Promising Practices Promising PracticesPromising Practices
A forum for government's best ideas and most innovative leaders.

Biden: Buy a Shotgun If You Want To Feel Safe

ARCHIVES
Vice President Joe Biden signals during a Google+ hangout on Jan. 24, 2013, that a shotgun in a good way to protect yourself. Vice President Joe Biden signals during a Google+ hangout on Jan. 24, 2013, that a shotgun in a good way to protect yourself. YouTube

Vice President Joe Biden took his fight against gun violence to a Google+ Hangout Thursday, but ended up recommending the best gun to buy for anyone hoping to protect themselves after a natural disaster. “If you want to keep people away during an earthquake,” he said, “buy some shotgun shells.”

The vice president’s surprising advice came at the end of a half-hour chat, during which he was pressed to defend his recommendations to President Obama that became the basis of the president’s recent executive orders and legislative proposals. It came in response to a questioner who explained that many Americans see assault weapons as “the last line of defense” after something like an earthquake in California.

“Well, guess what,” Biden responded, “a shotgun will keep you a lot safer, a double barreled shotgun, than an assault weapon in someone’s hands that doesn’t know how to use it.” He added, “It is harder to use an assault weapon to hit something than it is with a shotgun.”

The vice president made a larger point that he regards the effort to restrict the size of magazines as more important than reinstating the assault weapons ban. “More people out there get shot with a Glock that has cartridges that you can have magazines where you can put 2, 10,8,  12, 16, 30 shells in it than from any assault weapon you see,” he said. “I’m much less concerned, quite frankly, about what you call an assault weapon than I am about magazines and the number of rounds that can be held in a magazine.”

He said that the some children may have been saved had the shooter in Newtown, Conn., been forced to pause long enough to change magazines. “His response time, in fact, might have saved one kid’s life,” he said. “I’m not making the argument that this will end crime… There is no sporting need I’m aware of to have a magazine that holds 50 rounds. None that I’m aware of, and I’m a sportsman.”

During the session, the vice president also lamented what he called the “absolutist” positions of leading opponents of gun controls, including the National Rifle Association. He also criticized those who oppose collecting information about gun usage. “We shouldn’t be afraid of the facts,” he said.

He also objected when the president’s proposals were called gun control.” I don’t view it as gun control,” he said. “I view it as gun safety.”

George Condon Jr.

George E. Condon Jr. is White House correspondent for National Journal. He joined National Journal at the beginning of the Obama administration, covering the White House for CongressDaily. Prior to that, he covered the White House and national politics as Washington bureau chief for Copley News Service and the San Diego Union-Tribune. Condon has interviewed eight presidents and reported from 88 countries. He led the team that won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for coverage of the corruption of Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham. Condon is a past president of the White House Correspondents Association and the Gridiron Club and past chairman of the National Press Foundation.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.