President Obama got out of DC on Monday and hit the road to promote his gun control agenda. But right-winged radicals were still ranting about the photograph released last week showing Obama firing a shotgun in an August skeet competition at Camp David.
According to White House spokesman, Jay Carney, the photo was released in response to questions raised by Republicans on a few words uttered by the president in a New Republic interview:
"The New Republic: Have you ever fired a gun?
"Obama: Yes, in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time.”
All the tin-foil hat-wearing, moon-landing-was-faked, conservative paranoids jumped on those words and started screaming like a hound dog passing a peach pit.
The folks at Breitbart, a conservative blog that feeds Fox News much of its uber-ignorant conspiracy trash, went bonkers with speculations the image must have been photoshopped, as if the White House has nothing better to do than create a phony picture to placate extemists.
One disgruntled skeet-birther claimed the president was playing golf on the day of the skeet shoot, as if he couldn’t do more than one activity in a day.
Others in the media questioned why the White House waited so long to release the photograph, when the fact remains, it simply wouldn’t have made any difference. He would be criticized by extremist Tea Party mentalities no matter what he did, because they want to marginalize anything he does, especially his effort on gun control.
David Frum, political analyst, described it best Monday on CNN, when he said that president Obama never claimed to be a hunter or have a lot of experience with guns.
“He could disembowel a deer on national TV and it wouldn’t make a difference (to his critics),” said Frum.
Conservatives made fun of how the president held the gun in the suspected photoshopped picture, saying he looked like a girl. They made snarky remarks about his tucked-in shirt. Their petty rancor has been the most telling thing about what defines conservative zealots.
Obama respects the Second Amendment and understands the rights of peole to protect their families and own legally acquired weapons, but he didn’t grow up around guns and was never a hunter, which is increasingly viewed as a declining “sport”. Still, in spite of the president's lack of experience with guns, he didn’t shoot anyone in the face, like Vice President Cheney did in a 2006 quail hunting accident. Cheney, on the other hand, was a renowned hunter and sportsman.
Nonetheless, President Obama is a pragmatist, who let’s nonsensical rhetoric role off his back like water off a duck. He is dedicated to meaningful regulations on decreasing gun violence.
While the radical-right kept racking their brains on how to wring more controversy out of skeetgate, Obama was in Minneapolis talking to law enforcement organizations and giving a public speech on his position.
An excerpt from a report in The Hill:
“We may not be able to prevent every massacre or random shooting. No law or set of laws can keep our children completely safe but if there's even one thing we can do, if there's just one life we can save, we’ve got an obligation to try," Obama said at the Minneapolis Police Department’s Special Operations Center. “We don’t have to agree on everything to agree it’s time to do something. That’s my main message here today.”
Obama urged Congress to institute a broad set of gun-control proposals and he made it clear on Monday that the “vast majority” of Americans—including a majority of gun owners – “support criminal background checks on anyone trying to buy a gun.”
The White House should consider skeetgate to be just another distraction launched by people, who think that socialist Kenyans couldn't possibly know anything about shooting little clay pigeons.
Jean Williams, environmental and political journalist; PrairieDogPress writer; Artistic Director, Keystone Prairie Dogs.***PrairieDogPress is the media channel for keystone-prairie-dogs.com, which is a fundraising website to support environmental groups for extraordinary efforts to protect Great Plains habitat and prairie dogs in the wild. PDP uses humorous images, social commentary and serious-minded political reports to challenge government on numerous levels, including accountability to the people, the protection of threatened species, the environment and Earth’s natural resources.