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Saturday, February 23, 2013
Vice President Joe Biden (“Shotguns are enough defense, Biden says,” Feb. 20 news brief), who heads the president’s advisory group on gun control, continues the tradition of former Vice President Dick Cheney’s dismal knowledge and performance regarding safe gun handling.
A cardinal rule is know your target and what is beyond or behind it. Cheney’s wounding of his hunting companion is an example of failure to follow this rule.
Now, Biden advises to buy a shotgun for home defense, which in and of itself is sound advice. But to be useful, a home defense weapon needs to be available and fully functional within seconds. Thus, one must carefully consider how and where the gun and ammunition are stored.
Biden advised his wife, should she hear a disturbing noise and suspect an intruder, to load the gun, go out onto the balcony and fire two blasts. This is terrible advice. By going onto the balcony she may make herself a target, where had she stayed inside she probably would not. And randomly firing shots is a dangerous violation of the above safety rule.
Clearly, Biden is not qualified to advise on the subject of guns and their safe use.
DANA B. JACOBS
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