President Obama shoots clay targets on the range at Camp David, Md., on Aug.… (Pete Souza / White House…)
WASHINGTON — Facing questions about President Obama’s experience with firearms, the White House has released a photo of the chief executive in the act of firing one.
Obama, in an interview published by the New Republic, claimed that had used a gun at the Camp David presidential retreat. "We do skeet shooting all the time," the president said. "Not the girls, but oftentimes guests of mine go up there."
That prompted snickering from some of the president's conservative critics and questions for the president's press secretary. On Monday, Jay Carney was asked whether there was a photo of Obama shooting. “There may be, but I haven’t seen it,” the spokesman said. “When he goes to Camp David, he goes to spend time with his family and friends and relax, not to produce photographs.”
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The photo released Friday shows smoke coming from the barrel as Obama holds the gun against his left shoulder. The White House caption accompanying the photo by Pete Souza, the official White House photographer, notes: "President Barack Obama shoots clay targets on the range at Camp David, Md., Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012."
Obama has made addressing gun violence one of his major priorities in his second term. In the New Republic interview, he explained that he had "profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations." But he also noted that “the reality of guns in urban areas are very different from the reality of guns in rural areas,” where he said children often grow up hunting with their families. “You can see why you’d be pretty protective of that,” he continued. “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.”
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