According to Joel B. Pollak, the president goes shooting ‘all the time.’ In an interview with Franklin Foer and Chris Hughes for The New Republic, President Obama said it was a way to “bridge the gap” between the urban vs. rural dichotomy, which has only been accentuated with NYC’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun push in the aftermath of the Newtown tragedy.
FRANKLIN FOER: Have you ever fired a gun?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Yes, in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time.
FOER: The whole family?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Not the girls, but oftentimes guests of mine go up there. And I have a profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations. And I think those who dismiss that out of hand make a big mistake.
Part of being able to move this forward is understanding the reality of guns in urban areas are very different from the realities of guns in rural areas. And if you grew up and your dad gave you a hunting rifle when you were ten, and you went out and spent the day with him and your uncles, and that became part of your family’s traditions, you can see why you’d be pretty protective of that.
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. And that means that advocates of gun control have to do a little more listening than they do sometimes.
Mr. President, if you want to bridge those gaps, tell liberal mayors of big cities to back off. If they’re the point of the lance in your strategy to institute more gun law, then you’ll only divide the country further, and lose more political capital.
…if Obama did, indeed, mean to refer to himself, it would not be the first time he has boasted of his sporting knowledge or prowess–often without the evidence to back him up.
He has long claimed to be a fan of the Chicago White Sox, for example, but could not name a single White Sox player when asked, and incorrectly referred to the name of their home stadium as “Cominskey Field.” His basketball skills are also somewhat oversold: NBA commissioner David Stern said President Obama is “not as good as he thinks he is.”
In his infamous bowling stunt during the Democratic primary in 2008, then-Sen. Obama bowled a 37, rolling his first ball straight into the gutter as the cameras rolled. Later, in an appearance on The Tonight Show, Obama mocked his performance as being worthy of the “Special Olympics,” a remark for which he was criticized and later apologized
Obama’s shooting claim is evidently meant to assuage critics of his gun control proposals by reassuring them that he shares their enthusiasm for Second Amendment rights–not just sport shooting, but hunting in particular.
Yet supporters of gun rights insist that the Second Amendment is about far more than hunting or even self-defense.
As Breitbart News Editor-at-Large Ben Shapiro told Piers Morgan during their debate earlier this month: “The basis of the second amendment is not really about self defense and it’s not about hunting. It’s about resistance to government tyranny. That’s what the founders said and that’s what the right believe in this country.”