Vice President Joe Biden has become the Obama Administration’s de-facto expert on Gun Safety and Self Defense tactics. His ‘expert’ advice to women is to pick a double-barreled shotgun over an AR-15 for self-defense because it’s easier to use and all they have to do is fire a couple of blasts into the air to scare off a potential attacker. Vice President Biden’s advice will at best get someone arrested on potential felony charges and at worst result in their getting killed. Let’s look at why.
First we’ll examine recoil forces. Recoil is the force generated by the gun discharging that must be absorbed by the person firing the gun. The less recoil there is the easier it is to control the gun, meaning faster follow-up shots should they be needed. While Vice President Biden is likely talking about a 12 gauge double-barreled shotgun, we will step things down to Massad Ayoob’s recommendation for a recoil sensitive shooter and look at the recoil forces of a 20 gauge shotgun firing the lightest self-defense load available, 7/8 of an ounce. This particular load generates 16.1 foot pounds of energy when fired from a 6.5 pound shotgun. Now lets look at the .223 Remington which is the most common cartridge the AR-15 is chambered for and in use by the Military, Law Enforcement and civilians. Firing a 62 grain (.14 ounce) projectile from a 7 pound gun generates 3.9 foot pounds of energy. Less than a quarter of the energy of a shotgun. When faced with multiple attackers or a failure to stop situation the AR-15 is the winner for follow-up shots. Vice-President Biden’s choice can get you killed.
Vice President Biden also claims the double-barreled shotgun is easier to use. So let’s compare the manual of arms. First both guns are unloaded and their actions are closed. In this scenario for the AR-15 you insert a loaded magazine, pull the charging handle back, let it go and the gun is now ready to fire. For the double-barreled shotgun you have to disassemble the gun by activating a lever, insert two shells into the chambers, close the gun back up, possibly deactivate the safety and you’re ready to fire. Under stress the AR-15 will be easier to use unless the person using the double barrel shotgun has had a LOT of practice (something Vice President Biden has never recommended). From loaded both guns are fairly easy to use, you shoulder the gun deactivate the safety and fire. However the AR-15 has another option of being kept in condition three. In condition three the bolt is forward, a full magazine is inserted and the safety is off. To put the AR-15 in action one merely runs the charging handle and deploys the carbine. At best both guns are the same in ease of use, but if you have to fire more than two rounds from the shotgun that manual of arms kicks in and the AR-15 is the clear winner.
Now let us look at Vice President Biden’s advice to “fire a couple of rounds into the air.” Anyone following this advice has just committed the offense of reckless discharge of a firearm. At best this is a misdemeanor charge, but one that will still cause you to lose your right to own a firearm ever. Not to mention that now the charge from the shotgun is now headed off to who knows where to hit who knows what. So besides criminal the charge of reckless discharge of a firearm, you could now be facing charges of manslaughter as well as lawsuits over injuries and/or damage to property. This is why real gun safety and self-defense experts will tell you warning shots are a bad idea and why following Vice President Biden’s advice will land you in a heap of legal troubles.
When it comes to advice on the safe use of firearms it would be wise to ignore those more concerned about limiting your civil rights than they are about your personal safety. Bad advice can get you or other innocents killed, and you in jail for a long time. That is not something gun-rights advocates want to see happen when you are trying to preserve life.
John Pierce covers this as well at Monachuslex.com