"I don't view it as gun control, I view it as gun safety." That was Vice President Joe Biden's key message during a Google+ hangout on Thursday afternoon as his road show pitching the Obama administration's new gun proposals took to a friendly part of the web. But that's a version of what the NRA says, too, and Biden had some choice words for gun-rights advocates: "A shotgun will keep you a lot safer than an assault weapon," he said, and a shotgun is a better choice when the worst hits.
The "fireside chat" that had a noticeable lack of fire, but it kicked off with a question from YouTube star Philip DeFranco about the efficiency of Dianne Feinstein's just-unveiled gun legislation, and why Biden thinks an assault-weapons ban will be more effective than the one he helped get passed in 1994. Biden's argument was that while assault weapons don't account for a high number of murders, they are helping to outgun police officers, which he says is a major problem. "You have an individual right to own a weapon both for hunting and for self-protection," Biden said, but that doesn't mean assault rifles are the appropriate tools for the job.