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 Screen Shot 2013-02-03 at 1.30.50 PM

Thank you Nick, for your most excellent post on the authenticity of the White House photo of the Commander-in-Chief shooting skeet (not shown). When the photo first appeared, Dan blogged that it would help the pro-gun rights folks more than the civilian disarmament movement (CDM). True dat. In fact, judging from the front page of today’s New York Post—a full page rendition of the snap with the headline “He’s Full of Skeet!”—and some of the comments from the CDN within, it looks as if we have another Michael Dukakis moment . . .

Readers of a certain age will remember when the Massachusetts Governor and erstwhile presidential candidate posed on a tank (behind a machine gun) to prove he wasn’t a wimp. The PR shot was so poorly received it became known as “the tank incident.” It may not have ended his campaign but it sure as hell didn’t help.

Of course, the current Commander-in-Chief isn’t running for president (again). He’s representing for the CDM, lobbying for an assault weapons ban, magazine capacity limits and universal background checks (much to the chagrin of armed Alpha Centurians). And this image ain’t gonna help him neither.

Obama mocked for releasing skeet shoot photo during gun-control debate, proclaims—with a lot more restraint than the dead tree version’s editors. Here are some choice quotes from same:

Gun owners lampooned President Obama as Elmer Fudd yesterday after the White House released a photo — in the middle of a fierce national firearms debate — of the commander-in-chief shooting clay targets at Camp David over the summer.

While the president’s shooting skills were being mocked, his own gun-control allies privately fretted that Obama risked being ridiculed as a phony for suddenly trying to portray himself as a friend of sportsmen and hunters. Or, conversely, that he was glorifying the use of guns . . .

Gun-control advocates — while understanding Obama’s attempt to show hunters and sportsmen he’s not after their legal guns — worry that he risks looking hypocritical.

“Being dogmatic on guns doesn’t seem to work, although pretending to shoot doesn’t work, either,” said a Democratic source who requested anonymity for fear of upsetting the White House.

“At least it didn’t work for John Kerry in ’04,” said the insider to the gun-control lobby.

During the 2004 presidential race, Democrat Kerry, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, was lampooned after it was discovered he went hunting with a borrowed camouflage jacket and shotgun.

And Republican candidate Mitt Romney was mocked for saying he went hunting for “varmint.”

But Robert Zimmerman, a Democratic National Committee official from New York, praised Obama’s effort to connect with hunters and sportsmen.

“If President Obama was dressed as Rambo and holding an AK-47 in each arm, the NRA would complain that he wasn’t sensitive enough to gun owners,” Zimmerman said.

“Obama is showing that people who support gun safety respect hunters and sportsmen who want to legally own guns.”

Or not. Yup, I’m going with not.

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  1. Obama claims to shoot skeet. The right demands photographic evidence. Photo is released. People lambast administration for pandering to the right. Yawn.

    • I don’t really care if he shoots skeet, has nothing to do with the 2nd amendment. But i do wonder if the top barrel in the pic has a choke and the lower does not. I can’t tell if that is the case or if that is the wad or something else.

      • I have both flush-fitting and extended chokes for my shotguns. I like the extended ones better, but sometimes the extra length or bright stainless surface isn’t appropriate for the task.

    • I am not part of “the right” or even part of “the left”.

      I found it very interesting that all of a sudden he claims to shoot skeet, when we have photos of him doing all sorts of things over the year. Everything he does for fun, we know about, because he, like all presidents before and after him, loves maintaining his image and feeding his cult of personality.

      That said, the photo that was released failed to convince me. It showed very little expertise in his firearm (which is by the way very pretty) and makes you wonder what he was shooting at.

      I do not shoot olympic skeet but rather 5 stands once in a while. You never hold your shotgun at that angle when you shoot skeet. EVER.

  2. They. Just. Don’t. Get. It.

    It has absolutely nothing to do with how many guns a politician has touched, fired, or shot at. It’s about the laws they try to push. I would much rather have a guy who has never even touched a gun, but understands and respects the purpose of the Second Amendment than one who has a collection of machine guns but wants to ban ARs.

  3. I know that impending legislation and stuff is all weighing heavily on our minds, but is it possible to at least get some of the old-style stuff back into rotation? I just went back a ways (200 pages only got me to November 13; 250 got me to 10/17) and the posts back then were many, and varied, and even (gasp!) fun.

    I know this is going on, and I know it’s necessary to keep an eye on it, but can we throttle back on the (sometimes repetitive) gun control stuff from 95% to maybe 70%? Go back 4-5 months and look at all the posts about guns and “hey check this out” type stuff. Without even reading the topics, look at how many of the posts have as their lead photo a picture of a gun (or some other piece of kit) versus how many posts have a picture of some douchebag politician’s face. Then compare that to the last month or two. Again, I understand that it’s important, but I’m really sick of seeing the face Obama, Feinstein, Emanuel or some TV talking head every other time I open the page. I think some of the stories I’m looking for are now getting condensed into the Daily Digest, so maybe one or two could get expanded into a real post, instead of another post about Skeetgate?

    • I agree with Matt, although I’ve got a somewhat political post in mind that I believe would make a good contribution. Actually, I have a couple of ideas.

    • I wanna see some more of the gun and gear reviews that you guys are so well known for! The politics are playing a little too heavily on us at the moment, we need a little fun.

    • As much as you don’t see the “need” for all these political posts still doesn’t change the fact that politicians at the local, state and federal level are trying to disarm us.

      Complain about it right now – but if we aren’t vigilant there won’t be any guns, gear or ammo to review in the future.

