Our current Vice President, “Tactical Joe” Biden, is still peddling the idea that the double-barreled shotgun is the queen of battle.
Appearing on a White House web program, he reiterated his assertion that the double gun is easier and more comfortable to shoot than an AR-15 and added a new twist, recommending firing warning shots out the back door.
Tactical Joe’s combat concepts are too silly even to rebut, but as with all politicians, we have to ask what double game is being played here.
In the 1970s, anti-gunners would have been calling for banning all guns, or certainly handguns along with “assault weapons,” but that’s not happening this time. Tactical Joe’s antics demonstrate that the antis realize that, at some level, almost everyone, leaving aside Gandhi wannabes, wants some sort of personal protection.
Biden’s recommendation, I think, is quite intentional. My southern forebears regarded the shotgun as a gentleman’s weapon; the pistol was the black man’s gun. This belief was always backed up with confident boasting about the awesome killing power of the mighty 12-gauge. If we are comparing the 12 with a .32 S&W top-break revolver, that estimate was probably justified. If the pistol is a Glock 17, not so much.
But I think Tactical Joe’s embrace of the shotgun is an appeal to those archaic, and frankly racist, modes of thinking. He’s saying, in effect, “I’m not some pantywaist who would want his wife to be utterly at the mercy of intruders, but I’m going to specify a gentleman’s gun for the job.”
Well, that sounds nice, but the real point is that shotguns, while certainly effective on the burglar across the room, don’t serve as a check on state power, as do AR-15s. And that’s why Tactical Joe wants to be rid of them and we insist on keeping them.
Biden also made an interesting analogy between 30-round magazines and leaded gasoline. Cars designed for leaded gas, he said, would just disappear by natural attrition once the fuel was banned. Well, leaded gas was phased out in the 1970s, and there are still plenty of cars and trucks designed for it on the road.
More to the point, magazines don’t deteriorate if stored properly and only wear out through very extensive use. Archaeologists will discover intact magazines a thousand years from now, and my guess is some of them will still work.
You have to give Tactical Joe his props. Most of us couldn’t assert concepts that are palpably false with anything close to the zest and fluidity he displays. It takes decades in politics to learn to lie that well.