July 22, 2013
By Dylan Polk
Back when Vice President Joe Biden offered his own home-defense tips — dangerous and illegal as they were — we wondered if anyone would actually discharge a weapon, then cite the second-highest public official in the country as defense.
Well, that's finally happened. According to Fox News, a Washington man has cited Biden's advice after facing weapons charges for illegally firing his shotgun while chasing prowlers away.
Jeffery Barton, 52, of Vancouver, Wash., entered a plea of not guilty Wednesday on a charge of illegally aiming or discharging a firearm. Barton said he was only following Biden's advice when he fired his shotgun while chasing a group of prowlers he suspected were trying to break into one of his vehicles.
Check out the video from KOIN-TV.
"I did what Joe Biden told me to do," Barton told KOIN-TV following his arraignment hearing. "I went outside and fired my shotgun in the air."
Well, he is right about that. During an online Q&A in February, Biden posited that all one needs for home defense is a double-barreled shotgun — not an AR-15, which he said are harder to aim and shoot — and shared the same advice he offers to his wife Jill: If she suspects someone is at their home with less-than-admirable intentions, just walk out on the porch and "fire two blasts" into the air.
Of course, that advice goes against basic firearms safety and, especially in urban areas, the law. So when the president's second-in-command to offer such irresponsible, dangerous advice, it immediately went viral and made Biden even more of a laughingstock around the firearms community.
Be that as it may, Barton's defense is still weak. Had he been a responsible gun owner, he would have taken the high road and neglected Biden's, er, wisdom in favor of safer firearm use.
Be advised, dear reader: Just because someone in the public spotlight — particularly one who has no clue what he's talking about — offers up some advice is no excuse for negligence.
What do you think? Is Barton justified in acting irresponsibly because of Biden's advice, or should he have taken a different route?
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