The Washington Times - February 20, 2013, 02:57PM

The White House is standing by Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s decision to talk bluntly about his affinity for old-school shotguns — despite a storm of criticism from the left that the pump-action pitch undermined the White House push for gun-control measures.

“The point the vice president was making yesterday is one that he’s made before,” Mr. Carney said. “And that is, that this administration, this president and this vice president … firmly supports our Second Amendment rights, upheld by the Constitution, and that includes the right of homeowners, law-abiding Americans citizens, to have a firearm at their home to protect themselves in their home.”

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“The point he was making … and a point he’s made in the past, is that in his view, you do not need a military-style assault weapon to protect your home,” he continued. “In fact, you would be better off with a shotgun.”

Mr. Carney also confirmed that the vice president has a 12-gauge and a 20-gauge shotgun that he keeps in a safe at his home in Delaware.

During a Facebook video chat with Parents magazine on Tuesday, Mr. Biden started extolling the virtues of fending off would-be criminals with a shotgun, crediting their ease of use and reliability compared to assault rifles.

“If you want to protect yourself, get a double-barrel shotgun. You don’t need an AR-15,” he said. “You don’t need an AR-15. It’s harder to aim; it’s harder to use. Buy a shotgun. Buy a shotgun!”

But Mr. Biden didn’t leave it at that — he decided to tell a colorful story to drive home the point. He said he has told his wife, Jill Biden, to fire off a few shots of the shotgun in the backyard if she ever feels threatened.

“[I said to Jill,] if there’s ever a problem here, just walk out on the balcony, here, walk out, put that double-barrel shotgun and just fire two blasts outside the house,” Mr. Biden said. “You don’t need an [assault rifle].”

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Second Amendment & Gun Control