    • I keep on looking in our 2nd Amendment and have yet to find those words…

      What I do keep reading though is:


    • +1000

      A pic of Prez Obama, John Kerry, Governor Cuomo, or any other gun-grabber in an orange vest and/or holding an over-under, does not make me suddenly believe that they believe in gun rights.

      It’s been said before, and I’ll say it again now. The 2A has nothing to do with hunting, skeet shooting, punching holes in paper, or plinking tin cans. Every time some Dem reduces the god give, constitutionally protected right to defend oneself from assault, oppression, and death to golf with gunpowder, it proves just how much they just dont get “it.”

    • Actually, I believe that hunters are becoming fewer and fewer each year. How many scoped hunting rifles are sold every years as opposed to self defense sidearms and shotguns and those EBR’s?

      My gut feeling is that hunters are a shrinking minority of shooters and trying to pander to them, as barry is doing, is probably a lot of effort for little return. YMMV.

  4. It looks like to me in the two White House photos the President has not moved from the same spot at all, the only that has moved is his left arm. Also I would say that The White House used Photoshop to put a new FIER ARM is the same photo.

  5. A scar is born. I was wonder when someone was going to Photoshop that pic. They are scarred to death of hunters, Randy

  6. hitler complained to the Geneva Convention not about the Thompson,BAR but… 12 ga shotgun. It was too deadly for “world war, trench warfare” & now obama says its ok? Well, just so I know. How do they walk that back? (only the president can handle the magnificent power of the shotgun?) Talk about walking into one, Randy

  7. I like the fact the President is shooting a clay pigeon that is 1 inch from the ground since hes shooting a shotgun horizontally.

  8. Claire Wolfe has links to Photoshopped variations of the photo at

    Did the White House really, really, really release a photo of Obama awkwardly “shooting skeet” and issue an order not to Photoshop it?

    Yes, they did that.

    Turns out the “no-Photoshop” order is standard with all official WH photos. But that doesn’t make it any less hysterical.

    And of course, the entire blogosphere immediately read that as an invitation.

    • Yeah, you really should never tell the internet what to do or not do.
      You can imagine a collective “YOU’RE NOT MY SUPERVISOR!!1!”

      • I was hoping for a 2presidents1gun where obama and dubya each kill themselves on livestreaming after an hour long debate on the moral implications of who goes first.

  9. Seems only reasonable to expect the President of the United States to know how to safely handle and properly shoot a firearm. This in addition to, of course, being personally ready, willing and able to Protect, Preserve and Defend the Declared and Specifically-Enumerated ’Right’ of all American Freemen to keep and bear arms.

    In regard to this particular photo, its authenticity is questionable at best, primarily due to the obvious absence of hundreds of adoring followers clapping their hoofs together in applause.

  10. My take is that the ridiculously awkward way he is holding it indicates that the photo is genuine. An overzealous PR flack who didn’t understand how guns work may have photoshopped the near side gas plume out, but other than that I doubt it is altered.

  11. The original image EXIF data from the official image:

    Software / Firmware Version {0x0131} Adobe Photoshop CS6 (Macintosh)
    Last Modified Date/Time {0x0132} 2013:02:01 17:11:38
    Artist {0x013B} Pete Souza

    • You need to back off with your fancy-pants “facts” and “evidence”, son. Some of the folks round these parts don’t think much of that way of thinking. 😉

    • Peter Souza is the official White House photographer. The White House has its own Flickr account and the pic comes from here:

      The fact that the picture was edited in photoshop is neither evidence for or against doctoring of a “fake gun.” Most professional level photographers use photoshop to do everything from crop the size of the photo, adjust contrast, or remove red eye.

      Like I said before, this is all a DISTRACTION. If we make the discussion of our 2A rights about celebrities and politicians, we’re destined to lose. We need to re-focus the public eye that any discussion needs to be centered on the Constitution, and the rights of us “average joe” citizens to defend our lives and freedoms.

  12. What I’ve heard:

    The Fair Play for Skeet Committee would like to have a word with POTUS. Also PETS (People for the Ethical Treatment of Skeet). And a new group called Pink Pigeons is up in arms. Michael Moore is planning a new film exposing the dark underside of clay bird shooting. There’s an environazi group claiming that steel shot makes groundhogs magnetic. AARP wants Obamacare amended to include hearing and eye protection for retired shooters. And the NRA says POTUS is holding the shotgun backwards.

    That is all.

  13. Releasing a photo to demonstrate that Obama occasionally enjoys skeet shooting is ridiculous.

    You want ridiculous? Our President, a graduate of the Harvard School of Law, wants us to believe that the Second Amendment was written to guarantee our right to certain recreational activities. That is ridiculous.

  14. Umm…. is it just me, or does it seem like the photographer either had lightning reflexes (to capture the smoke in the picture) or it was photoshopped? additionally, that shotgun (based on the smoke coming out behind the muzzle) would appear to be compensated…. would that not mean that the president uses “Assualt Weapons” as DiFi’s new bill will make even compensators verbotten (from my initial glance at the bill’s “Cliff Notes”).

    • Note: I know my language is technically incorrect here, I believe it is referred to a “porting” on shotguns now that I think about it.

  15. ” see every body, i like guns too” How embarrasing for our country…Cant believe the commander, a man soo in control of everything, doesnt have a raised, fully adjustable comb on his skeet gun. Would he want that? orrr, does he have NO idea what he is doing with a gun??

  16. The use of “legally” use or “legally” own guns makes it sound like its already again the law to own anything except hunting firearms. Though being NY based groups I guess it already is for them. Though that always gets me because the only reason they don’t want to take the “hunting” guns is because they know they can’t. If they magically were able to pass an AWB, those rifles and shot guns would become long range sniper rifles and assault shotguns to give them their next target.


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