Joe Biden’s claim during a Q & A with readers of Parents magazine on Tuesday that an AR-15 is “harder to aim” and “harder to use” than a shotgun suggests he’s never actually held, much less aimed and fired, an AR-15. But it wasn’t the only incorrect information he gave out to listeners. U.S. News writes that his advice to wife, Jill — to pump a few rounds in the air from the balcony of their home “if there’s ever a problem” — could lead to multiple criminal charges against her, including felony aggravated menacing and reckless endangering.
The article quotes a sergeant with the Wilmington, Del., police department as saying that under Delaware law “you can’t just shoot someone” on your property. “You have to really feel that your life is being threatened.”
John Garey, a former Delaware deputy attorney general and current defense attorney, concurred with assessment, adding, “It is not uncommon” for people to be charged with crimes under similar circumstances. “I’ve seen cases where lawful citizens have used guns outside their homes and they end up arrested.” Which is in all likelihood what would happen if Mrs. Biden took her husband’s misguided advice.
But the recommended action poses safety, as well as legal, problems. Rob Wiltbank, a gun rights advocate, is quoted as observing:
It would be incredibly irresponsible of a gun owner to blindly discharge a firearm into the air. What goes up, must come down and this specific behavior has been the cause of many negligent homicides over the years.
Heart beat away.