Former President Bill Clinton said Tuesday that people are much better off buying a shotgun than a so-called assault weapon if they're trying to protect themselves in their homes — using a line repeated emphatically by Vice President Joseph R. Biden earlier this year.
Mr. Clinton was speaking in response to a question about bridging ideological differences during the first in a series of lectures at Georgetown University in concert with his global foundation.
"First of all, you got to realize, for the legitimate differences — let's say, over gun control — basically, it's an urban-rural deal," Mr. Clinton said. "There are some people you can't reach, but if you live in a city and you think you need protection in your home, you're way better off with a shotgun than an assault weapon. Trust me. It's not even close. So this is mostly a rural-urban deal."
"So I just think they need to keep talking about it — I think they can do that," he continued. "And I think the president having these two dinners with the Republican senators is a good thing, and I think the president meeting with the women senators was a good thing."
During a Facebook chat with Parents Magazine in February, Mr. Biden started extolling the virtues of the shotgun to fend off would-be criminals, crediting their ease of use and reliability compared to semiautomatic rifles.
"If you want to protect yourself, get a double-barrel shotgun. You don't need an AR-15," Mr. Biden said. "You don't need an AR-15. It's harder to aim; it's harder to use. Buy a shotgun. Buy a shotgun."
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