Not all stupid statements are mistakes - some are outright lies.
Biden claimed that shotguns are easier to aim* than an AR-15 or a firearm with a similar platform. The AR-15 is universally recognized to be a firearm that allows the shooter to acquire a target almost instantly. In fact, this feature is what provides its main advantage over an AK-47, which although a very well-designed weapon, takes more work to aim accurately.
Biden's second lie was that a victim should take a double-barrel shotgun, walk onto the balcony (Outside of the house!) and fire two (both and only) rounds into the yard. Not only does this act empty the shotgun of ammunition (Since he noted using double-barrel types) and renders the victim powerless, but it also leaves the victim open to criminal prosecution. Some states (Like NJ, believe it or not) do not require a retreat inside one's home and thus allow the victim to shoot upon an illegal entry, and some states require that the victim make an attempt to back up, such as against a wall. Shooting outside, especially when the shooter is actually no longer standing inside a house, creates a host of legal problems both criminal and civil. The disgrace of a VP apparently has no problem with an innocent (Even if another victim is sitting in the bad guy's vehicle) or a kid on a bicycle being shot.Warning shots are also illegal in most states.
[2/21/13 - I forgot to add that multiple projectile cartridges (shot) are the most common ammunition for shotguns. These projectile "spread out" in a semi-circular pattern. This can also present a problem for someone who may have to shoot with innocents in the area.When I was a K9 officer, we alternated the duties of working with one's own dog and backing up the other dog handler when he used his dog (Following behind K9/handler team but watching on front of them). For years we had used shotguns for this task. At one point, an officer explained why he was supporting changing over to carbines for backup purposes Although I personally like shotguns, I had no choice but to admit that being able to place a shot where I wanted was a big advantage over sending a cloud of projectiles in the same general direction of a partner and his dog.]
The recoil (kick) from a 12 gauge (Most common cartridge size) shotgun is quite powerful and often too much for smaller and less experienced shooters. Many a young person has developed a fear of recoil (And the resulting flinch -terrible for aiming- that is hard to excise by further training once it starts) and the consequent pain by being introduced to shotguns before they were ready.
The following excerpt is from an previous post of mine on the types of firearms the are best for home defense. Shotguns are covered in detail:
"Rifles and shotguns can be unwieldy in the hands of a teenager or a woman with a smaller frame. A criminal can approach victim prior to a shot and turn the barrel (Pointy end) away from him. The most common type of sight on a shotgun is the "bead" type, which is simply a sphere-shaped object towards the top of the muzzle. Mastering the acquiring of a target while using a firearm with a bead sight takes a long time. The most common mistake less experienced shooters make with these sights is to raise the barrel up high enough so that the entire bead is in view. This tends to bring the plane (top) of the barrel into view also. When this occurs, the weapon will fire (very) high. Some trainers teach shooters to aim low with a shotgun to get around this problem, but it this does not address the issue. The best advice (For self-defense) that I ever gleaned from a trainer was to peer over the plane of the shotgun until only the top half of the bead was in view. While this technique works very well, it is not easy for a less experienced shooter.
The length of these weapons also makes in difficult to move around corners, which abound in homes. Unless the victim can position himself safely at the end of a hallway, the criminal can again seize control of the weapon as the victim approaches a corner or moves into another room.
Handguns take far more training to use safely and effectively than do long arms. The manner in which a handgun must be gripped is much more exact to ensure that the targeted, and not an innocent, is hit.
The following has terms designed for the lay reader:
The recoil of a handgun is substantial for a person with smaller hands. It can cause a victim to miss the target. If the handgun is a semi-auto, the recoil in smaller hand can cause the victim's hands to be thrown back. The energy of the recoil is then absorbed by the hands and wrists, rather than the weapon. When this occurs, the slide (Top part) does not have enough "oomph" or energy, to be thrown back against the lower receiver (Handle portion) The result is a spent (Shot) casing from the first round that is not ejected from the weapon and is stuck between the ejection port and the feedramp/barrel chamber when to slide returns to the front of the pistol (This is called a stovepipe). The malfunction needs to be cleared immediately and takes too much time for a shooter who has not done it many times previously.
I was a pistol and shotgun instructor in my agency for many years. I watched smaller-handed officers experience this time after time. I would not recommend this to any shooter that has not has extensive training, but, to demonstrate to the officers what was happening, I would hold their pistols just loosely enough to absorb some recoil in my hands as opposed to providing a solid base against which the recoil could do its job to cycle the weapon. The result was a stovepipe. Until this is cleared and a new round is chambered, the gun will not fire.
The shorter barrels of handguns also pose another problem for the untrained or nervous victim. If a criminal is able to get his hands on the weapon, the hands/wrist of the victim may be turned. This could cause the barrel to be pointing towards the victim or another innocent while a finger is inside the trigger guard.
For many people, the best weapons that can be employed in the event of a home invasion is either a short weapon such as a semiautomatic pistol-caliber carbine* (Chambered for 9mm, .40 cal., or .45 cal.), or a AR-15 or other civilian-legal rifle. Both types are easy to handle and with which to move. The pistol-caliber carbines are especially useful for home defense as they have a much quieter report (Important in a confined space - especially for a shooter who is not an expert) and the bullets are less likely to penetrate a wall and go into another room. They are not very long and make it more difficult for a criminal to approach closely enough to grab. Due to the longer (But not loo long) plane of the weapon and the type of sights on these, they can be accurately aimed in a instant. Unlike common shotguns and rifles, the semiautomatic actions (Lever/Bolt/Pump-type) do not need to be worked after each shot. As most of these types of weapons are external magazine-fed, they can be safely kept in an unloaded condition but loaded quickly with several rounds. This is far better than fumbling with hand-loading one round at a time into an internal magazine.