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Dave Ross

Joe Biden's shotgun-firing advice lands Vancouver man in court

The Vancouver man claimed he fired his gun because, "I did what Joe Biden told me to do. I went outside and fired my shotgun in the air." (AP Photo/File)

A Vancouver, Washington resident and proud gun owner was in court Wednesday for following the advice of Joe Biden.

Yes, Vice President Joe Biden.

Well, at least that's what the man claims.

According to KOIN News in Portland, Jeffrey Barton, 52, reportedly admitted to deputies that he fired his weapon while chasing away people who he thought were breaking into his car in the early morning hours of Monday.

"I just woke up at 3 o'clock in the morning and I noticed that there were dome lights on inside my car and there were three people inside two different cars," said Barton.

Deputies are investigating whether a teenage party nearby may have been linked to the shooting.

Outside the courtroom Wednesday, Barton cited the vice president in defense of his actions.

"I did what Joe Biden told me to do. I went outside and fired my shotgun in the air."

Wait a second, there is no way that Joe Biden, our vice president, would ever advise anyone to fire a shotgun in the air to protect themselves.

"If you want to protect yourself, get a double-barrel shotgun and if there is ever a problem just walk out on the balcony, walk out and put that double-barrel shotgun and fire two blasts." That's what Joe Biden said during a Facebook chat in February, advising his wife to protect herself if "there's ever problem."

The NRA, of course, pounced.

"Great advice, Joe," the deep-voiced NRA narrator said in the ad. "Not only would that be illegal but a woman would then face an attacker with an empty shotgun. For tips on responsible gun ownership ask the NRA - not Joe Biden."

But wait, the Washington Post also looked into his claim, speaking to State Prosecutor Kathleen Jennings, who heads the Delaware Justice Department's Criminal Division. She disagreed. "In Delaware, a person can legally fire a weapon to protect themselves and others from someone intruding onto her dwelling," she said in an interview.

However, here in Washington, sheriffs deputies say that current law does not afford people the right to just fire off their gun. There must be a self-defense component, along with a life-threatening situation none of which appeared to be the case here, they said.

By the way, I think part of the problem is that people are getting their Biden quotes from outlets like "The Conan O'Brien Show" which played a clip of Biden saying, "You should be able to go buy a flame-thrower, you should be able to buy and M-1 tank. You should be able to buy a grenade launcher."

Actually Biden was saying it would be absurd to allow people to have those things.

KIRO Radio's Owen Murphy contributed to this report.

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

Tune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

  • Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FMTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

About the Author


Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.

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