Obama: Sure, I go skeet shooting all the time

posted at 9:31 am on January 28, 2013 by Allahpundit

I know you’ve seen this at Drudge, appropriately posted beneath a photo of the Hopenchange crew cracking up in laughter, but some panders are so shameless and comically implausible that they must be commemorated in a post. (Unfortunately, politicians’ need to ingratiate themselves with gun owners has been known to lead to this sort of thing.)

To believe this, you need to believe that O splits sharply from most ivory-tower liberals when it comes to recreational shooting. How likely is that? In what other ways, based on what we know about him personally and politically, does he stray from the path of the stereotypical left-wing intellectual? The only one that pops to mind is that you’ll find him at church on Sunday morning very occasionally. Maybe that’s how it is with skeet shooting — a once-a-year lark, just to get “back in touch” with the people.

FF: Have you ever fired a gun?

Yes, in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time.

FF: The whole family?

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.

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 ten, 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 over the next several months. And that means that advocates of gun control have to do a little more listening than they do sometimes.

Hunting has very little to do with the Second Amendment but it’s an evergreen rhetorical sop to rural voters (many of whom live in purple states) whenever Democrats start getting grabby about guns. Clinton mentioned it the other day in warning Democrats not to condescend to their opponents, moments before he said of rural gun owners, “A lot of these people … all they’ve got is their hunting and their fishing.” Obama’s been talking up the glories of hunting since 2008 at least; he celebrated it again in the opening to his speech two weeks ago before launching into an explanation of why he needs to take executive action on guns. Listening to a liberal defend hunting is like watching a volcano start to smoke: You know what’s coming, and it won’t be good. But hey — if your concept of self-defense extends no further than long rifles or shotguns, you’ve got nothing to worry about. Continue to cling bitterly to them as needed.

The dirty little secret being obscured by O’s ode to the joys of hunting skeet is that the White House is slowly easing off a bit on the big gun-control push. OFA chose Friday afternoon, when most people are tuning out of politics for the weekend, to send an e-mail urging supporters to start calling congressional offices and pressuring them on guns. This morning, Democratic sources are grumbling to BuzzFeed that gun control may end up being to Obama’s second term what Social Security privatization was to Bush’s. Quote:

On Capitol Hill, the perception among many is that Obama has essentially written them off when it comes to gun control.

“No, they’re not talking to anybody,” a second Democratic aide said, adding “Maybe, maybe they can get something on background checks” through the House and Senate.

That’s the White House’s new plan. Focus on universal background checks, which are popular across the board in polling, as something that really might pass Congress and then try, try, try to hold as many Democrats together as possible on more aggressive doomed-to-fail stuff like the assault weapons ban. If they can at least manage a near-party line vote, then they can blame gun control’s failure on the GOP and hope that the public is peeved about that in 2014. Aside from background checks, it’s all kabuki.


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