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Obama Releases Skeet-Shooting Photo to Silence Hecklers

February 03, 2013

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama shoots clay targets on the range at Camp David, Maryland, on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012. Photographer: Pete Souza/White House

The White House released a photograph yesterday of President Barack Obama skeet shooting at Camp David last August after some Republicans expressed doubts that the Democratic president had engaged in the activity.

Obama, who is seeking a ban on assault weapons and other measures to reduce gun violence, told the New Republic in its Feb. 11 issue that he shoots skeet “all the time” at Camp David and respects the nation’s hunting tradition. He was responding to a question about whether he had ever fired a gun.

The photo, sent to reporters via Twitter by White House spokesman Jay Carney and Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer, shows Obama shooting clay targets on a range at Camp David Aug. 4.

Asked earlier last week about a photo of the president skeet shooting, Carney replied that when Obama “goes to Camp David, he goes to spend time with his family and friends and relax, not to produce photographs.”

Thereafter, Representative Marsha Blackburn, Republican of Tennessee, expressed doubt about Obama’s skeet shooting.

“You know, if you don’t have the photos, if this is not something that’s a new hobby, then I think he should invite me out to Camp David and I’ll challenge him,” Blackburn said on CNN, according to a transcript.

Asked for a reaction to Blackburn’s challenge, Carney responded, “I have none.”

The president continues his pressure on Congress to curb gun violence when he speaks tomorrow at the Minneapolis Police Department’s Special Operations Center.

The president has responded to the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting deaths of 20 children and six educators in Newtown, Connecticut, by proposing legislation Jan. 16 to mandate background checks for all gun buyers, a ban on high-capacity ammunition clips and reinstatement of a ban on the sale of assault weapons.

To contact the reporter on this story: Roger Runningen in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at

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