WASHINGTON (AFP) - Vice-President Joe Biden told Americans on Tuesday that a few blasts of a shotgun should be ample for self defence, as he pushed White House gun reform plans.
"If you want to protect yourself get a double barreled shotgun," Mr Biden said, on a Facebook forum hosted by "Parents Magazine" as he related advice he once gave to his wife Jill, as their home in Delaware was in a secluded area.
"'Jill, if there is ever a problem, walk out on the balcony, flick that double-barreled shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house.'" "You don't need an AR-15 (semi automatic rifle) ... it is harder to use, and in fact you don't need 30 rounds to protect yourself. Buy a shotgun."
Biden's typically colourful language came as he made a point that no one needed a fast-firing assault weapon to assure their own defence, and to fulfill their constitutional-guaranteed right to bear arms. Following the massacre of 20 young children at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut last year and other rampages, the White House is calling on Congress to reinstate a ban on assault weapons.
President Barack Obama also wants Congress to impose limits of the size of fast-firing magazine clips and to close loopholes in background checks required by current laws for people buying guns.
The measures have been rejected in full or in part by the gun lobby, led by the National Rifle Association, many Republicans and some Democrats from conservative states who are facing re-election in 2014.