By Daniel Dale, CNN
Biden made a Friday speech in the White House Rose Garden about the launch of a new White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention. He said, “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.’”
Facts First: Biden has not been to even close to “every” mass shooting site – even if he was referring only to mass shootings during his presidency. Minutes later in the Friday speech, he said “our country has experienced more than 500 mass shootings” so far in 2023 alone; Biden has made one trip this year in connection to a specific mass shooting. He made three such trips in 2021 and 2022 combined.
In March 2023, Biden visited Monterey Park, California, where there was a mass shooting at a dance studio in January. He traveled to Buffalo in May 2022 days after a massacre at a supermarket, then traveled to Uvalde, Texas the same month following a massacre at an elementary school. In 2021, he met with Asian American leaders in Atlanta after a shooting spree at spas there killed eight people including six women of Asian descent.
But Biden did not go to the sites of numerous other mass shootings during his presidency, including many that received significant national attention. For example, he did not travel to the sites of shootings this year and last at a mall in Allen, Texas; farms in Half Moon Bay, California; a Christian school in Nashville; a bank in Louisville, Kentucky; a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia; or a parade in Highland Park, Illinois.
And by Biden’s own count, that’s a small fraction of the mass shootings during his presidency. At the time of Biden’s speech, the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit that tracks mass shootings (and defines them as shootings where four or more people were shot or killed, not including the shooter), listed 506 such shootings in 2023.
Vice President Kamala Harris visited Highland Park after the shooting there, while first lady Jill Biden visited Nashville in the wake of that shooting. The White House declined to comment Friday on the president’s inaccurate claim.
Biden has repeatedly invented or embellished aspects of his travel history and other elements of his biography. Last week, he falsely claimed he went to Ground Zero in Manhattan “the next day” after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001; he was actually at the site nine days after the attacks.
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