President Joe Biden joked about ice cream before speaking about the shooting massacre at the Covenant School in Nashville.
Speaking at an event for women hosted by the Small Business Association, Biden joked about his penchant for ice cream and how much of the dessert he has stuffed inside a refrigerator.
"My name is Joe Biden. I'm Dr. Jill Biden’s husband," Biden said. "And I eat Jeni's ice cream, chocolate chip. I came down because I heard there was chocolate chip ice cream.
"By the way, I have a whole refrigerator full upstairs," he added. "You think I'm kidding — I'm not."
Several minutes later, Biden addressed the massacre, which he called "heartbreaking." Despite acknowledging that "there's more to learn" about the tragedy, Biden used the moment to reiterate his demand that "assault weapons" be outlawed.
"I call on Congress, again, to pass my assault weapons ban," Biden said. "It's about time that we begin to make some more progress."
"We have to do more to stop gun violence; it’s ripping our communities apart — ripping the soul of this nation," he added. "And we have to do more to protect our schools, so they aren’t turned into prisons."
Later in the event, Biden returned to praising ice cream.
"The businesses represented in this room stretch across industries from restaurants to architectural firms to hardware stores, plus Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams," he said. "By the way, it is splendid. You think I'm joking. If I were allowed to take you upstairs, we 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-Ban sunglasses," he continued. "But what the hell, you know?"
One of Biden's signature policy goals is to reinstate the "assault weapons" ban that he helped pass in 1994 as a U.S. senator. The effectiveness of the law is widely debated. Nevertheless, Biden does not have sufficient support in Congress to pass another ban.
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