President Barack Obama’s claim to be an active gun enthusiast who shoots skeet at Camp David “all the time” is coming under fire and ridicule not only from the always vocal National Rifle Association (NRA) but also from other gun supporters and groups.
A photo released by the White House this past week shows Obama awkwardly firing at clay targets and suggests the photo, which officials claim was shot on Aug. 4, 2012, was staged.
“Yes, in fact, up at Camp David, we do sheet shooting all the time,” Obama said in answer to a New Republic magazine question on whether or not he had ever fired a gun.
It was the first time that Obama had ever mentioned using a gun.
Micheal Hampton, executive director of the Texas-based National Skeet Shooting Association, says that Obama, at best, is a novice at firing at clay pigeons.
“This isn’t sometime he he’s done very often because of how he’s standing, how he has the gun mounted,” Hampton told The Associated Press.
Carney claimed Obama’s trips to Camp David are for pleasure, not photo ops.
But a Capitol Hill Blue review of White House photo practices found at least one White House photographer is always with the President on Camp David visits and that dozens of photos have been provided to the press of various activities at the Maryland retreat.
But the release of the skeet shooting photo was the first ever claim that the President is a gun enthusiast.
The NRA isn’t buying the photo either.
“One picture does not erase a lifetime of supporting every gun ban and every gun-control scheme imaginable,” says Andrew Arulanandam, a spokesman for the NRA.
Capitol Hill Blue spoke to a number of White House staffers who have been to the presidential retreat with Obama but could not find one who was willing to swear publicly that they had ever seen the President using a gun.
One said privately that the uproar over the shooting photo has been compared to the infamous Michael Dukakis “tank photo.”
A staged photo of former governor Dukakis riding in a military tank became a laughing stock during his losing campaign against former President George H.W. Bush.