It was during a Facebook townhall “chat” and question and answer earlier this year that the Vice President advised a questioner that no one needs an AR-15 to defend himself or herself. All you need is a double barreled 12-gauge shotgun.
“[I]f you want to protect yourself, get a double barreled shotgun. I promise you, as I told my wife, we live in an area that’s wooded and somewhat secluded. I said, ‘Jill, if there’s ever a problem, just walk out on the balcony here, walk out, put [up] that double barreled shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house.’ You don’t need an AR-15—it’s harder to aim, it’s harder to use, and in fact you don’t need 30 rounds to protect yourself. Buy a shotgun! Buy a shotgun!”
Well, this particular Oregon man (an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran) didn’t use a shotgun. He actually had an AR-15. Someone was trying to break in the back door of his apartment on Sunday night, and he told the criminal that he was armed and that he would fire one and only one warning shot. “This is the end result,” he explained to a local news station. “You break into someone’s house, there’s consequences,” As Walter Sobchak from The Big Lebowski would have said, “You are entering a world of pain.”
So, the military vet Cory Thompson fired off his warning shot into the ground. By that time, the burglar Jonathan Kinsella had taken off running and met up with the police who were responding to the disturbance call. When the police heard the warning shot, they saw the burglar running away toward the apartment complex’s parking lot where they arrested him. It turned out that the burglar was a convicted felon.
As for the military vet who took Joe Biden’s advice, he was charged with Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Menacing, and Reckless Endangering. They also confiscated his rifle, because it was “used in the commission of a crime.”
Police said that there was no justification for what Thompson did in firing a warning shot. Since Thompson told the police that he was trying to protect his property, there was no legal reason for him to use lethal force. The only time a citizen may use deadly force is when he believes his life is in danger. I guess this is just what happens when you take the Vice President’s advice.
Regarding the whole shotgun versus AR-15 comment that Biden made, here’s a hilarious video that shows just how difficult an AR-15 is to handle: