Obama Says he Goes Skeet Shooting

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 27 2013 3:28 PM

President Obama: “Up at Camp David, We Do Skeet Shooting all the Time”

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President Obama sat down for a 45-minute interview with the New Republic

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Obama tells the New Republic in an exclusive interview that he goes shooting during retreats. "Yes, in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time,” Obama said when he was asked whether he had ever fired a gun. The revelation seems to have caught the interviewer off guard: “The whole family?” he asked. “Not the girls,” Obama answered, “but oftentimes guests of mine go up there.” The president then went on to explain the “profound respect” he has for the “traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations,” saying that “those who dismiss that out of hand make a big mistake.” Obama went on to say he understands there’s a big difference between guns in urban areas and rural areas.

In an interview that largely focused on the paralysis in Washington and how the president plans to try to work with Republicans during his second term, one of the most interesting portions came when Franklin Foer asked the president whether his feelings for football had changed now that the health risks surrounding the sport were becoming more evident. Obama said that if he had a son, he would “have to think long and hard” before letting him play football. He went on:

“I think that those of us who love the sport are going to have to wrestle with the fact that it will probably change gradually to try to reduce some of the violence. In some cases, that may make it a little bit less exciting, but it will be a whole lot better for the players, and those of us who are fans maybe won't have to examine our consciences quite as much.”
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Read the full interview here.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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