Mitchell Reports | February 20, 2013
>>> in today's politico briefing, on tuesday, vice president biden offered advice to the readers of "parents" magazine when asked what law-abiding citizens can do to protect themselves from criminals, and here's part of his answer.
>> i told my wife we live in an area that's wooded and somewhat secluded. jill, if there's ever a problem, walk out on the balcony here, take the double-barrelled 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.
>> john harris is the editor in chief of politico. that's joe being joe, but is there a strategy here? is this part of the overall campaign to try to persuade people that the people in the white house use guns and are not, you know, against the second amendment as they try to control the gun violence ?
>> i think so, andrea. i think you did put your finger on it. one of the things appealing about vice president biden is he is a spontaneous figure. you don't get the sense every word that comes out of his mouth is carefully scripted. i do think democrats have a challenge to say, look, we are opposed to some kinds of guns because we think they have no lawful purpose and regulating them or banning them would be an important step to limiting crime, but we're not hostile to guns in general and certainly we're not hostile to the people in many parts of the country for whom guns are a big part of the culture. hunting it a big part of the culture and an ethos of self protection that guns are legitimate as a means of protection. so they are, indeed, walking a line in trying to balance different interests on this kind of issue.
>> john, some people have been surprised that the president has really stayed with this. we saw his emotional speech in chicago last friday talking about hadia pendleton and the fact this has not been a one-off issue for the white house after newtown. do they think they can get something done with the legislation in congress?
>> i have not been surprised they've stuck with it, personally. i do think an about-face would be fairly obvious and there would be a political cost to that, and i do think that they believe two things. one, substantively there's a possibility of getting some measure, certainly not the full package that president obama has put forward, and i also think politically they feel that the country is on their side on this issue in the wake of newtown and other incidents and they are happy to press that political advantage.
>> and, in fact, biden , joe biden is going to be in connecticut tomorrow with senator bloomenthal and others talking about this at another forum, so they are keeping it up, every day, at least some effort on gun laws . thank you very much, john harris ,