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Obama a skeet shooter? See new White House photo

By Darlene Superville

Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 07:04 a.m. HST, Feb 03, 2013


WASHINGTON » Two days before President Barack Obama's first trip outside Washington to promote his gun-control proposals, the White House tried today to settle a brewing mystery by releasing a photo to back his claim to be a skeet shooter.

Obama had set inquiring minds spinning when, in an interview with The New Republic magazine, he answered "yes" when asked if he had ever fired a gun. The admission came as a surprise to many.

"Yes, in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time," Obama said in the interview released last weekend, referring to the official presidential retreat in rural Maryland, which he last visited in October while campaigning for re-election. Asked whether the entire family participates, the president said: "Not the girls, but oftentimes guests of mine go up there."

Obama never mentioned skeet shooting prior to that interview.

The White House photo released Saturday is dated Aug. 4, 2012. The caption says Obama is shooting clay targets on the range at Camp David. Obama is seen holding a gun against his left shoulder, his left index finger on the trigger and smoke coming from the barrel. He is wearing jeans, a dark blue, short-sleeved polo shirt, sunglasses and earmuffs.

The National Rifle Association, which has rejected Obama's proposals, scoffed at the photo.

"One picture does not erase a lifetime of supporting every gun ban and every gun-control scheme imaginable," said Andrew Arulanandam, the organization's spokesman.

The NRA opposes Obama's call for Congress to ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines and says requiring background checks for all gun purchases would be ineffective because the administration isn't doing enough to enforce existing gun laws.

Asked at Monday's press briefing how frequently Obama shoots skeet and whether photos existed, White House press secretary Jay Carney said he didn't know how often. Pictures may exist, he said, but he hadn't seen any.

"Why haven't we heard about it before?" Carney was asked.

"Because when he goes to Camp David, he goes to spend time with his family and friends and relax, not to produce photographs," Carney said.

Obama is accompanied almost everywhere by at least one White House photographer.

Carney declined to comment on the decision to release the photo, which he had announced on Twitter. The release appeared to be part of a strategy to portray Obama as sympathetic to gun owners and opponents of his gun-control measures who argue the proposals would infringe on an individual's Second Amendment right to bear arms.

A top official with the National Skeet Shooting Association said the photo suggests Obama is a novice shooter.

"This isn't something he's done very often because of how he's standing, how he has the gun mounted," said Michael Hampton, executive director of the San Antonio-based association.

Hampton said Obama's remark about "skeet shooting all the time" and the White House photo would have met less skepticism had the president's spoken about his hobby months before this new debate over guns in the U.S.

"Once it becomes controversial and there's problems, to talk about it then, that's where it becomes very debatable and is not being received as well as if he would have done this six months ago," Hampton said.

In interview, appearing in The New Republic's Feb. 11 issue, Obama said gun-control advocates should be better listeners in the debate over firearms, which was sparked by the December killing of elementary school pupils in Connecticut. He also declared his deep respect for the long tradition of hunting in this country.

"I have a profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations. And I think those who dismiss that out of hand make a big mistake," Obama said. "Part of being able to move this forward is understanding the reality of guns in urban areas are very different from the realities of guns in rural areas. And if you grew up and your dad gave you a hunting rifle when you were 10, and you went out and spent the day with him and your uncles, and that became part of your family's traditions, you can see why you'd be pretty protective of that."

"So it's trying to bridge those gaps that I think is going to be part of the biggest task over the next several months. And that means that advocates of gun control have to do a little more listening than they do sometimes," Obama said.

His gun control measures also have met resistance on Capitol Hill.

In Minneapolis on Monday, Obama plans to make remarks and discuss his proposals with local and law enforcement officials during a stop at the police department's special operations center. He's also expected to hear from community members about their experiences with gun violence.

Obama announced his proposals in mid-January, about a month after the Dec. 14 shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.






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LanaUlulani wrote:


Contrary to what Obama wants which is to disarm people to the detriment to themselves and their families and contrary to what ObamaBots are programmed to believe, gun owners take our guns very seriously. It is NOT a hobby.

