Former Vice President Biden says that he believes the Second Amendment is being badly misinterpreted by America's court system, and accused gun rights activists of "prostitution" of the law.
In a Thursday discussion with University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann, Biden praised the "March For Our Lives" movement, which he says has reignited a debate over what gun rights should look like in the U.S., CBS News reports.
"I think the Second Amendment is being badly interpreted. It's not consistent with what our Founders intended," Biden told Gutmann.
"What's happened here is the nation as a whole has decided it can no longer, in my view, continue to turn a blind eye to the prostitution of the Second Amendment here and can no longer turn a blind eye to the enormous damage being done not just in our schools but on our streets," he added.
Biden, considered a potential 2020 White House contender, said he was proud to see students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where a shooter killed 17 students and faculty last month, organize a "spontaneous" demonstration against gun violence without the aid of more seasoned politicians.
"This was totally, thoroughly, spontaneously on the part of the students; there was no adult inspiration for this. They insisted and that's why guys like me who led in the gun issue did not show up to speak. We wanted to make sure everybody knew this was a spontaneous, thoroughly spontaneous effort on the part of young people," Biden said.
The former vice president, who campaigned for Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits Biden sends 'best wishes' to Clinton following hospitalization The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Jan. 6 panel flexes its muscle MORE in 2016 after briefly considering a run of his own, went on to criticize younger Americans for "abysmal" voting rates, noting that activism can only go so far.
"The percentage of vote between the ages of 18 and 24 is abysmal. It makes me angry, to tell you the truth, because you can change it," Biden said, adding that "everything would be different" if just 10 percent more younger Americans made it to the ballot box in November.
"You have no excuse. There's no place to hide," he said. "You deserve exactly what you get if you don't vote."
Biden has left his options open for 2020 and is reportedly telling aides to prepare for the possibility.
“I have to be able to stand in front of a mirror and look in the mirror and know that if I don’t run it’s not because I’m afraid of losing, it’s not because I don’t want to take on the responsibility, it’s because there’s somebody better to do it and/or because emotionally I’m not positioned to be all in," he said about a 2020 run earlier in March.
"And so the jury’s still out.”