Vice President Joe Biden: The Second Amendment is Dangerously Ineffective

Vice President Joe Biden hit the Sunday talk show circuit to offer insight (such as it is and what there is of it) into the Trayvon Martin shooting. Well actually, no. He’s using the Trayvon Martin shooting to push his anti-gun agenda with a remarkable display of willful—or worse, oblivious—ignorance. Here are the Veep’s thoughts about Florida’s Stand Your Ground law and gun rights in general from CBS’ Face the Nation . . .

I think the Governor of Florida was right and the President was right: we should look at all aspects of this case . . . Trayvon’s case .  . . to determine exactly what happened. And in the process I’m confident—at least I’m of the view—I understand—that the state is going to look back and see ALL the aspects of this. What contributed to this, what happened, who’s responsible for this, etc.

I’m confident that the people of Florida will debate whether or not this law, this stand your ground law, whether it’s been applied as it was intended to be applied and whether or not as intended it makes sense. But that’s a decision for the state to make.

Spoken like a true politician. Appear above the fray, impugn the Stand Your Ground law without attacking it directly, and then pass the buck. Which is a good thing. At least Biden doesn’t appear to be itching for a gun control fight on the federal level. (It is an election year.)

Or is he? When Bob Schieffer pushes the VP on the desirability of Stand Your Ground laws, Biden wades into the gun rights issue a little deeper. Even his trademark smile can’t completely hide his true feelings on the subject.

On balance I think it’s important that people be put in a position where their Second Amendment rights are protected  but that they also don’t, as a consequence of the laws, unintendedly [sic] put themselves in harm’s way.

Interesting that Biden think American citizens need to be “put” in a position where their Second Amendment rights are protected. In fact, the government should be put in a position where it can’t violate citizens’ Second Amendment rights. Continuing on . . .

You know the bulk of the people who are shot with a weapon other than these drug gangs taking on one another end up being shot with their own weapon . . .

No. No they don’t. There’s no credible data to support that position. But there is plenty of scientific evidence that concealed carry combined with Stand Your Ground laws (eliminating the duty to retreat in the face of a threat of death or grievous bodily harm under certain specific circumstance) protect law-abiding individuals during acts of violent crime.

According to Gun Facts Ver. 6.0 (quoting the British Home Office on page 20):

Fact: You are far more likely to survive a violent assault if you defend yourself with a gun. In episodes where a robbery victim was injured, the injury/defense rates were:

  • Resisting with a gun 6%
  • Did nothing at all 25%
  • Resisted with a knife 40%
  • Non-violent resistance 45%

Data from the National Crime Victimization Survey  collated by Dr. Gary Kleck (table here) reveals:

A National Institute of Justice publication, Firearms and Violence, cites Kleck stating, “victims were less likely to report being injured than those who either defended themselves by other means or took no self-protective measures at all. Thus, while 33 percent of all surviving robbery victims were injured, only 25 percent of those who offered no resistance and 17 percent of those who defended themselves with guns were injured. For surviving assault victims, the corresponding injury rates were, respectively, 30 percent, 27 percent, and 12 percent.”

In Armed and Considered Dangerous: A Survey of Felons and Their Firearms (their report based on interviews with 2,000 felons in state prisons across  the country (available from Google or Amazon)), Peter H. Rossi and James D. Wright state:

34% of the felons said that they personally had been “scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim”; 69% said that they knew at least one other criminal who had also; 34% said that when thinking about committing a crime they either “often” or “regularly” worried that they “[m]ight get shot at by the victim”; and 57% agreed with the statement, “Most criminals are more worried about meeting an armed victim than they are about running into the police.”

So no Joe, people protecting themselves with firearms are most assuredly not ‘putting themselves in harm’s way’. Precisely 1 out of 29 peer-reviewed studies of right-to-carry laws which were performed by economists and criminologists showed an increase in crime.

Joe finishes up with:

And the idea that there’s this overwhelming additional security in the ownership and carrying concealed and deadly weapons, I think it’s the premise, not the constitutional right, but the premise that it makes people safer is one that I’m not so sure of.

