Obama: We Go Skeet-Shooting 'All the Time'

President covers gun control, football in 'New Republic' interview

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 27, 2013 9:37 AM CST

(Newser) – Perhaps it's the commander in chief who's clinging to his guns? In a wide-ranging interview with the New Republic, President Obama tackles slew of issues ranging from gun control to football, including this little gem when asked if he'd ever fired a gun: "Up at Camp David, we do skeet-shooting all the time. 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." Other highlights from the interview:

  • On gun control: "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 10, 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. And that means that advocates of gun control have to do a little more listening than they do sometimes."
  • On breaking the GOP "fever" that ruled his first term: "I never expected that it would happen overnight. I think it will be a process. And the Republican Party is undergoing a still-early effort at reexamining what their agenda is and what they care about."
  • On extremists in Congress: "If you talk privately to Democrats and Republicans, particularly those who have been around for a while, they long for the days when they could socialize and introduce bipartisan legislation and feel productive. It's not a fun time to be in Congress."
  • On football: "I'm a big football fan, but I have to tell you if I had a son, I'd have to think long and hard before I let him play football. And 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."
  • On the presidential iPad: Obama had questions of his own for interviewers Chris Hughes and Franklin Foer, they write. "He specifically wanted to know if the New Yorker and the Atlantic had found workable business models. He bemoaned his own difficulty accessing newspapers and magazines on his ultra-secure presidential iPad, which doesn't allow him to enter required subscriber information."
Click for the full interview.

Maybe the gang is getting ready to do some skeet-shooting: Francois Hollande, President Obama, and Angela Merkel at Camp David, Saturday, May 19, 2012.
Maybe the gang is getting ready to do some skeet-shooting: Francois Hollande, President Obama, and Angela Merkel at Camp David, Saturday, May 19, 2012.   (AP Photo/Philippe Wojazer, Pool)
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