EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

June 17, 2013

Letter: Some blowback on Biden's shotgun suggestion

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — To the editor:

I find it just a little bit disturbing watching the well-secured elite giving bad advice to us lowly commoners on self-defense. Amongst the many doing this lately is our vice president, Joe Biden, advising us that a double-barrel shotgun is the end-all answer for home defense.

Sure, a shotgun blast can be devastating in an uncomplicated home defense situation, but keep in mind that a 12 gauge shotgun (by far the most popular for defense) churns up anywhere from 30 to over 40 foot pounds of recoil. For many, this much recoil can turn a two-shot double into single because the first blast can leave the untrained defender somewhat disorientated and off balance.

I have never been fond of recoil, but now in my more fragile years, about 14 foot pounds of free recoil from any long gun is about all that I care to put up with. I have witnessed, on more than a few occasions, a youngster’s enthusiasm for shooting destroyed by a hard-kicking firearm on the first shot. In any case, I believe it is just not a good idea for even experienced marksmen to limit themselves to only two shots in any defensive situation.

Further, for whatever you have been led to believe, in many instances or at least enough to be a concern, a handgun is not an immediate fight-stopper. Especially in the calibers that most licensed gun owners use in their carry or home defense handguns. Again, like the shotgun, for many people the blast and recoil of the more powerful handgun cartridges can become a real problem. Some time ago, a very tragic event convinced the FBI that it needed more stopping power, inspiring the agency to switch to a more powerful handgun round but soon found out it had to lessen the cartridges power level somewhat because of firearm control issues.

Charlie Faro

North Andover