You might have to read that through three or four times to figure out what he’s trying to say (no wonder he “borrows” other peoples’ words) but I think the idea the Veep’s trying to get across is that people think guns make them safer but they don’t. But he fully supports the Second Amendment.

So Joe Biden supports the letter of the law, not its spirit. As for the safety provided by a firearm for legal owners, let’s recap:

  1. 34% of felons report having been kept from finishing a crime by a DGU
  2. DGUs save at least twice as many lives as CGUs take
  3. 28 out of 29 studies show a drop or no change in crime rates when ‘shall-issue’ passes
  4. States without right-to-carry laws have significantly higher crime rates (p. 36)
  5. You are less likely to be injured in an assault if you defend yourself with a firearm

And last, but most definitely not least (to quote L. Neil Smith]

6.  the freedom to own and carry the weapon of your choice is a natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil, and Constitutional right — subject neither to the democratic process nor to arguments grounded in social utility.

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About Bruce W. Krafft

I am a bit of a Johnny-come-lately to the civil rights (firearms flavor) movement, having not really gotten involved until after I hit 40. I am not really a "gun guy"; I can generally hit what I aim at, but I'm not a competitive shooter. I enjoy the craftsmanship of a fine pistol or rifle, but I am not particularly knowledgeable about firearms in general nor am I a Glock guy, or 1911 guy, I'm just a guy. What I am is passionate about civil rights, especially those of the firearm flavor.

36 Responses to Vice President Joe Biden: The Second Amendment is Dangerously Ineffective

  1. avatarMoonshine7102 says:

    Memo to Joe from Barry:

    Could you please not open your mouth until November 7th? Thanks in advance.

  2. avatarRopingdown says:

    This is the same Blue Collar Joe that was MBNA’s man in congress, though his key demographic never really noticed. This is the same Joe that during his last campaign spoke of how he occasionally goes to a particular working man’s diner…only he didn’t know it had been closed for ten years. He is the icon of the proposition that most voters don’t bother to learn anything about the person they’re voting for. The few that do bother to learn end up saying “you call this a choice?”

  3. avatarST says:

    Were I to travel back in time to 1776, id make sure the following was included in the Bill of Rights:

    “No elected or appointed official shall use the word BUT immediately following a statement of support for any civil right.Doing so constitutes an act of treason that exposes the speaker to prosecution for the same.”

    • avatarirock350 says:

      So that whole free speech thing protects everything but “But” Doesn’t sound very effective.

      • avatarMatthew says:

        If a Politician says: “I support the 2nd Amendment, but,” What he means is: “I want you to think I support the 2nd Amendment, but what I really believe is,”
        What part of shall not be infringed, is hard to understand?

  4. avatarJeff says:

    Ladies and gentlemen – Exhibit A as to why you should be buying Smith & Wesson and Ruger stock by the boatload. Exhibit B? Romney. It’s going to be a win-win election for gun companies.

  5. avatarChas says:

    Biden has some serious stupid going on.

  6. avatarRalph says:

    The Second Amendment: Vice President Joe Biden is Dangerously Ineffective.

    There. Fixed it.

  7. avatarSilver says:

    Vice President who?

  8. avatarjkp says:

    Sir–

    “Gun Facts 6.0″ is apparently written by a… “writer, songwriter, political provacateur” named Guy Smith. http://gunfacts.info/guy-smith/ You’ll forgive me if I don’t give that document any more weight than I do the latest political thoughts from Sean Penn or the Dixie Chicks.

    Regarding the “1 in 29″ figure, that apparently comes in a letter to the editor written by John Lott in response to an op-ed – hardly the most unimpeachable source. (Not least of which because Lott has had some credibility issues in the past. http://reason.com/archives/2003/05/01/the-mystery-of-mary-rosh )

    I do think citing sources is essential, but we also need to pay attention to the quality of those sources. These sorts of sources are only convincing to those who are either already converted to the cause, or the ignorant in our society who are easily convinced by statistics and citations, regardless of their veracity.

    • avatarChas says:

      These sorts of sources are not convincing to those who already have their minds made up that gun control will actually reduce crime, or the ignorant in our society who are easily convinced by false statistics (as in those published by the Brady Campaign), regardless of their validity.

