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Is Joe Biden's Home-Defense Advice Dangerous?

VP Joe Biden advises people to "just fire the shotgun through the door." At least one expert disagrees. Here's why...

The Myth
"Just fire the shotgun through the door" is good advice to protect your home.

The Origin
When interviewed by Field and Stream magazine for his thoughts on guns and why he's pushing for bans on magazines and AR-15-style rifles, Vice President Joe Biden reiterated his advice to a town hall meeting participant who asked how he should protect himself.

In the Field and Stream interview, Biden said that he told the gentleman: “Well, you know, my shotgun will do better for you than your AR-15, because you want to keep someone away from your house, just fire the shotgun through the door.”

The Dangerous Truth
As responsible gun owners know, what Vice President Biden said flies against nearly every NRA gun safety rule. As an NRA Certified Firearm Instructor, I teach students to always identify their target and know what's behind it. But, as I am not an expert because I have not fired an actual shot in self-defense, I will defer to one.

The Expert Deferral
"Anyone who pulls a trigger has a moral, and often legal, obligation to identify exactly what they are shooting at. If blindly 'shooting through the door' is acceptable, we must plan on maiming Girl Scouts selling cookies, pets trying to get inside, the FedEx man, family members that have misplaced their keys, and so on. An obvious and rare exception to this is if Jack Nicholson's character in the movie "The Shining" is chopping through that door.

"As a former Special Forces Breacher and Assaulter, I know most of the variables that come with shooting through doors (most of which knowledge is classified). On a technical level, before breaching any door I step back and ask myself questions about the door's location, construction, ammunition type on hand, and the threat's skills and knowledge.

"But instead, I suggest that our great nations' firearm owners outright ignore the Vice President's dangerous advice and stick to their own common sense, which is:

"Know your target and shoot for center mass. It is America’s grassroots, common sense approach to threat control that is advisable and not the ridiculous thinking of the Executive Office that will protect us.

"As for anyone planning to go over to the Biden’s home, please reconsider; knocking on his door may be your last mistake."

From Ronny Sweger
US Army, Ret.
Co-Founder / Executive Director
The FEW-The Foundation for Exceptional Warriors

The Conclusion
Choose for yourself, but I'll take the master door breacher and highly decorated Afghanistani war veteran's advice over the Veep's on this one.

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24 Responses to Is Joe Biden's Home-Defense Advice Dangerous?

Ed wrote:
April 02, 2013

Is Eddy Eagle program still in effect? I'd be happy of he could drop by the White House for educational program then please set aside time to instruct our Senator Feinstein in proper placement of trigger finger while handling a weapon. Also I'd like to know how she escaped prosecution for having an illegal weapon as deemed in Washington DC? Are they not subject to the same laws as us lowly subjects?

David William Regal wrote:
April 02, 2013

Hey Joe.... why don't you do some door to door campaigning....

Von wrote:
March 30, 2013

John, he did say 'shoot through the door'. The blast from the balcony was from a different interview.

Ben wrote:
March 30, 2013

Ben, the quote comes from Field and Stream not from his on-air interview. 'Shoot through the door...' is an accurate quote!

Al wrote:
March 29, 2013

As a veteran of almost 20 years in law enforcement, I can tell you that indiscriminately firing through a door without knowing what is on the other side is probably going to get you arrested in most jurisdictions for negligently discharging a firearm. Idiotic advise from a man that I am convinced is suffering from the early affects of dementia. It is really scary that he is only a heartbeat away from the Presidency.

John wrote:
March 28, 2013

To be perfectly fair about this, Biden never said to shoot through the door. To paraphrase him, he said to walk out on the balcony and fire a blast outside of the house. Don't get me wrong, I don't like him either, but let's be accurate here. One side of this argument needs to be credible. Let's make it ours.

