In a sound bite that has already sparked a backlash from many gun owners, Vice President Joe Biden told panelists on an MSNBC morning show on Thursday that many people own guns because it gives them a thrill akin to “driving a Ferrari.”
Biden made the controversial comparison on “Morning Joe,” during a debate about gun reform. He prefaced the comment by saying that the appeal of guns has changed over the years.
"It used to be we were dealing almost exclusively with hunters," Biden said. “There’s a whole new group of individuals now, who -- I don’t know what the numbers are -- but never hunt at all. But they own guns for one of two reasons: self-protection, or they just like the feel of that AR-15 at the range ... It’s like driving a Ferrari.”
Biden, who has become a central figure in the gun control debate since the Sandy Hook, Conn., shootings, argued for banning high-capacity ammunition magazines, saying that if gunman Adam Lanza had needed to stop to reload, at least one more life could have been spared. “I think certain weapons of war just don’t belong on the street,” he said.
On Twitter, gun control opponents mocked the Vice President’s remarks and called him ignorant. “An AR-15 feels like freedom, not a Ferrari, you f------ imbecile!” @infidel1375 tweeted.
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“Thank you Uncle Joe Biden! I'm going today and buy my wife a gun, and maybe Another for me, since I'm saving $1000s not buying the Ferrari !” @PreacherDonnie tweeted.
According to The Ticket, Biden’s participation in the roundtable discussion marked the end of a week of gun control-related appearances by influential White House players. On Monday, President Obama spoke about the Sandy Hook shooting in Hartford, Conn, and on Tuesday Attorney General Eric Holder joined Biden at the White House, where they urged Senate Republicans not to filibuster gun control legislation.
View the video of Biden’s on-air comments, below.