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Sat Feb 2, 2013, 11:54 AM

Obama Claims Shooting as a Hobby, and the White House Offers Proof

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/03/us/politics/obamas-skeet-shooting-comments-draw-fire.html

Obama Claims Shooting as a Hobby, and the White House Offers Proof
By PETER BAKER and MARK LANDLER


In a photo released by the White House on Saturday, President Obama is shown skeet shooting at Camp David in August 2012.

WASHINGTON — When President Obama mentioned last week that he had picked up a new hobby — skeet shooting at Camp David — it was a surprising disclosure by a president whose main identification with guns these days is his effort to ban assault rifles and high-capacity magazines.

To some, Mr. Obama’s newfound enthusiasm for shooting clay pigeons — he said in an interview that he did it “all the time” at his retreat in the Maryland mountains — also seemed a bit suspicious.

So on Saturday, the White House tried to silence the skeptics by releasing a photo of Mr. Obama shooting on the range at Camp David in August. In the photo, the president, wearing goggles and ear-muffs, is squinting down the barrel of a rifle, moments after pulling the trigger. Gun smoke shoots out of the front of the rifle.

The White House said the photo was taken on Aug. 4, which was Mr. Obama’s 51st birthday. But it offered no further details on whether his target practice was a regular hobby or a one-time event.

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Arrow 38 replies Author Time Post
Reply Obama Claims Shooting as a Hobby, and the White House Offers Proof (Original post)
jsr Feb 2013 OP
lumberjack_jeff Feb 2013 #1
Brickbat Feb 2013 #2
brewens Feb 2013 #3
obamanut2012 Feb 2013 #4
Recursion Feb 2013 #14
Travis_0004 Feb 2013 #33
Recursion Feb 2013 #34
arely staircase Feb 2013 #15
obamanut2012 Feb 2013 #38
krispos42 Feb 2013 #5
elleng Feb 2013 #6
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 #10
Recursion Feb 2013 #13
hootinholler Feb 2013 #17
Recursion Feb 2013 #18
hootinholler Feb 2013 #20
MineralMan Feb 2013 #19
RZM Feb 2013 #30
MineralMan Feb 2013 #32
Travis_0004 Feb 2013 #37
Fawke Em Feb 2013 #36
Jenoch Feb 2013 #7
RandiFan1290 Feb 2013 #28
kskiska Feb 2013 #8
RZM Feb 2013 #31
socialist_n_TN Feb 2013 #9
datasuspect Feb 2013 #22
Archae Feb 2013 #11
Recursion Feb 2013 #12
hootinholler Feb 2013 #16
nick of time Feb 2013 #23
datasuspect Feb 2013 #21
Algebra Palin Feb 2013 #24
Union Scribe Feb 2013 #25
justanidea Feb 2013 #26
liberal N proud Feb 2013 #27
hughee99 Feb 2013 #29
fadedrose Feb 2013 #35

Response to jsr (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 11:56 AM

1. It is reasonable to expect the commander in chief of the US armed forces to know how a gun works.

It's also reasonable to expect the NYT to know the difference between a shotgun and a rifle.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 11:57 AM

2. So true.

I've always said copy desks should get regular training in science reporting, basic math and military/arms terminology. It's embarrassing.

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:00 PM

3. Shooting skeet with a rifle! How badassed is that? He must be good! n/t

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:02 PM

4. Is that a rifle?!

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #4)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:36 PM

14. Only if it's a .72 caliber or so

*shrug* I've given up expecting the press to learn the first thing about firearms word usage, despite the fact that their editors are so vigilant about everything else.

Great firing position by the President, incidentally; a lot of people have trouble doing a good off-hand.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #14)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 01:31 PM

33. Obama is a lefty, so he is not shooting off hand

I suppose its possible he naturally shoots right, so then he is shooting off hand, but I think its unlikely.

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Response to Travis_0004 (Reply #33)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 01:34 PM

34. Oh, yeah. I keep forgetting that. Big Dawg too, no? (nt)

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #4)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:37 PM

15. no, it is some sort of break action shotgun

eom

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #15)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 06:34 PM

38. That's what I thought

I've never seen a rifle like that.