      • avatarjkp says:

        Please explain why Guy Smith is a worthwhile source. Does he do statistics on the side, in addition to his successful songwriting career? Is he versed in the law? Has he done anything that would indicate to an objective observer that he is a credible source? Or did he just cobble together a bunch of links and sources?

        The fact that he says things that you (and I) find politically palatable does not by itself make him credible.

        • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

          Well, he does provide a source for each of his assertions. I note that the other side often fails to do so.

        • avatarjkp says:

          No doubt, but you don’t get any points from me merely for exceeding the stupefyingly low standard set by the Bradys or the other gun-grabbers.

          Edited to add: I don’t have anything against this fellow. If someone can give me convincing evidence as to why he’s a credible source, I will listen. But the info in his own bio (http://gunfacts.info/guy-smith/) says to me that he’s small beer.

  9. avatarGL Kohler says:

    Damn, Bruce! You just aren’t letting them get away with anything these days. Your write-ups convey the tenor of this civil rights movement with a level-headedness we can only wish the opponents of the Second ammendment could reflect. And yet, you let your passion for our rights bleed through your analytics just enough to keep them readable and incendiary. The result is a lucid but fiery contribution to this blog which, in my opinion, has and will continue to become the voice of a growing margin. Keep up the good work.

  10. avatarAharon says:

    Reading or listening to Biden’s reasoning makes my head feel that it is being pulverized in one of those big commercial bakery dough blending machines.

  11. avatarRKflorida says:

    Dangerously Ineffective
    Perfect description of Joe Biden.

  12. Bruce, You are really gettin’ the hang of this humor thing.

    “quoting the British Home Office on page 20″ that’s worth a good belly laugh.

    I followed your “1 out of 29 peer-reviewed studies” link too, that was pretty funny in a confusing kinda way.

    Much of the rest of your post could be countered with equal and opposite “proof,” if on were so inclined, which I certainly am not.

    I do enjoy your attempts at baffling your reading audience, though. And I’ll bet I’m not the only one.

    Some of your stuff, like this

    1. 34% of felons report having been kept from finishing a crime by a DGU
    2. DGUs save at least twice as many lives as CGUs take
    3. 28 out of 29 studies show a drop or no change in crime rates when ‘shall-issue’ passes

    is just made up nonsense. At least when I make stuff up I don’t present it as fact. I admit I’m using my best judgement from reading blogs and news reports. You make up numbers like 34% and say things like “28 out of 29.”

    You number 2 point is the most laughable.

    • avatartdiinva says:

      Mike:

      Every stat you use is made up.

      • avatarirock350 says:

        And so are most of Bruces, the whole lack of peer reviewed stats is a but annoying, and links to a random Guy on the internet is not quite as convincing as say a link to the FBI’s crime stats or case law. Like the title for example would suggest that Biden made the comment that 2a is ineffective, but he didn’t the writer did. Its all persuasive journalism, but it is not as polished or persuasive to suggest tat any of it is factual just conjecture.

        • avatarpsmcd says:

          Einstein was small beer in his early days. Dixie Chicks are entitled to their personal embarrassment. Peer review in recent science is becoming a joke. An FOIA request on anything the FBI doesn’t care to reveal trashes their credibility. If you can’t avoid a threat of violence, or out run it, you best stop it – no statistics required.

    • avatarMilsurp collector says:

      I hate to break it to you, but you just dug yourself into a hole straight to the earth’s core. Good luck getting anyone here to believe your logic let alone stats now that you’ve just openly confessed to “making things up”.

    • avatarChas says:

      I find it hilarious that people like you regard facts as “made up”, while actually believing that the garbage published by organizations like the Brady Campaign and the VPC is factual.

      THAT’s real humor, Mikey.

    • avatarWilliam says:

      FLAME DELETED

  13. avatarHawke says:

    Every time I hear Bazooka Joe talk he reminds me of Dan Quayle with more gray hair.
    If he feels that citizens armed is so dangerous, why doesn’t he go without Secret Service for a week? This is big talk from a guy that has armed escort where ever he goes.

