Only Joe Biden could promote gun control in a way that encourages people to break the law and is more likely to injure innocent people than potential threats.
First, here’s what Biden said, during a Facebook chat Tuesday, he had advised his wife to do:
“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.’ … 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!”
Now, in a secluded, mostly wooded area, like the one where Biden said he and his wife live in Delaware, that might not be the worst advice. Not the best, either, but not the worst. But not all Americans live like that. In fact, in his state’s largest city, his advice could land someone in jail. From U.S. News and World Report:
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.”
In fact, Biden’s advice could land his wife in jail in Delaware:
Defense attorney John Garey — a former Delaware deputy attorney general — agreed, and added that several criminal charges might result if Jill Biden took her husband’s advice.
“In Delaware you have to be in fear of your life to use deadly force,” Garey said. “There’s nothing based on his scenario alone” indicating a reason to fear imminent death, he noted.
There’s more at the link, including visual evidence to suggest the Bidens’ home isn’t as secluded as the vice president let on.
On one hand, the illegality of what Biden suggested has more to do with what one does with any weapon — it’s a lot closer to the controversy at the heart of the Trayvon Martin shooting, though not quite the same — rather than the specific kind of weapon one uses.
On the other hand, it’s rather ironic that Biden’s explanation for how you can still protect yourself in a world without “assault weapons” is that you could always … break another law.
– By Kyle Wingfield