(WASHINGTON) — Vice President Joe Biden Thursday morning said that the “cultural norm” about gun ownership has changed, arguing that many people buy guns, not for protection or hunting, but because “it’s like driving a Ferrari.”
“It used to be we were dealing almost exclusively with hunters,” Biden said on MSNBC. “There’s a whole new sort of group of individuals now who, I don’t know what the numbers are, that 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.”
“They like the way it feels. You know, it’s like driving a Ferrari,” he said, raising his arms as if shooting a gun.
As Congress prepares to vote Thursday on whether to proceed to debate a gun control bill, Biden said the issue is one where the people have been “far ahead” of the politicians.
“I mean so far ahead,” he said of public support for gun control proposals, including expanded background checks. “You saw it in immigration, you saw it in marriage issues. You’re seeing it now, the public has moved to a different place.”
The vice president spoke passionately about the need to continue to push for a ban on assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazine clips, saying “certain weapons of war just don’t belong on the street.”
He argued that smaller clips would have saved lives in the December massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. “If there had only been 10 bullets in each clip, [the shooter] would have had to change the clip an additional three to five times. One of those kids would be alive. Somebody would be alive,” Biden said.
“What is the inconvenience? What are we doing? What are we doing to impact on a gun owners’ right if he only has a clip with ten rounds in it instead of 30 rounds in it?” he asked.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Stephen Collinson, CNN
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
Eric Bradner, CNN