In May I wrote an article on PolicyMic advising people to question the knowledge of people advocating firearms bans and increased restrictions. Part of that article dealt with Vice President Joe Biden's advice about defending one's home. In case you forgot the vice president's comments, you can view them here,but the summary is this: "I said, Jill, if there's ever a problem just walk out on the balcony here ... put that double-barreled shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house."
I said it before and I'll say it again. Do NOT follow this advice. It ignores the laws of physics and the law of the land in every community I have lived in.
As proof that not everyone reads PolicyMic, we have this story. Jeffrey Barton of Vancouver, WA has used Biden's advice as his defense when he was arraigned for illegal aiming or discharging of a firearm. Mr. Barton said, "“I did what Joe Biden told me to do. I went outside and fired my shotgun in the air.”
From here it only gets more complicated. Vancouver Police are investigating who Mr. Barton was concerned about. It may have been teenagers who were having a "large and out of control party" in the area, according to neighbors who reported several car break-ins the next morning as they picked up empty alcohol bottles and beer cans.
So Vice President Biden's negligent comments have contributed to a man firing his shotgun in the air to scare away teenagers. It is a good thing no one has reported any injuries related to this, or the vice president could be named in a civil liability lawsuit for his liability in giving unsafe advice and using the authority of his office to give it credibility.
A quick Internet check shows many, many cases of people injured or killed annually by bullets falling after "celebratory gunfire." This community remembers the seven-year-old child killed by a stray bullet fired with wanton disregard for public safety, in the same manner advocated by Vice President Biden.
Biden should serve as example to everyone that many in the anti-gun lobby have no real knowledge about firearms. They base their arguments on rhetoric and propaganda but very few facts or real experience. The public needs to think and question, especially when such blatantly foolish, negligent, and unsafe recommendations as Biden's are publicized.