Town hall questioner says Biden was being sexist on guns

“I think it was poor advice and it comes off a little sexist,” she said of the Vice President's comment on shotguns

By Jillian Rayfield

Published February 22, 2013 9:47PM (EST)

The woman who asked Joe Biden about guns at a Parents Magazine town hall says that she felt the Vice President's response - that she should just buy a shotgun - was sexist.

Kate Ernest had asked Biden earlier this week: “Do you believe that banning certain weapons and high capacity magazines will mean that law-abiding citizens will then become more of a target to criminals as we will have no way to sufficiently protect ourselves?” In response, Biden laughed and said that he's told his wife, Jill Biden, "Jill, if there’s ever a problem, just walk out on the balcony, put that double-barrel shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house."

He added that you don't need an AR-15 to ward off intruders: "Buy a shotgun."

Ernest said on Fox News that she felt Biden was dismissive. “I think it was poor advice and it comes off a little sexist,” she said. “Like, ‘let me tell you what you need’ versus, you know, ‘arm yourself or protect yourself in a way that you feel necessary."


As Evan McMorris-Santoro from TPM points out, Biden has often repeated the "get a shotgun" line, though this time it's gotten him into a bit more trouble than usual: U.S. News reported after the town hall that Jill Biden could go to jail for following Biden's advice, because it could be a violation of Delaware law to fire a shotgun off into the air.

Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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