Veronica Roberts

Vice President Joe Biden's “buy a shotgun” statement is raising eyebrows, but should it? Speaking on Facebook as part of an online video town hall hosted by Parents Magazine Tuesday, Biden responded to this question by one of the participants:

“Do you believe that banning certain weapons and high-capacity magazines will mean that law-abiding citizens will then become more of a target to criminals as we will have no way to sufficiently protect ourselves?”

After a little banter, chuckling and flashing those pearly whites, the vice president asked for a repeat of the question then said this: “…if you want to protect yourself, get a double-barreled shotgun.” Biden then proceeded to explain what he told Jill Biden, his wife, to do if she ever felt threatened in their home. He said he kept two shotguns and shells locked up at his residence and that no one needed an AR-15 assault style weapon to protect themselves. Of course now he has the Secret Service for 24-hour protection and doesn’t need his wife to wield those shotguns for at least another four years.

“I said ‘Jill, if there’s ever a problem, just walk out on the balcony...put that double-barreled shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house” Biden said. He added, “You don’t need an AR-15. It’s harder to aim, it’s harder to use and in fact, you don’t need 30 rounds to protect yourself.” [See video above for more].

As I asked at the beginning of this article, why is that statement causing controversy in some circles? I think the National Rifle Association, along with gun lobbyists and many legislators on Capitol Hill have effectively scared the public into thinking that gun control, including the 23 executive orders proposed by President Obama, meant taking away all guns. The fear-mongering and propaganda have ratcheted up since the Dec. 14 shooting massacre as Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. The brutal slaughter of 20 young children and six of their educators has ignited a fierce debate for moref gun control on high-capacity rifles easily available to the public-- and the NRA is not happy.

The general consensus was anyone on the side of gun control was anti-gun or anti-Second Amendment, which was grossly exaggerated to rile up gun enthusiasts. It seems to be working, for guns are flying off the shelves at Walmart faster than they can stock them. So fast in fact that the biggest gun retailer had to ration off sales—allowing only three boxes of ammo per customer. Interestingly, the NRA head Wayne LaPierre didn't always think rational gun laws were unnecessary, for in 1999, he thought background checks were needed for anyone purchasing a gun in the United States.

What do you think: Was Biden’s statement counter-productive to his administration’s pursuit of new gun regulations, or does one have nothing to do with the other?