The White House has posted a photo of President Obama skeet shooting at Camp David this past August. Asked recently whether he had ever fired a gun, Obama told the New Republic, “Yes, in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time.”
In light of the pernicious narrative of the president personally confiscating AR-15s and other "scary" weaponry from the barbecue-stained hands of full-blooded American citizens, the White House had to do something to remind us all that President Obama is just as American as an American can be. After all, just look at that photo op. What pastime is more American than spending some quality time with a quality firearm?
Given the type of gun he's using and the sport, the photo op seems geared towards the responsible game/sport shooter and not the type of gun owner who loads up their AR-15 with as many tactical add-ons as possible. Still, it's a bit disconcerting in light of the president's address on Sandy Hook and his recent push for better gun control laws.
As I type this, I'm wondering when and where I'll encounter the inevitable snide comments about the president expecting a whole different concept of "skeet." I'm sure there'll also be questions from right-wing conspiracy theorists about the authenticity of the photo itself.
Meanwhile, scores of Americans are buying guns at a rapid clip. Between President Obama's 2009 inauguration and his re-election, over 67 million firearms found themselves a new home in the U.S. That number happens to dwarf the number of firearms sold in the seven years prior to the Obama Administration. The number of NICS background checks surpassed the 2 million mark in November 2012 and over 2.7 million background checks the following month.
The shop-worn narrative of Obama taking everyone's guns away is what keeps plenty of gun-owning Americans loyal customers of their local gun stores, expos and garage sales. Really, the NRA and gun manufacturers should be thanking the president for being the best gun salesman they've had in years.