President Joe Biden addressed the Nashville school shooting from the White House on Monday, quickly turning the tragedy into a push for tighter gun control — but first he opened with a joke about ice cream.
Biden, who was speaking to an East Room full of female business owners, began his remarks by joking that he had only joined them because he’d heard there was going to be ice cream.
“My name is Joe Biden. I’m Dr. Jill Biden’s husband. And I eat Jeni’s ice cream — chocolate chip. I came down because I heard there was chocolate chip ice cream,” he said. “By the way, I have a whole refrigerator full upstairs. You think I’m kidding? I’m not.”
Biden: "My name is Joe Biden. I'm Dr. Jill Biden's husband. And I ate Jeni's ice cream. Chocolate chip. I came down because I heard there was chocolate chip ice cream. I have a whole refrigerator full upstairs." pic.twitter.com/W3vu3XXSgU
— Washington Free Beacon (@FreeBeacon) March 27, 2023
Just moments later, Biden pivoted to the Covenant School shooting — which left at least six dead, including three children — and immediately called for an assault weapons ban.
‘It’s sick … It’s heartbreaking. A family’s worst nightmare.’ — Pres. Biden said gun violence is ‘ripping the soul’ of the U.S. apart following the school shooting in Nashville. Biden called for a assault weapons ban after police reports of the weapons the shooter carried. pic.twitter.com/lT2hIgzhIG
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) March 27, 2023
“It’s sick,” Biden said. “It’s heartbreaking. A family’s worst nightmare.”
“We have to do more to stop gun violence; it’s ripping our communities apart — ripping the soul of this nation,” Biden continued.
“And we have to do more to protect our schools, so they aren’t turned into prisons,” he added, noting that the shooter in this particular instance had been armed with two semi-automatic rifles and a pistol and calling on Congress to pass an assault weapons ban.
Later, however, Biden eventually drifted back to the topic of ice cream after recognizing that Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream was participating in the female-owned business event.
“…and by the way, it is splendid,” Biden said, adding, “If I were allowed to take you upstairs, you got a whole freezer full of Jeni’s chocolate chip ice cream … You know it’s pretty dull when you’ve been in public life as long as I have and you’re known for two things: chocolate chip ice cream and Ray-Bans sunglasses, but what the hell?”