I was surfing YouTube recently and ran across a clip of Vice President Joe Biden being asked about gun control. He went off on a tangent and started preaching that a shotgun is more lethal than an AR style rifle, even in the hands of someone that knows how to use the rifle. Then I ran across another video where Mr. Biden continued on his shotgun theme by stating that all you need is a double barrel shotgun for protection. He said that all you need to do is run outside and fire 2 shots into the air. In his mind, that would scare away anyone meaning to do me harm. Setting aside how bad (and potentially illegal and dangerous) the advice is, keep in mind that these comments came in response to gun control discussions.
So, here is the fictitious but not unheard of scenario. In writing my blog, I violate some newly passed law prohibiting me from criticizing the policies of the government. A group of police, secret service, FBI, “government representatives,” or whatever you want to call them come to my house. They break down the door without a warrant. I run outside with my double barrel shotgun and fire 2 shots into the air. If I am lucky enough to still be alive, the government authorities arrest me without a warrant and take my computer. I am locked up for an indefinite period of time, not given any contact with the outside world, never indicted or having my case heard before a grand jury, and do not receive a trial for years. After a trial, without a jury, where I have to prove myself to be innocent, I am sentenced to death for my crime.
I violated a law that is unconstitutional under the 1st Amendment. The government representatives entered my home in violation of the 4th Amendment. They seized me and my property in violation of the 4th Amendment. I am imprisoned and tried in violation of the 5th and 6th Amendments. I am sentenced to death and die by firing squad in violation of the 8th Amendment. (I thought the firing squad was kind of ironic given that they do not use double barrel shotguns for this.)
Interestingly enough, the 20 or so body-armor-clad government representatives that came to my home brought with them semi-automatic handguns with magazine capacities in excess of 10 rounds, semi-automatic rifles with magazine capacities in excess of 10 rounds, tear gas guns, flash grenades, and an armored vehicle. One guy did have a shotgun mounted to his AR (which stands for ArmaLite by the way, not Assault Rifle) style rifle so that they could breach my front door.
According to Vice President Joe Biden, a double-barrel shotgun will stop these intruders. But more to the point, if all you need for self-defense is a double-barrel shotgun, why do our police departments not use them? They have been around for over 150 years. Clearly, they have been the most successful self-defense firearm in history as every police department I know of uses them (sorry, I am being facetious). Remember, the police only have the ability to use lethal force in self-defense. Same as you.
The problem with getting into the argument about what is the best self-defense firearm is that the conversation generally turns to common street criminals breaking into your home. I do not keep a firearm in my home for that purpose. The 2nd Amendment does not protect my right to keep a firearm in my home for self-defense from common street criminals. The 2nd Amendment does protect my right to keep a firearm in my home to prevent the scenario I outlined above from happening; namely, the scenario where the government has become oppressive and government officials are rounding up dissidents and imprisoning or executing them.
So, the question I would ask Vice President Joe Biden: When 20 or so armor-clad government officials come to execute me in my home for something I have posted on the internet, is a double-barrel shotgun my best choice for defending my liberties and defending the U.S. Constitution? Or more to the point, after consulting with his military and law enforcement advisors who want to come to my home and hall me away, would they prefer I had a double-barrel shotgun or a semi-automatic, center-fire rifle with a 30-round magazine. I would venture a guess that they would prefer I had a double-barrel shotgun. I think I would go with the one they would prefer I did not own.