March 31, 2012
Vice president Joe Biden told CBS News Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law will become a subject of debate following the Trayvon Martin shooting.
“It’s important that people be put in a position where their Second Amendment rights are protected, but that they also don’t, as a consequence of the laws, unintendedly put themselves in harm’s way,” Biden told Bob Schieffer in an interview that will air on “Face the Nation” on Sunday.
Biden told CBS it is questionable if firearms allow people to protect themselves. “The idea that there’s this overwhelming additional security in the ownership and carrying concealed and deadly weapons… I think it’s the premise, not the constitutional right, but the premise that it makes people safer is one that I’m not so sure of,” Biden said.
According to Gun Owners of America, firearms are used 2.5 million times a year in self-defense. “Law-abiding citizens use guns to defend themselves against criminals as many as 2.5 million times every year — or about 6,850 times a day,” a GOA factsheet notes. “This means that each year, firearms are used more than 80 times more often to protect the lives of honest citizens than to take lives.” In the vast majority of cases, brandishing a firearm prevented an attack of crime, the statistics reveal.
Forty three state constitutions contain specific references to the citizen right of self-defense. In addition, seven other states protect the right to self-defense statutorily.
Prior to the mid-1800s, individuals were responsible for their own protection and were legally required to pursue and attempt to apprehend criminals. “The notion of a police force in those days was abhorrent in England and America, where liberals viewed it as a form of the dreaded ‘standing army,’” writes Peter Kasler.
In making his anti-gun argument, Biden ignored Supreme Court rulings made in 2008 and 2010. In the District of Columbia v. Heller ruling made in 2008, the Court held that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm and the Second Amendment affirms the individual right to use firearms for traditionally lawful purposes, including self-defense.
Biden favors more gun control laws, including closing the so-called “gun show loophole.” The National Rifle Association gave him an “F” for his gun control voting record when he was a Senator.
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