Randy wrote:
March 28, 2013

Joe is a washed up guy that has no place in politics today. I really believe he has the start of brain illnesses, that I do not want to get into. Obama picked him as vice president because he was a seasoned senator but he got was an old fool that keeps putting his foot in his mouth

rolandf wrote:
March 28, 2013

Joe Biden's advice is about as intelligent as telling someone to throw a gallon of gas on a light fire to help get it going better. How does this man remember to even breath., or may be that is the duty of his security guys to remind him. It is quite clear he is not thinking.

Bitmaster wrote:
March 27, 2013

I dont' know about the other 49 states, but here in the People's Republic of California you may only use lethal force for self defense if you believe your life or the lives of others is threatened. Not only will you blow away your mail carrier if you follow Biden's advice, but you will face criminal charges and very likely go to jail for a long time. I don't believe I have EVER heard such an irresponsible remark from someone in such a position of responsibility.

Papa wrote:
March 27, 2013

Biden's hair implants must be growing IN instead of out! What a MORON!!!!!

tim wrote:
March 27, 2013

The 'scatter gun' technique is the way of the current administration. Nothing is thought out. Pull the trigger and hope that you are lucky. In contrast most of us would identify a threat before shooting. A burglar would get a free pass going OUT but not coming in.....once threat assessment has had a chance to identify friend or foe.

Ian wrote:
March 27, 2013

You left out the part about the Jehovah's Witnesses never bothering you again....Seriously though, we've gotten to the point where the Vice President of the United States is advising citizens to fire a shotgun through their front doors ? !!!!

Keith Pinster wrote:
March 27, 2013

I tend to be a fiscal conservative but a social liberal (actually, more of a libertarian, but I do believe having a social safety net makes our society better), but I am appalled at the liberal stance on gun ownership. I am constantly amazed at people who completely ignore the evidence that more law-abiding gun ownership reduces violent crimes, not the opposite and how they use supposition and anecdotal and emotional arguments to support their willingness to suppress one of our most basic civil rights is both astounding and depressing. I sincerely fear for our future as a nation.

Mark Gaunt wrote:
March 27, 2013

Nothing biden says is believable.

Ronald K Scott wrote:
March 27, 2013

It is really sad that we have such ignorant politicians running this country. Where are the reasonable, responsible people that we need to lead this great nation?

John Wayne wrote:
March 27, 2013

How frightening that this fool is only a heart beat away from being a much bigger fool.

Stephen Savacool wrote:
March 27, 2013

It's obvious the VP is NOT a firearms expert and is greatly lacking in common sense. I suggest that the girl scouts, USPS, UPS and FEDEX put the Bidens on their 'do not deliver list'

Grandpa Moose wrote:
March 26, 2013

Old advice to obey your leaders just got blown away! Do Not Obey Joe Biden, V.P. If he was a boxer, he'd probably lead with his mouth, too! Identify target - stop threat....

John Lee Fears wrote:
March 26, 2013

Sorry joe your advice WILL get you arrested on more than one violation.Ever wonder if that is the plan all along?

Colleen wrote:
March 26, 2013

What idiot who is a law abiding, educated legal gun owner would be so insane as to fire anything through a closed door without knowing what was on the other side? Insanity! Shame of you Mr. Vice President! Shame!

Bill Kauffman wrote:
March 26, 2013

Comments by Mr. Biden and his type, show they know nothing of proper gun control and ownership. They sound more like the criminals that shoot and spray bullets all over the place, with no regard of who or what gets struck. Yet he wants us to have 'Gun Control' ?

derek bryant wrote:
March 26, 2013

When I first heard the VPs advice, I thought that is exactly what he meant to say, so when someone does it, he can then say firearms are too dangerous for anyone & try to push yet another ban.....

JMACZ wrote:
March 26, 2013

Poor old crazy Uncle Joe.

Michael Van Durme wrote:
March 26, 2013

Excellent factual analysis of the statements made by the VP. Obviously you do not need to know anything about owning and safely using firearms to be selected to be the leader in the discussion. The President should be embarrassed.