Remember when Joe Biden -- putative Vice-President of the United States -- recommended that gun owners discourage intruders by firing a shotgun in the air?
So did Jeffery Barton of Washington State but when he followed that advice, he was arrested for his trouble. At his arraignment he pleaded not guilty and raised what is now being called the "Joe Biden Defense". While that seems a little tongue-in-cheek to me, it is, in the clarity of hindsight, a predictable reaction to the utter stupidity and ignorance exhibited by Biden.
Now -- perhaps hoping not to embarrass the VP more than he does for himself -- the prosecutor is dropping the one count of illegal aiming or discharging a firearm.
Clark County's prosecutor said Tuesday he will dismiss a firearms-related charge against a Vancouver man who said he was merely taking Vice President Joe Biden's advice on how to defend his property from car prowlers. Instead, the man will be prosecuted for obstructing a police officer.
Jeffrey C. Barton, 53, made international news when he told journalists: "I did what Joe Biden told me to do. I went outside and fired my shotgun in the air."
That is a reference to the vice president's answer to a question in February 2013 about home defense. Biden responded that Americans don't need to own semiautomatic weapons because a couple blasts from a shotgun will scare off intruders.
Of course the state being, typically, unwilling to let go of any opportunity to harass a peaceable gun owner will throw an obstruction charge against the wall.
However, the firearms charge will be replaced with a charge of obstructing a law enforcement officer, Golik said.
Golik said ethical guidelines prevent him from discussing specific reasons for the new charge.
"Based on (Barton's) conduct, we are going to pursue the obstruction charge," he said.
Ethical considerations? In this case is sound more like: We don't have a real reason to put him in jail so we will fall back on the obstruction charge.
And lawyers wonder why Dante spread them out all over the Inferno. There are so many appropriate places there for them.