In an interview with The New Republic posted on Sunday Obama said that he and guests “do skeet shooting all the time” at the presidential retreat and said he understood why many rural voters were protective of their gun-ownership rights.

“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,” said the president. “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,” said Obama. “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.”