White House Backs Biden: Buy a Shotgun (Not an AR-15)

Tailgunner Joe Biden is at ballistic Ground Zero for the current push for civilian disarmament, making sure that the Constitution State stays true to its name. Oh wait. Sorry. Making sure that Connecticut pols infringe upon Americans’ Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. The visit comes hot on the heels of Biden’s advice to Parents magazine readers who think an AR-15-style rifle might be just the ticket for self-defense [as above]: fire warning shots in the air like you just don’t care. Yesterday, an enterprising reporter asked White House Spokesman Jay Carney the obvious question: c’mon? Really? Yup. “In his view, you do not need a military-style assault weapon to protect your home. In fact, you would be better off with a shotgun.” thedailybeast.com breaks it down . . .

Biden’s detour actually performed an important political service for the Obama administration. It highlighted the fact that the gun reforms put forward don’t fit the “Obama’s coming for your guns!” fearmongering that too often derails our debates.

The formula that’s been used to polarize our politics always seems to involve distorting policies and demonizing the opposition. It’s effective in the short term because it spreads misinformation and plays off emotion. So the issue becomes not mass shootings or assault weapons, but total gun confiscation; not health-care reform, but socialism (or death panels); not raising tax revenue, but class warfare.

But when Joe Biden sings the praises of a double-barrel shotgun for home protection, he’s showing that he is not anti-gun. He’s drawing a useful distinction between the abstractions that are used to defend the supposed sanctity of assault weapons with the way most people use guns—for hunting or self-defense.

In his meandering way, Biden highlighted the idea of reasonable restrictions.

Not so meandering and not so reasonable, methinks. I also think Biden’s mantra—buy a shotgun, buy a shotgun—helps the pro-gun side, in the same way President Obama’s skeet shooting photo did. Both the statement and the image normalize guns, making them less scary to the mainstream.

Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking with it. That, my FN SCAR and my pistol-gripped, extended mag, semi-automatic 12-gauge shotgun.