In an ABC News town hall last week, Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden proffered use of force advice to law enforcement that is being widely panned. 

"You can ban chokeholds, but beyond that you have to teach people how to de-escalate circumstances, de-escalate," said Biden. "So instead of anybody coming at you and the first thing you do is shoot to kill, you shoot 'em in the leg."

It is not the first time that Biden stated that police should be trained to, rather than the tried-and-true practice of aiming center mass to stop a lethal threat, instead opting to sweep the leg. In a meeting with community leaders in Wilmington, Delaware in June, Biden said, "If you ask me, instead of standing there and teaching a cop, when there’s an unarmed person coming at them with a knife or something, you shoot them in the leg instead of in the heart is a very different thing."  

The concept of ballistic de-escalation via kneecapping didn't sit well with the Detectives' Endowment Association, a labor union representing 20,000 active and retired New York City Police Detectives. 

"Police have to make split-second decisions in situations where the lives of the public and their own are in grave danger. Suggesting to 'shoot someone in the leg' is irresponsible and dangerous," said the group on Twitter.

Biden's "shoot 'em in the leg" comment has been the subject of a variety of internet memes in the past several days, with several pointing out that the leg contains vital arteries that can bleed out if struck by a bullet. 

 

"Shotgun Joe"

 

As previously reported by Guns.com, when Biden was Vice President under President Barack Obama in 2013, the former Congressman and Senator who had supported the federal assault weapon ban while on Capitol Hill offered advice on guns during a Facebook town hall when asked a question from a person concerned about protecting herself and her home should "assault weapons" be banned once again. 

Biden responded: “If you want to protect yourself, get a double-barrel shotgun.”  Then describing a conversation with his wife: “I said, ‘Jill, if there’s ever a problem, just walk out on the balcony here … walk out and put that double-barrel shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house.’ … You don’t need an AR-15 — it’s harder to aim, it’s harder to use, and in fact, you don’t need 30 rounds to protect yourself. Buy a shotgun! Buy a shotgun!”

 

Coupling the 2013 shotgun coaching with this year's police tips on de-escalation, the NRA fired back at Biden, saying, "Joe Biden gives terrible self-defense advice. He once told his wife, 'if there's ever a problem, just walk out on the balcony...and fire two blasts.' Now, last night, he peddled the 'just shoot the leg' argument. One word: idiotic."

Banner photo: Official portrait of Vice President Joe Biden in his West Wing office at the White House, Jan. 10, 2013 / Official White House photo by David Lienemann via the Library of Congress.

Loading