The Facebook Town Hall interview with Vice President Joe Biden conducted earlier this week by Parents.com executive editor Michael Kress has made headlines on a wide range of outlets, with analysts and reporters commenting in particular on a comment Biden made urging a mother to “buy a shotgun” instead of a weapon with a high-capacity magazine.
Wednesday night, the moment was featured as the “Moment of Zen” on the Comedy Central program “The Daily Show” (video below). Here are links to some other news reactions to the Town Hall:
Gawker.com: Joe Biden’s Advice for Defending Your Home: ‘Buy a Shotgun, Buy a Shotgun’
One questioner equated gun control to drug control — if criminalizing drugs didn’t get them off the streets, why will criminalizing guns? — and a second asked if limiting assault weapons and high-capacity magazines would limit people’s ability to protect themselves.
“Is this Parents Magazine? I have Parents Magazine. I’ve never heard anybody in Parents Magazine ask these kinds of questions,” Biden said.
On the question about drug control, he tried to tamp down the notion that the administration wants to criminalize guns (“There is no ban on guns, no one’s banning a gun.”) and he took issue with the comparison to illegal drugs.
“Are you suggesting we have no, we just legalize all drugs? Is that what you’re suggesting? That would go real well in Parents Magazine,” Biden said. “Let’s talk about being able to — no matter what your age — go out and be able to purchase cocaine. What do you think about that idea?”
“Look, these comparisons are not appropriate, quite frankly, but secondly the idea [that] you should have no law unless the law you have prevents all violations of that law, that is not the way society works.”
Parents Magazine is going to host a town hall-style interview with Vice President Joe Biden on the subject of how to reduce gun violence in America — and you have a chance to submit a question! Here are the details:
The interview will be conducted by Parents.com’s executive editor, Michael Kress, at the White House on Tuesday, February 19 at 3:30 Eastern time. On that date, you can watch live streaming video of the interview on the Parents Magazine Facebook page.
The families of those who were killed in the December mass school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut held a news conference Monday to announce a violence prevention initiative they are organizing to prevent future tragedies like those their families endured. More on “Sandy Hook Promise” from The New York Times:
In some of their first public statements since the shooting, which killed 20 children and 6 staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the families of 11 of the victims called for a national dialogue on issues of mental health, school safety and what their nonprofit group, called Sandy Hook Promise, described as “gun responsibility.”
The gathering came as President Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. prepared to unveil gun-control proposals as soon as Tuesday that are expected to call for a ban on the kind of assault weapon and high-capacity ammunition magazines used by Adam Lanza in the Newtown shooting.
But perhaps foreshadowing the difficult and contentious debates to come in Washington, group members declined to offer support for any specific measures, saying they needed time to educate themselves on the issues, and emphasizing that the debate must be broader than gun control.
“It’s only been 30 days, and for the past 30 days we’ve really been looking inward and supporting our community,” said Tim Makris, a founder of the group who had a fourth-grade son at the school, who was not hurt.
“We love the focus of the president,” he added, “and we love that the vice president reached out recently to talk directly to the families that chose to meet with him. But we don’t have an immediate response right now.”
Tom Bittman, another founder, who has children who previously attended the school, said that many of the group members were gun owners.
“We hunt, we target shoot,” he said. “We protect our homes. We’re collectors. We teach our sons and daughters how to use guns safely. We’re not afraid of a national conversation in our community and in Congress about responsibility and accountability. We know there are millions of people in this nation who agree with us.”
The news conference, which included other members of the Newtown community, was the first time a group of Sandy Hook families spoke publicly about the tragedy.