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:03 PM

5. "down the barrel of a rifle"

*sigh*


Is it really necessary for me to point out it's a shotgun? Looks like a 12-gauge with screw-in chokes, a ported barrel and a fiber-optic front sight.

Is it really necessary for me to point out that the reporters, both of them, are apparently ignorant of this fact?

Is this a good thing?

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Response to krispos42 (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:09 PM

6. Yes, it is necessary,

and inform us too, please.

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Response to krispos42 (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:30 PM

10. And your point?

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Response to krispos42 (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:34 PM

13. Good cheek weld and eye alignment, though

Especially for having just fired; no jerking away.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #13)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:45 PM

17. I'd like to see a little more shoulder...

But you're right. It follows if you think that the SS likely gave him a safety course even if it was informal.

The only thing that would make this better would have been him shooting a Remi 1100 instead of a venerable O/U.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #17)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:47 PM

18. Yeah, fair point

Also it depends on if he's shooting a low-ish skeet or sighting in beforehand.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #18)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:54 PM

20. Well if he's calling the bird before setting, this is outstanding

Anytime he wants an average Joe witness, camp David is just up the road from me. I'd be happy to shoot a couple of boxes with him. He could use a shell bag and shirt too

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Response to krispos42 (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:47 PM

19. Anyone who expects news reporters to know about firearms

will be disappointed. Some do, but most know little to nothing about firearms, except that they go "bang!" It's entirely possible that in the entire short chain of writing and editing not a single person involved has firearms knowledge.

Is that a bad thing? Yes, but it's not going to change. The person who wrote this is a White House reporter, not a firearms reporter. That reporter writes about what the President is doing, and skeet shooting is not a regular thing for the President, I'm sure.

This is just more nomenclature-bashing that always comes up when a story about firearms appears. It is a minority of people who can look at the shotgun the President is firing and tell you anything about it. It goes "Bang!" That's what people know. They are not stupid people. It's just that firearms are not of interest to them enough to learn the nomenclature.

Bashing people for not knowing about firearms is one of the flaws of the pro-firearms organizations. It's a stupid thing to do.

And, yes, I am a firearms owner, and have a wide range of knowledge of them. I do no expect any random person to know much about them, and it is not my job to educate them in a subject that doesn't interest them beyond the point of not wanting people getting shot with them.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #19)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 01:06 PM

30. It's more of a general flaw in journalism

 

Journalists often get details wrong, because their knowledge of specific things in limited, but the scope of journalism covers everything under the sun. The chance of getting something wrong is pretty high when you're so often in uncharted territory.

That being said, I don't think you have to be a genius to know what a shotgun looks like or that skeet shooting is primary done with shotguns. Most people have probably picked that up through tv and movies. It's a bit odd that such a prominent paper would make a mistake like that. Then again, errors of all kinds are also common in the news business as well.

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Response to RZM (Reply #30)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 01:15 PM

32. The shotgun the President is firing

is just a long gun to most people. Firearms aficionados tend to think firearms identification is a matter of common knowledge. It is not. So far, in reading the threads on this photo, I have not seen one person name the maker of that shotgun. Clearly, if he was shooting skeet or trap shooting, it would be a shotgun he was firing, but I would guess that less than 40% of the population even knows that simple thing.

I would not expect the average reporter who covers the President to have much firearms knowledge. Nor would I expect whatever editors and proofreaders to have such knowledge. Journalism school doesn't offer firearms classes.

Errors like this one are common. They're also insignificant. The President is photographed firing a gun. That is the story. That the reporter does not know the difference between skeet shooting or trap shooting or the difference between a rifle and a shotgun is irrelevant. The photo shows the President firing a firearm. That's the story.

Now, when someone here correctly identifies the maker and model of that shotgun, I will offer kudos to that person for his or her knowledge. But, I couldn't give a shit whether a NYT story properly identifies even the type of firearm he was firing. That is not the story. The story is that the President was out at Camp David and fired some firearm. Everything else is peripheral to that.

