Stand your ground with a double-barrel shotgun?


I’ve met Vice-President Joe Biden, shaken his hand and interviewed  him and his son Beau several times.  I was a reporter in the The First State for five years. It’s a small state – only three counties. Eventually everyone meets the Bidens.

The Veep is a warm gregarious fella, kind of like a favorite uncle. He’s a close talker. He invades your personal space a bit and taps you on the chest to make a point, but with Joe you don’t mind.

The Vice-President has held public office for more than 40 years. He was first elected to New Castle County Council in 1970, which was followed by six terms as a U.S. Senator and then his current job.

He’s a skilled politician, no doubt. A firearms expert, however, he is not.

In an online chat Tuesday, Biden said he told his wife that if she’s ever threatened at their home in Greenville, a wealthy suburb of Wilmington, she should use his double-barrel shotgun to defend herself.

“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,” he said.

Biden never mentioned what his wife’s Secret Service protective detail would be doing, other than having conniptions, while she was firing volleys off the porch. By the way, I know these lawmen aren’t carrying double-barrel 12 gauges. Secret Service agents carry FN P90s, and these select-fire “assault rifles” hold 50 rounds.

Two of our home defense options: a Springfield XD “Tactical” with a Streamlight TLR-1 and an HK45 with an Insight M6 tactical laser/illuminator, both in 45 acp.

I’ll let my colleague Jeremy handle the politics of the VP’s comments on his site. From a tactical standpoint, however, I smell some of that malarkey Joe’s always going on about.

What seems to have riled gun owners most was Biden’s statement that an AR would be a poor choice for home defense. They’re more difficult to aim and more difficult to use than a shotgun, he said. Besides,  no one needs 30 rounds to defend themselves, right?

This is bunk.

First off, the 30-round magazine reference is nonsense to anyone who’s ever had to rely on a firearm to defend themselves. I’ve never been a politician, but I have been in a few gunfights. I was never penalized for having ammunition left over when the fight was done. Who can say how much ammunition is too much? Sometimes the ruffians won’t scatter after two rounds of buckshot. Sometimes they need a little more encouragement.

As to the choice of weapons, I agree with the Vice-President. A double-barrel shotgun would make a great home defense gun, if it was 1890.

Nowadays there are much better options.

The versatility of the AR platform allows the operator to mount a host of accessories such as lights, sights and lasers, all of which can aid a sleepy homeowner at 2 am, when investigating a suspicious noise.

Given its enhanced ergonomics, light recoil and quick reload time, with the right ammunition the AR is one of the best home defense options, and certainly one of the most popular. It’s “America’s Gun,” the best selling rifle in the country.

Besides, if the AR is so hard to aim and so difficult to use, why are we issuing select-fire ARs to our troops?

Maybe we should replace them with double-barrel shotguns.







About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.


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