IT IS FOR SELF DEFENSE WHICH WE TAKE SERIOUSLY. We do not care what Obama does about his RIGHT to bear arms. Leave those of us who CHOOSE to exercise our RIGHT to bear arms alone! Stop being maha'oi LIKE OBAMA. It's not for YOU to say if we exercise OUR RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS OR NOT. Stop being MAHA'OI LIKE OBAMA.


on February 2,2013 | 08:17AM
RingRing wrote:
Seriously Ulu, do you think Obama is going to send somebody to take your guns? No really, is that what you are think?
on February 2,2013 | 09:07AM
brian606 wrote:
Have you read SB36? The Hawaii State Legislature plans to do it for him.
on February 2,2013 | 09:43AM
tsboy wrote:
if our idiot Congress ever passes a law prohibiting the ownership of certain guns, yes, i do think Obama would send someone to take them away. never happen, you say. its already happened in Great Britain and Australia. and shooting once a year isn't a hobby. the Obama spin machine going on all cylinders now.
on February 2,2013 | 10:50AM
LanaUlulani wrote:


What an ignorant question and offensive to first nations people. Throughout history many were DISARMED by American government then subsequently slaughtered.

For example at Wounded Knee U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment went into disarm Lakota Sioux. When they were pau 120 men and 230 women and children were SLAUGHTERED so yes Obama IS going it again. The past is prologue . For FIRST NATIONS PEOPLE IT IS DIFFERENT.

Thus NO BE MAHA'OI LIKE OBAMA. Leave us the H#LL ALONE! Stop being maha'oi LIKE OBAMA !


on February 2,2013 | 11:54AM
fishwrider wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on February 2,2013 | 12:49PM
LanaUlulani wrote:


Yes the nut jobs are people like YOU who are in DENIAL of the slaughters of first nations people after they were DISarmed like those at Wounded Knee.

Mahalo for admtting it publicly for all to see.


on February 2,2013 | 01:01PM
iansuen wrote:
I've seen many of your posts. Your level of extremism hasn't changed. Most unfortunate is that posters like you ruin any opportunity for intelligent discussion.
on February 2,2013 | 01:43PM
hanalei395 wrote:
If the Hawaiian populace had guns when the U.S. Marines invaded Hawai'i in Jan., 1893, the Marines would have been slaughtered. And if that had happened and the U.S. receiving the news,, the U.S., still under the rule of Pres. Benjamin Harrison, would have declared war on Hawai'i. Like war against the Phiippines. Part of America's Manifest Destiny.
on February 2,2013 | 03:12PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Holds the shotgun like a girl.
on February 2,2013 | 08:24AM
hanalei395 wrote:
Which means...all girls are left-handed.
on February 2,2013 | 08:29AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Nah. The way he holds the shotgun is the typical stance of a first timer. He will have one heck of a sore shoulder if he does a full rotation skeet (25 shots). If you are familiar with skeet shooting you'd be aware that his head position, arm position and overall body stance is awkward - the kind of thing you see with rank beginners. I'm also a bit confused by the angle of the shot - normally, unless he chasing a clay pigeon down (not advisable) the barrel should be much more elevated.

On the other hand, I'd love to be able to afford that gorgeous magnaported shotgun. Sweet bang stick.


on February 2,2013 | 10:45AM
Holomua wrote:
Yeah, it's actually a sniper stance.
on February 2,2013 | 03:00PM
fishwrider wrote:
I guess you would know.
on February 2,2013 | 12:48PM
Ronin006 wrote:
Obama's shooting hobby probably began on the streets of Chicago where it seems to be everyone’s' hobby.
on February 2,2013 | 08:51AM
serious wrote:
Yes,more targets all Democrats on welfare.
on February 2,2013 | 09:07AM
yhls wrote:
Second amendment has NOTHING to do with hunting or guns used for hunting.
on February 2,2013 | 08:57AM
niimi wrote:
I would put pictures of Putin, Kim and Ahmadenawhackjob as targets. LOL :-)
on February 2,2013 | 09:09AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
He is wearing jeans, a dark blue, short-sleeved polo shirt, sunglasses and headphones.

Uh, guys, those are not headphones. You think he's shootin' the bang stick and listening to some tunes? They are ear protectors to reduce the noise of the shot.


on February 2,2013 | 10:48AM
ready2go wrote:
We need capital punishment.
on February 2,2013 | 09:33AM
RichardCory wrote:
Oh, I'll punish your capital.
on February 2,2013 | 12:45PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Please, no more. After all the dollar debasement of the last few years my meager amount of capital feels like it was beaten like a government mule. No mas. No mas.
on February 2,2013 | 01:09PM
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