In a Facebook town hall meeting hosted by Parents Magazine, Vice President Biden on Tuesday had some advice for Americans who wish to protect themselves with an assault weapon.
“Buy a shotgun! Buy a shotgun,” Biden said.
The town hall was the latest effort by Biden to make the administration’s case for taking action to reduce gun violence. On Thursday, the vice president heads to Danbury, Conn., where he’s expected to speak at an event hosted by the state’s two Democratic senators and Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.).
At Tuesday’s Web town hall, Biden responded to a wide range of questions on the topic of gun control. Several of the questions related to a proposed assault-weapons ban and other parts of the White House’s gun control agenda.
“I’ve never heard anybody in Parents Magazine ask these kinds of questions, but I’m delighted to answer them,” Biden told the town hall’s host at one point.
In response to a question equating failed gun control efforts to the failed “war on drugs,” Biden responded: “Are you suggesting we just legalize all drugs?”
He dismissed the notion that the Obama administration is seeking to curtail Americans’ Second Amendment rights.
“I just think there are a lot of rational things we can do that will increase the prospect that fewer people will be the victims of gun violence, and we should do them,” he said.
He argued that the constitution “does allow the government to conclude that there are certain types of weapons that no one can legally own,” and that if that weren’t the case, then Americans would be able to go out and purchase flamethrowers, tanks, machine guns and grenade launchers.
“You can’t do those things,” he said.
Asked about gun violence in cities where strict firearms regulations are in place, Biden responded that “no one city can be an oasis in the middle of what otherwise is a desert.”
“In the major cities of New York and Chicago and Philadelphia, most of the guns recovered at a crime scene are those weapons that have come from, you know, Indiana or Pennsylvania or whatever — not the city and not the state in which they have the strict gun laws,” he said.
He also demurred when asked whether parents should inquire as to whether their children’s friends have guns in their homes.
“That’s a judgment for every parent to make,” he said, noting that when his children were younger, he would often ask their friends’ parents whether they had a locked liquor cabinet or gated swimming pool at their homes.