Following President Joe Biden’s announcement of the launch of the White House’s Office of Gun Violence Prevention, some took to social media to mock him for stating during his speech that he’s “been to every mass shooting.”
Biden announced the new office from the Rose Garden on Friday as he explained the importance about taking action against gun violence. The office aims to help reduce the nation’s epidemic of gun violence by “centralizing, accelerating and intensifying” the administration’s efforts to deal with it.
The launch of the office comes after the country has seen more than 500 mass shootings so far in 2023, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
“Created by executive order, I am determined to send a clear message about how important this issue is to me and to the country. It matters, and here is why,” Biden said during his remarks. “After every mass shooting, we hear a simple message—the same message all over the country. I’ve been to every mass shooting, ‘Do something, please do something.'”
However, some on social media critiqued Biden’s remarks that he has “been to every mass shooting” as they pointed out that the statement could be viewed as inaccurate.
Joe Concha, a columnist for The Messenger and Fox News contributor, took to X, formerly Twitter, to respond to the president’s statement.
“Every weekend should be therefore spent in Chicago instead of Delaware…,” Concha wrote on X on Friday evening.
While radio host Chris Plante questioned the statement by simply posting to X, “Every mass shooting??”
“This moron continues to embarrass all of America with statements like this,” a political account going by Proud Elephant posted to X.
However, some X users came to the president’s defense.
“Complain about the wording? Really? I’d rather have a President care too much than one not caring at all,” X user Anna-Marie wrote.
“This statement reflects the somber reality of frequent mass shootings in the United States and his commitment to addressing the issue,” X user Shahkar Kazmi wrote in response to a clip of Biden’s statement.
The Office of Gun Violence Prevention will be led by Vice President Kamala Harris and its focus will be on helping the administration coordinate gun policy and pressing congressional leaders to act on the issue. Stefanie Feldman—Biden’s gun violence policy adviser—will serve as the director of the office.
“Every time—every time—a sea of hands goes up because in today’s world, on the first day of school, students learn the name of their teacher, yes, they learn the location of their cubby, and they learn how to quietly hide from an active shooter,” the vice president said Friday.
Among the hundreds of attendees in the Rose Garden were survivors of school shootings, most notably the youth advocacy group March for Our Lives, which was started by students who survived the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre in Parkland, Florida.
Despite Biden’s remarks, the Biden administration remains dedicated to reducing gun violence.
“We all want our kids to have the freedom to learn how to read and write instead of duck and cover, for God’s sake,” the president said.
Newsweek reached out to the White House via email for comment.