Vice President Joseph R. Biden on Monday characterized suggestions that he has ever favored confiscating guns as “malarkey” — a term the garrulous Mr. Biden used in last fall’s vice presidential debate to rebut his opponent, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.
“When I ran for office, I was told, a lot of money was spent saying I was taking away everybody’s shotgun, and it was all about your shotgun,” he said after huddling with lawmakers and law enforcement officials at a roundtable on gun safety in Philadelphia. “Well, that’s a bunch of malarkey. I know that’s a word you never heard before, although it’s now in the dictionary. But that’s just simply not true.”
Mr. Biden was tapped by President Obama to craft a set of recommendations to combat gun violence after the shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in December. The White House is currently pushing an ambitious gun control package that includes bans on so-called assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, as well as background checks on all gun purchases.
“And to be very blunt with you, we’re counting on all of you, the legitimate news media, to cover these discussions, because the truth is that times have changed,” Mr. Biden continued. “The social media that exists out there, the tragedies that have occurred, the Supreme Court’s decision affirming that it’s an individual right to bear arms all give a lie to the argument that what we’re trying to do is somehow unconstitutional or somehow goes after the legitimate right to own and bear arms and to hunt and protect yourself.”