Joe Biden on Home Defense

“If you want to protect yourself, get a double-barrel shotgun. You don’t need an AR-15,” Mr. Biden said, referring to an assault-style rifle. “It’s harder to aim, it’s harder to use, and in fact, you don’t need 30 rounds to protect yourself. Buy a shotgun. Buy a shotgun.”

Permit me to disagree with the Vice President. While some folks have pointed out that a double-barrel shotgun has an inherent deficiency when one is faced with three targets, I’d like to point out some other things from my personal experience. It is possible to be facing an opponent who is so psyched up that multiple gunshot wounds are required to take him down. It’s also possible to miss and have to fire again. I’ve had the experience of running out of ammunition and having to reload while a gunfight was still in progress. As Field Marshall Rommel noted, the winner is the man with a round still left in a magazine.

I have a hunting shotgun that I could use in a home defense situation. Its magazine holds more than two rounds. However, it would not be my weapon of choice. Given the layout of my house, a handgun or carbine is a better choice.

Also, having used M16 rifles (the M16 is a military version of the AR15) while in the Army, I can tell you that they are much easier to shoot properly than double-barrel shotguns. The sights are easy to align, (Yes, you do have to aim a shotgun; the pattern has a diameter of only 4 in or so at 25 ft.) and the recoil or “kick” is much lighter–so the weapon is easier to keep under control.

While Joe Biden is famous for shooting off his mouth, I doubt he has any real experience as either a gunfighter or an AR15 user.

8 thoughts on “Joe Biden on Home Defense


  1. A 12 gauge is an excellent home defense weapon. You can get a very powerful pump action 12 gauge for very little money. They do need to be aimed, but they are much easier to aim effectively than a pistol, and require much less practice. I think it’s an awesome first choice, but I would always recommend a pump action.

    As you note, the kick is far greater and I’d say many people cannot handle it well enough to have good follow up shots.

    An AR or any semiautomatic rifle or carbine will be superior in many respects because it has great follow up shots, is very easy to aim, and requires less practice or talent to fire reasonably accurately. And yes, having a 30 round magazine is obviously a nice thing if you are defending yourself.

    My problem with Biden is that it’s not his role to tell us what to do. The second amendment is about my rights, not about what the government concedes that I “need”.

    My other concern is that I think the gun control advocates are just practicing incrementalism. Today they are saying I don’t need a semi automatic rifle that holds more than ten rounds. Tomorrow, they will be saying I don’t need a pistol that holds more than seven rounds. The day after that they will be saying that no one needs the shotgun. I fundamentally don’t trust those who don’t take a ‘rights’ based view of the second amendment, and try to chip away at it.


    • A shotgun may be an appropriate choice in some home defense situations. There are others, such a mine, where a shotgun might not be the preferred solution but a good backup if one has to switch to Plan B.

      What I find troubling is that “experts” with little knowledge and no practical experience who believe that they should dictate to how other people should defend themselves.


      • Biden’s trademark is presenting himself as the smartest man in the room under all circumstances. Each individual citizen is the ultimate party responsible for ensuring his or her safety, and should be freely able to work out how they want to solve that problem (or neglect it). The ultimate result of democrat gun control policies (Chicago, Detroit, DC) suggest some of these politicians aren’t actually as concerned for my welfare as I am.

        For me, fortunately, I have some great dogs that would probably eat anyone’s face who invaded my home at night. I don’t have my guns for protection… I just think gun ownership / marksmanship is a valuable American tradition and also a great hobby.


  2. We just got a 12 gauge pump. It holds five plus one, but wouldn’t be my first choice. My S&W model 5906 holds 15 plus 1 and at 25 yards, I can put lead on a man sized target 80% of the time. Plus, the shotgun is too much for my wife. Her first choice would be her Taurus P111, 12 plus 1, with the AK carbine, the second choice.


  3. Everyone has to make their own decisions about home defense. I know some people who opt for the short “home defense” style shotguns with a pistol grip rather than a conventional stock. I suspect they don’t understand the need to aim a shotgun and instead envision each pull of the trigger filling the hall with shot. When I was doing drug boardings in the USCG I usually carried a shotgun and a .45. The shotgun was simply a Remington 870 Express. It was short enough to maneuver in the tight spaces of a ship. In part because of my training with it, I’d be relatively comfortable with a 12 gauge with a 24 inch barrel. Of course, I’d want an extended tube. An AR is a great choice as it doesn’t have as steep a learning curve as a pistol and the magazine capacity is really nice in the event you awaken at 0300 with an unknown number of intruders in your house. All that said, my current home defense weapon is my Sig in 9mm. My lady prefers her Smith and Wesson in 9mm (in spite of its lawyer designed trigger).


  4. I keep a .40 S&W caliber CZ-75 by my bed It has 10 rounds plus one ready for instant use should the need arise. When the CZ-75 is not by my bed it is holstered on my duty belt with three extra magazines. I have trained extensively with it and the other member of my household knows at my signal to take a defensive position behind cover in her room. One step away from my bed is the Remington 870 12 Gauge shot gun Dad gave me on my eighteenth birthday forty-five years ago. Should I detect more than one threat, The 870 can deliver an additional five rounds of “Get the Hell out of my House.”

    The 870 is to me a perfect all around shotgun. With the magazine plug installed to reduce capacity to two + one in the chamber The old iron has brought in many meals of wild game. When not in “Hunting Mode” I keep the plug removed and the magazine is filled to five rounds. Should I find myself in a S.H.T.F. situation, my father-in-law provided me with an extension tube which brings the capacity to ten rounds. I have seen what a 12 gauge can do at close range. For “Home Defense” there is no equal, BUT THEY DO REQUIRE A HECK OF A LOT MORE TRAINING AND PRACTICE THAN THE AR-15 platform.

    I have carried an M-16 (qualified expert) but should I need to defend my home and family the .40 cal. falls to hand quickly and the 870 too is ready.

  5. Pingback: Joe Biden – Wrong As Always « YouViewed/Editorial

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