Before we get to the Veep, a couple of miscellaneous notes. First, for the permanent record, I consider Sarah Palin to be an exemplary sportsperson, a true American patriot, a leading intellectual of our time, and a speaker whose gifts are equaled only by those of Winston Spencer Churchill.

Last week, NBC-TV aired a series called “Flashpoint: Guns in America,” which was about what you might expect. The segment I had the bad luck to view was on the electronic safety devices that allegedly prevent a gun from being used by anyone but its owner. The narrator, Tom Costello, repeatedly referred to this stuff being installed in a rifle. The gun on screen, about which he was speaking, was a pump-action shotgun.

To Joe Biden. I enjoy watching politicians. Their antics are amusing in the way that the antics of chimpanzees are amusing, and entertaining in the way that films about serious criminals are entertaining. But my favorite is Joe Biden, who is in a class by himself. There are two ways to explain the Vice President: Either he was hit in the head, very hard, at some point in his life and hasn’t gotten over it, or else he has reached that state enjoyed by some senior citizens who will say whatever pops into their brains because they simply don’t give a s**t any more.

Recently, Field & Stream Editor Anthony Licata met with Joe Biden to discuss the Obama administration’s views on guns, and that interview will appear on this website next week. I haven’t read the transcript, but on February 19th Biden gave an interview hosted by Parents magazine, and took questions from viewers. When a woman named Kate asked if a re-instatement of the assault weapons ban would leave people defenseless, Mr. Biden’s answer was “…get a double-barrel 12-gauge shotgun and have shells on hand.”

The Veep went on to say that he and his wife live in a rural part of Delaware, and he has told her that if anything scares her in the night to fire two shotgun blasts out the door and it will go away. Also, according to the Doctrine of Joe, the shotgun is much easier to aim and handle than an AR-15, and you don’t need 30 rounds when two will do. This stuff is straight from what the Germans call “cloud cuckoo land.”

Mr. Vice President: You may have noticed a number of unsmiling young men and women who are with you at all times. They wear sunglasses, have recognition buttons on their lapels, phones plugged in their ears, automatic pistols (whose magazines make them illegal in New York State, since there is no exemption for law enforcement) at their belts, and easy access to MP-5 submachine guns. They are called the Secret Service, and it is their job to arrest or shoot into rag dolls anything that is remotely scary to you or your wife. Oh, once in a while they screw up, such as in 1963 and 1981, but they mean well.

They are no doubt stationed at your country home, and if your wife should fire two shots out the front door with a shotgun, the place is going to look like the first 15 minutes of Saving Private Ryan. For those of you who do not have SS protection, if you live in a residential area and fire two shots out the door, the police will come. Their radios will say “Shots fired,” and so they will be afraid for their lives, and they will arrive cocked and locked. At the very least you’ll be arrested and booked for illegally discharging a firearm. Your defense that the Vice President told you to do so will probably not hold up in court.

About the guns. A 12-gauge shotgun kicks a lot harder than an AR even when loaded with birdshot, and with buckshot, it really kicks a lot harder. With a double-barrel gun you get two shots and you’re out of the fight. With an AR you get at least ten, and you can put a sight on it which will enable you to hit something in the dark or in poor light, which you can’t do with a double-barrel gun.

But as lunatic advice goes, Vice President Biden’s isn’t the worst around. Last month, a Colorado legislator named Jessie Ulibarri suggested that instead of arming themselves with guns, Coloradans arm themselves with ballpoint pens, presumably on the grounds that the pen is mightier not only than the sword, but the firearm as well.

The chimps have nothing on the people that make our laws.