While many pro-gun control voices are hailing Vice President Joe Biden's advice about using a double-barreled shotgun over an AR-15 for home defense, the folks at Reason.com explain that good ol' Joe's counsel on discharging a weapon happens to well, advocate breaking laws against the public discharge of a gun.
J.D. Tuccille of Reason's Hit and Run blog explains:
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[H]ow much of a firearms expert is Joe? And how well does this member of the Delaware Bar know the gun laws of his home state? Not so much, it turns out. At least, he's publicly dispensing advice that would leave people disarmed in dangerous situations, and could get them thrown in jail.
Get a double-barreled shotgun. Have the shells in the 12 gauge shotgun. And I promise you...as I told my wife...we live in an area that's in the woods and somewhat secluded. 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. I promise you whoever is coming in is not going to...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.
The problem, U.S. News & World reports, is that his advised shotgun technique is illegal in the state of Delaware. As Steven Nelson writes for that magazine:
A sergeant with the Wilmington, Del., police department explained to U.S. News that city residents are not allowed to fire guns on their property.
The sergeant, who preferred not to be identified, said that Wilmington residents are also not allowed to shoot trespassers. "On your property you can't just shoot someone," he said. "You have to really feel that your life is being threatened."
And then, of course, is that fact that such a course of action would leave Dr. Biden defenseless as she had to pause to reload her shotgun with fresh cartridges:
Note, also, that our hypothetical frightened Jill Biden (that's her, pictured above) has just fired two loads of shot in the air, where gravity will soon take control and bring them back down to Earth — potentially on somebody's head. And, since hypothetical frightened Jill Biden has just fired two shells into the air from a double-barreled shotgun, she is now disarmed, and has to reload before she can defend herself.
As my colleague Noel Sheppard noted, a female pro-gun rights advocate -- who, unlike Joe Biden, knows her stuff -- capably explained why an an AR-15 is an eminently sensible weapon:
[CNN anchor PIERS] MORGAN: Explain to me why you believe you need an AR-15 style assault rifle.
CELIA BIGELOW, DIR. OF CAMPUS ACTION, AMERICAN MAJORITY ACTION: Well, I personally bought one for self defense. One, they're lightweight. They're quite accurate. I can shoot them much more accurately than a handgun or a shotgun.
And three, these -- I'm going to pull a David Gregory right here and I can hold up my 30-round magazine right here, because it's actually legal in Virginia. But I want a gun that can hold a lot of ammo because if I'm faced with an intruder or multiple intruders that come into my home, I want to make sure I have enough ammo to get the job done, especially if they're armed.
So I want -- they essentially serve as an insurance mechanism to make sure that I have enough rounds, that if multiple intruders come in and they're armed, I don't have to take the time to reload.