By Jeffrey Goldberg Mar 4, 2013
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden recently had some advice (delivered through the good offices of Parents magazine, of all things) for women who are afraid of crime. “If you want to protect yourself, get a double-barrel shotgun,” he said, during a Facebook video chat.
The vice president said he told his wife, Jill, that “If there’s ever a problem” — at their home in Wilmington, Delaware — “just walk out on the balcony here, walk out, put that double-barrel shotgun and just fire two blasts outside the house.” He went on, “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. Buy a shotgun. Buy a shotgun.”
He later expanded on his theory of home defense in an interview with Field and Stream magazine. “Well, you know, my shotgun will do better for you than your AR-15,” he said, “because you want to keep someone away from your house, just fire the shotgun through the door.”
Biden’s advice is both generally and specifically bad. It is never a good idea for a woman, or a man, to fire shotgun blasts into the dark. It is a particularly bad idea to fire a shotgun through a door. It is very specifically a bad idea for Jill Biden to fire a shotgun from her balcony into the dark because she might shoot a member of her husband’s Secret Service detail.
But the vice president is one of the few Democratic politicians today who acknowledges, even implicitly, that the desire of millions of American citizens to participate in their own defense by arming themselves is both morally and practically legitimate.
Read more here