an earthquake, which could lead to mass disturbances, “If you want to keep people alive ... buy some shotgun shells”.

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