A Washington man who invoked the “Joe Biden” defense — i.e., that when faced with a threat that may or may not be life-threatening, just shoot wildly into their air — learned on Friday to his astonishment that the the Vice President’s tactical advice doesn’t carry much weight in a court of law . . .

Jeffrey C. Barton, 53, made international news when he told journalists: “I did what Joe Biden told me to do. I went outside and fired my shotgun in the air.”

He did this at about 3 a.m. on July 15, 2013, when he was alerted by a neighbor to people rifling through his vehicles, parked in his driveway in the 5800 block of Northeast 124th Street. Barton chased the alleged prowlers, punched one of them in the face and fired three rounds from his shotgun, according to accounts of the event.

Barton’s statement to reporters was a reference to the vice president’s answer to a question earlier that same year about home defense. Biden responded that Americans don’t need to own semiautomatic weapons, because a couple blasts from a shotgun will scare off intruders.

Barton was originally charged with illegally discharging a firearm, a misdemeanor, but prosecutors dismissed the weapons charge in August and instead charged Barton with obstructing a police officer.

For the record, Biden’s comments on the subject were:

“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,'” Biden said.

“You don’t need an AR-15—it’s harder to aim,” he added, “it’s harder to use, and in fact you don’t need 30 rounds to protect yourself. Buy a shotgun! Buy a shotgun!”

In the end, of course, the Joe Biden defense wasn’t really appropriate here, since the charge Barton faced wasn’t shooting like a damn fool into the air, but ‘obstructing a police officer’. That said, I’d still urge people to reconsider before raising the Biden defense in any legal matter. While Joe may have graduated from Syracuse Law School back in the day, his primary experience for the past 36 years has been serving as a shill for large banks in Washington.

30 Responses to Shocker: “Biden Defense” Fails to Keep WA Man Out of the Klink

    • I suspect the guy never heard of the idea until after he was arrested, or knew about it beforehand and decided to use it as a joke.

  1. The Vice President’s tactical advice doesn’t carry much weight in a court of law . . . or anywhere else.

  2. But here is the real question. Biden provided legal advice. The guy in this article followed that legal advice. As we see, the legal advice was completely wrong. Was Biden practicing law without a license or is he subject to a malpractice lawsuit?

  3. If you live out on a farm in the middle of nowhere, fine, shoot your guns off. However, in a quiet residential street early in the morning, you better have a damn good reason for popping off shots, because the cops are going to haul someones ass off to jail and the guy blasting rounds is top of their list.

  4. Now, now, dont be so hard on Slow Joe.

    He has just been doing his job as “POTUS-impeachment-protection- device”.

    And doing darn, good, too!

  5. As much as I enjoy everyone bashing their good for nothing politicians, i gotta say in this context…

    It looks like Biden was 100% correct…

    He shot in the air, the car thiefs ran off, the charges for firing the weapon were dropped

    IF the guy is stupid enough (given the reports are correct), to fuck around with the police, when they are trying to do their job it is not Biden’s fault, but that of a certain moron with a shotgun missing 3 shells.

    • And just why were the police called out to this location? Oh that’s right because the man followed Biden’s advice.

      Once there, the police rarely leave empty handed or unsated. Especially if they don’t like you.

      • Well, then it would be a good idea, not hammering five reasons not to like you into their damn faces….
        Most! cops just wanna do their damn jobs as easy as possible, treat them like an asshole, be treated like an asshole…

        Police would’ve come either way… or do you expect, if he would’ve shot them, they would’ve told them to leave ’em there till tomorrow, garbage crew will pick them up?

        Nothing this guy has done would be my reaction to some guys trying to steal cars, but I still can’t blame Biden for one guy being a moron and an asshole.

  6. I cant believe that someone actually took the D.C. jester’s advice seriously. Let this be a lesson about listening to fools.

  7. As for Joe Biden’s expert instructions on home defense, Reagan said it best:
    “The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant: It’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”
    ~Ronald Reagan

  8. To the TTAG lawyers out there….. How is doing what the Vice President said to do not susceptible to an Entrapment by Estoppel defense if you were charged with improper weapons discharge?

    • If you know enough even to know that term exists, then I would expect you know enough to answer your own question. Not one of the elements of that defense applies here. Other than an extremely broad “a government official said something kinda sorta similar to my situation”, there’s really no connection between this case and that specific defense.

  9. I know a guy who went to law school with Bidden and was in his wedding .

    He said joe is the least successful of their group………

  10. If only he had dragons breath rounds.. and actually aimed to kill! He could have utilized the defense that he gave chase, and the perp spontaneously combusted.. problem solved, problem staying solved! always wondered what the effect would be on a human?!? but I suspect that no matter how justified the shooting, it would still land you in prison for turning a bad guy into bones before he hits the ground.

  11. article quote
    Barton was originally charged with illegally discharging a firearm, a misdemeanor, BUT
    PROSECUTORS DISMISSED THE WEAPONS CHARGE in August and
    instead charged Barton with obstructing a police officer.

    So why is everyone still talking about the Biden issue?
    What did the guy do after the fact to warrant the obstructing charge??

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