I will call out nomenclature-bashing whenever I see it. It is one of the least attractive of the strategies in use by 2nd Amendment fanatics. It has a negative effect on their message. It's a non-starter.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #32)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 02:20 PM

37. I think he's shooting a browning 425.

That siad, I think the news should get the facts right. Surely somebody on the staff can tell the difference between a rifle and a shotgun.

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Response to krispos42 (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 02:19 PM

36. Where did the reporters get their info, then?

A reporter can't be expected to know everything about everything. My question is: Why didn't the White House provide the reporters with the accurate information?

These reporters probably know a great deal about policy, how government works and the top players in the political game. Guns and gun terminology isn't probably something they regularly cover.

Look, I was a reporter for 10 years and I covered emergency service personnel and courts. I knew a little about guns, but expected that the police or court officers would inform me of the proper name of a weapon used in the commission of a crime. I wasn't expected to study "Guns and Ammo" for 20 hours a week and, since shooting was not a hobby of mine, nor did I carry a weapon, I wasn't naturally inclined to know everything.

I can't tell whether that's a shotgun or a rifle. Hell, what IS the difference - I mean one that a regular person who has no clue what a "screw-in choke" is? What would the average person look for?

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:23 PM

7. I think the president did shoot skeet at Camp David.

I also think the only reason he did so was to be able to produce this photo and claim to be "one of you" in his quest for stricter gun laws. Even Jon Stewart says this claim by President Obama is ridiculous. I also do not believe Romney and Kerry are regular hunters. We do know that Cheney went dove hunting at least once. And of course before moving to New York, Ed Schultz was a pheasant hunter (he accidenty shot and killed his own dog while pheasant hunting some years ago.)

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Response to Jenoch (Reply #7)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 01:04 PM

28. Awww

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:26 PM

8. FreeRepublic has already photoshopped it several times

despite White House warnings forbidding it.

http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2984570/posts

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Response to kskiska (Reply #8)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 01:12 PM

31. Since when does the WH have the right to forbid photoshops?

 

The warning seemed to be mainly about using the image for commercial purposes. That I can understand. You can't use the president's image to sell something.

But posting photoshops of him on the intertubes? That seems like protected speech to me.

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:27 PM

9. Somebody photoshop this pic to show Obama........

in a black beret and a black leather jacket and watch RW heads REALLY explode. They would probably get on board with some form of gun control if that happened. That's what it took before after all.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #9)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:57 PM

22. or with a bushy mustache and beret

 

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:31 PM

11. Even a .22 can be used for skeet shooting.



That's a .22 skeet shell.

Mostly they are used for varmit (rats) shooting.

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:31 PM

12. I keep forgetting he's a southpaw. Excellent firing position, Mr. President!

Good cheek weld, good eye alignment. Is there anything this guy doesn't do well? (Oh, right, bowling.)

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:40 PM

16. Nice shotgun, but I expect a President to shoot a nice one

I think this is great and want to know his scores.

Most likely Joe asked if he wanted to.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #16)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:58 PM

23. Isn't Joe Biden a big time hunter

 

and skeet shooter? I seem to remember a pic of him hunting years ago.

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:56 PM

21. his marketing team needs to understand he can't run for election again

 

they don't need to pander to the mouth breathers

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:58 PM

24. if he releases a picture of himself wielding a katana. . .

i'll declare him a god.

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 01:00 PM

25. I don't find that a "surprising disclosure"

He's not going after shooting sports or reasonable gun owners. He's probably also sending, or underlining, that message by releasing this photo. Obama is trying to cut down on the tools of the mass shooter.

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 01:02 PM

26. Anyone know what model shotgun that is?

 

I hope a photo of Obama shooting an AR-15 doesn't come out. The servers at DU would crash due to the massive hysteria.

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 01:03 PM

27. Another scandal ended even before it was.



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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 01:06 PM

29. I wonder who he's shooting at?

I've been told recently that a gun's only use is to kill people.

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 01:41 PM

35. In case of a total breakdown of security this is a good thing for Obama to learn...

You never know what could happen and this is another talent he'll have under his belt that hopefully he'll never need...

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