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Obama mocked for releasing skeet shoot photo during gun-control debate

RightMarch February 3, 2013

Carl Campanile at the New York Post reports:

He’s full of skeet!

Gun owners lampooned President Obama as Elmer Fudd yesterday after the White House released a photo — in the middle of a fierce national firearms debate — of the commander-in-chief shooting clay targets at Camp David over the summer.

While the president’s shooting skills were being mocked, his own gun-control allies privately fretted that Obama risked being ridiculed as a phony for suddenly trying to portray himself as a friend of sportsmen and hunters. Or, conversely, that he was glorifying the use of guns.

The photo was taken last Aug. 4, on Obama’s 51st birthday.

The left-handed president, wearing goggles and ear protection, peers down the barrel of a shotgun while his left index finger pulls the trigger.

Bam! A spray of smoke shoots out of the rifle.

The White House released the photo to back up Obama’s recent statements that he shot skeet at Camp David, a claim that gun-rights advocates said they doubted.

Obama aides even coined a term for the skeptics — calling them “skeeters.”

“For all the skeeters, POTUS [president of the United States] shoots clay targets on the range at Camp David on Aug. 4, 2012,” White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said in releasing the photo.

Obama political adviser David Plouffe tweeted, “Attn Skeet Birthers. Make Our Day — Let the Photoshop conspiracies begin.”

But if the move was aimed to win over gun enthusiasts, it backfired.

“That looks pretty pathetic. That’s not skeet shooting,” chuckled Rick Davenport, of the Erie County Sportsmen’s Federation.

In the photo, Obama is shooting straight ahead.

“In skeet shooting, you’re either shooting high or you’re shooting low! This is nothing but pandering to the sportsmen and hunters,” Davenport said.

New York Rifle and Pistol Association President Tom King said Obama’s 12-gauge Browning Citori shotgun must have jammed because gun owners will see right through the p.r. offensive.

“We’ve seen this p.r. stunt before. This is what all the gun banners try to do. They try to ingratiate themselves with us,” King said.

“You really think this photo is going to make us think Obama is a pro-gun friend of the Second Amendment?” King said, laughing. “Go figure.”

Rick McDermott, an upstate gun-rights activist, said Obama is shooting blanks.

“This is all political posturing. It’s a PR stunt to show that Obama feels our pain. The Second Amendment has nothing to do with skeet shooting.”

Obama’s shotgun gambit came as he prepared to deliver a speech tomorrow in Minnesota to tackle gun violence — and a day before Newtown, Conn., students are to perform today at the Super Bowl in a national reminder of December’s school massacre.

Gun-control advocates — while understanding Obama’s attempt to show hunters and sportsmen he’s not after their legal guns — worry that he risks looking hypocritical.

“Being dogmatic on guns doesn’t seem to work, although pretending to shoot doesn’t work, either,” said a Democratic source who requested anonymity for fear of upsetting the White House.

“At least it didn’t work for John Kerry in ’04,” said the insider to the gun-control lobby.

During the 2004 presidential race, Democrat Kerry, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, was lampooned after it was discovered he went hunting with a borrowed camouflage jacket and shotgun.

And Republican candidate Mitt Romney was mocked for saying he went hunting for “varmint.”

But Robert Zimmerman, a Democratic National Committee official from New York, praised Obama’s effort to connect with hunters and sportsmen.

“If President Obama was dressed as Rambo and holding an AK-47 in each arm, the NRA would complain that he wasn’t sensitive enough to gun owners,” Zimmerman said.

“Obama is showing that people who support gun safety respect hunters and sportsmen who want to legally own guns.”

Obama’s gun-control plan includes banning assault weapons and limiting bullets in ammo clips. It also calls for stricter background checks.

The NRA opposes the plan, arguing that authorities should just better enforce existing gun laws.

He said gun-control advocates just want to get illegal guns out of the hands of criminals who kill innocent civilians.

 

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