Nine hours after former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot and five hours after he was pronounced dead, President Joe Biden released a statement about the assassination. The statement, however, was met with criticism due to its mention of the divisive issue of gun violence.
“While there are many details that we do not yet know, we know that violent attacks are never acceptable and that gun violence always leaves a deep scar on the communities that are affected by it,” the White House statement read.
Conservative journalists and commentators, such as Ben Shapiro and Matt Whitlock, took to Twitter to call out the president’s “odd” response, calling it “perhaps the stupidest thing he has ever said.”
Joe Biden says that assassinating Shinzo Abe is a problem of "gun violence." This is perhaps the stupidest thing he has ever said, and that is saying something. pic.twitter.com/NTm1Mpwu3W
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) July 8, 2022
This statement is pretty odd.
Abe has been one of America’s most important strategic partners for the last decade (including the Obama years – which Biden was loosely involved in) and Biden is focusing on the larger impact of gun violence? https://t.co/me74qv6gty
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) July 8, 2022
Tiana Lowe, a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner, wrote that “Biden’s decision to hijack [Abe’s] death for domestic political expedience is more than malicious. It’s moronic.”
It took Joe Biden nearly 12 hours to respond to the assassination of Shinzo Abe, and he managed to make his shooting — committed by a homemade gun in a country with some of the strictest gun laws on the planet — about American gun violence https://t.co/ZhPf8UJUP7
— Tiana Lowe (@TianaTheFirst) July 8, 2022
The suspected gunman, identified as Tetsuya Yamagami, shot Abe in the neck with what appeared to be a handmade gun during a Friday campaign event, according to CNN. Abe was rushed to a hospital in Nara, Japan, where he was pronounced dead at 4 a.m. EST.
Japan has some of the strictest gun control laws in the world.
Biden released his statement at 9 a.m. EST Friday, Breitbart News reporter Charlie Spiering tweeted, a full eight hours behind former President Donald Trump’s response.
Chris Stigall, a conservative talk radio personality, was quick to note that Trump released two statements, one shortly after the attack and another at 5 a.m. EST.
Shinzo Abe was assassinated approximately midnight ET. Former President Trump posed about the shooting an hour later. At 5am ET he posted about his death. As of 8:30ET – not a word from Biden or the White House.
— Chris Stigall (@ChrisStigall) July 8, 2022
Trump praised the former prime minister in his first statement, calling Abe a “true friend” to him and America.
Trump later commented on his death, saying it was “really BAD NEWS FOR THE WORLD!”
“Few people know what a great man and leader Shinzo Abe was, but history will teach them and be kind. He was a unifier like no other, but above all, he was a man who loved and cherished his magnificent country, Japan,” the second post on Truth Social read.
“Shinzo Abe will be greatly missed. There will never be another like him!”
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kushida said he was “lost for words” and called Abe’s murder a “heinous act,” ABC News reported.
“It is barbaric and malicious and it cannot be tolerated,” Kushida said. “We will do everything we can, and I would like to use the most extreme words available to condemn this act.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.