  14. avatarMark N. says:

    The FACT of the matter is that Joe is RIGHT. You are substantially more likely to be killed by your own weapon than be killed with someone else’s weapon. It’s in the FBI statistics for gun deaths. The number one cause of gun deaths, constituting more than half of all annual gun deaths, is self-inflicted injury with one’s own weapon, and number two is gangbangers shooting up the neighborhood.
    Quite frankly, Bruce, I think you overanalyze Joe’s comments. To me, they have a content value of zero–he really says nothing at all except to say that he is uncertain whether the carrying of weapons decreases the risk of harm from violent crime (i.e., the premises that bearing arms makes you safer), which is a subject that one must admit is of great debate and murky statistics. I seem to remember that you recently wrote an article on this very subject; although there may be as many as 2.5 million DGUs peryear, proving this is fraught with difficulty and unprovable assumptions. I’m not saying these studies or estimates or wrong, only that the studies themselves admit that they lack scientific rigour.

  15. avatarCharles says:

    I think Joe has unintendedly put himself in harm’s way.

  16. avatarjohn moses says:

    joe biden is the dumbest man ever to serve in the Senate. That is saying something since al gore also served in the Senate.

    • avatarRalph says:

      Al Gore just fired Keith Olberman, proving that old Al isn’t as big of an a$$hole as we thought.

  17. avatarTom says:

    Vice President Joe Biden is dangerously ineffective.

  18. avatarSanchanim says:

    I do have question for the group.
    Do you think that making mandatory NRA safety courses for gun ownership is a good thing? To go a step further do you think that those who have concealed carry licenses should be required to take yearly USPSA sponsored courses?
    I am not saying that each of us would be required to spend thousands on training, but even I who have spent lots of time around guns have found both to be helpful and informative. The practical shooting courses make me feel more comfortable if I had to ever face an intruder or attacker.
    If these courses were required how do you feel it would infringe your 2nd amendment right?
    If volunteering to take these courses we did away with the ten day mandatory wait period would this be a good thing to you?
    If we could create a national database that you register with and could then purchase a gun with out a waiting period in any state regardless of your state of residency, would this be a good thing?
    I am asking because I think we as gun owners who are law abiding could create an environment where we are safe sane, and able to easily purchase firearms which helps FFL dealers, across the country. Plus we as a group can promote training, shooting as a sport, and responsible gun ownership all at once.
    Oh yes Joe shouldn’t have opened his mouth. Politicians who do not understand a subject should just keep quiet.

    • avatarRalph says:

      Politicians who do not understand a subject should just keep quiet.

      Then they’d never say a word about anything.

  19. avatarFrank says:

    Where is the proof to his claim that the bulk of the people being shot (other then the drug gangs shooting at each other) are being shot by their own guns? From my nderstanding there is no statistical proof of that. Shot the stats or shut up. I pull my stats from http://www.gunfacts.info

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      On the waving about of firearm suicides as somehow related to the defensive and hunting purpose of such things: Some people allude with knowing glances to the fact that occasionally people use a gun for self-termination, to become former people, guys like Hemingway, Hunter Thompson, and the guy who bought a thousand tickets and still didn’t win the Mega Ball. Well, is such an act unreasonable in the ill or terminally disappointed? I don’t know. I’ve seen it happen. But my god, man, are they proposing nothing but ropes or leaps from tall buildings? Rush-hour jumps in front of the 7:15 from Westport, like a Japanese gone Wall Street? Are these improvements? Failing on your sword à la Ajax had a certain honor attached to it at one time, a grasping of one’s own fate, as compared to spending the next twenty years bitterly whining at the kitchen table every day about taxes, congress, and one’s successful brother. Hemingway saw no conflict between using a gun to shoot mule deer in Idaho, Germans in France, and much later… himself. I have no opinion but this: If it is in fact suicide that actually galls those anti-gun types, not the guns qua guns (which I doubt), then they should hand out free Prozac and counseling in front of the grocery store. If they don’t want to pay to fix the suicide problem, they should just admit what they are, useless whiners unwilling to aid those in need, but fond of whining, and should at the very least feel a holy obligation to hand out free ropes at the commuter station. It’s that simple. Put up or shut up.

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