7 Awkward Moments from Joe Biden’s Gun Control Announcement

US President Joe Biden speaks from the Rose Garden of the White House about gun violence on April 8, 2021, in Washington, DC. - Biden on Thursday called US gun violence an "epidemic" at a White House ceremony to unveil new attempts to get the problem under control. (Photo by …
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

President Joe Biden took the bully pulpit Thursday at the White House to push for more gun control, slipping into his trademark misstatements, “brain freezes,” and awkward turns of phrase.

Here are seven of the strangest moments from Biden’s Rose Garden speech:

1. “Pistol” or “pencil”?

“A stabilizing brace used in a pencil [sic] essentially makes that pistol hell of a lot more accurate than many rifles,” Biden said. “As a result, it’s more lethal, effectively turning it into a short-barreled rifle.”

2. Sorry Jill! “Our son,” not “my son”

During his speech, Biden apologized to his wife Jill Biden for referring to his deceased son Beau Biden as “my son” instead of “our son.”

“I’m proud that the red flag laws in my home state of Delaware was named after my son, Attorney General Beau Biden — our son, excuse me, Jill,” he said.

3. Rewriting history

“For that 10 years we had it done, the number of mass shootings actually went down,” Biden said of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban passed in 1994 which expired in 2004.

Fact-checkers frequently rebut politicians and media figures on this claim, describing it as “half-true” or “unclear.” The Washington Post gave Bill Clinton “three Pinocchios” for making the same argument.

4. Joe Biden dreams of God granting him one gun control law

“If I get one thing on my list, the Lord came down and said, ‘Joe you get one of these, gimme that one.’ Because I tell you what, there would be a come-to-the-Lord moment these folks would have real quickly.”

5. “No amendment to the Constitution is absolute.”

Joe Biden asserted that the Second Amendment was not “absolute” asserting that at America’s founding citizens were not allowed to “own any weapon they wanted to own.”

“They are phony arguments suggesting that these are Second Amendment rights at stake from what we are talking about but no amendment, no amendment is absolute.”

6. Joe Biden botches a description of the “gun show loophole.”

“Most people don’t know you walk into a store and you buy a gun, you have a background check. But you go to a gun show, you can buy whatever you want and no background check,” he said.

The vast majority of gun show vendors are licensed dealers who require background checks. Only private person-to-person sales do not require a background in states that do not have universal background check laws.

7. Joe Biden refers to the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms) as the “AFT” — twice!

“Today I’m proud to nominate David Chipman to serve as the director of the AFT [sic],” Biden said. “David knows the AFT [sic] well.”


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.