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Joe Biden dodges when asked about gun owner who chased Texas church shooter

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The former vice president instead diverted the conversation to how "crazy" people will inevitably be able to purchase guns. (Ashlee Rezin/Sun Times via AP)

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Monday dodged a question about the importance of legal gun owners, after a man licensed to carry a firearm shot at the man who shot up a Texas church this month.

During an interview on NBC's "Today" show, an audience member asked Biden asked how he would "justify the Democratic view on gun control when the shooter was stopped by a man who was legally licensed to carry a gun." But Biden talked more broadly about the need for gun control.

"First of all, the kind of gun he was carrying, he shouldn't be carrying," Biden said in an apparent reference to the Texas church shooter. He then mentioned a gun control law he had introduced while in the Senate.

"Number two, it's just rational to say certain people shouldn't have guns. Now the fact that some people with guns are legally able to acquire a gun and they turn out to be crazy after the fact, that's life. There's nothing you can do about that," Biden said. "But we can save a lot of lives and we stopped tens of thousands of people from getting guns who shouldn't have guns."

Biden made no mention of Sutherland Springs, Texas, resident Stephen Willeford. Willeford, a legally armed man, fired at Devin Patrick Kelley after Kelley fired at churchgoers on Nov 5. Law enforcement later confirmed that Willeford hit Kelley twice.

Willeford commandeered a driver who had been passing by the church at the time of the shooting and went after the gunman.

He and the driver, Johnnie Langendorff, are credited with chasing away Devin Patrick Kelley, who later fatally shot himself after crashing into a field during the 11-mile chase.