White House press secretary slips up and says US averages 1 shooting a week, after saying more than 1 per day
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during a press briefing on Monday that the U.S. has averaged more than one mass shooting per day since the start of 2023, before later saying the country averages one per week.
At the top of the White House press briefing on Monday, Jean-Pierre told reporters that May 8 is the 128th day of 2023, and yesterday, the U.S. had its 201st mass shooting of the year.
“That means we are averaging more than one a day, more than 200 mass shootings in 128 days,” she said, adding that more than 14,000 people died this year from gun violence. “This is a crisis. It is a crisis that the Republicans in Congress are refusing to address. We are talking about the number one killer of kids in America, and Republicans in Congress are saying there is nothing that we can do about it.”
Mass shootings are taking place in schools, shopping centers, churches, movie theaters, grocery stores, temples and other communal areas, interrupting everyday lives, the press secretary explained.
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These public spaces come under attack from “weapons of war,” that Jean-Pierre said have “no place on our streets.”
She then pointed the attention to Congress, saying it must address the crisis.
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On Sunday, President Biden asked Congress to send him a bill banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, ending immunity for manufacturers, requiring safe storage of guns and enacting universal background checks, according to Jean-Pierre.
“It’s just common sense, and it’s what the American people, majority of the American people, want when we have 200 mass shootings in less than 130 days, more than one a day. This is a crisis. Congress must do something about it now.”
A little bit later, though, Jean-Pierre said the shootings are averaging much less.
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“It is frustrating, and I’m sure you all are frustrated, too, to talk about this over and over again,” Jean-Pierre told reporters. “…averaging out one mass shooting a week? That’s not ok.”
Earlier numbers presented by the press secretary were much more accurate, and what she said later during the press conference was likely a slip up.
Still, Jean-Pierre said Biden has taken two dozen executive actions in two years on gun legislation, including the bipartisan Safer Communities Act.
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“This is a president that has taken action,” she said. “Where’s Congress’s responsibility on this? Where’s their responsibility on this? We need legislation.”