The deniers came out just moments after the New Republic posted an interview with President Obama where he was asked if he had ever fired a gun. His response: “Yes, in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time.” This gave us the first denier conspiracy of the year, and the questions immediately began from the…ummm, well we have Truthers and Birthers…so let’s just call them Skeeters (and they’re just as annoying as the real thing).
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) took the first shot (no pun intended): “If he is a skeet shooter, why have we not heard of this? Why have we not seen photos?” Never mind that the President– just like all presidents since Eisenhower–has used Camp David to get away from the press and the glare of constant public scrutiny, and to enjoy a brief respite from having his every move documented by hordes of photographers. Odds are there are other activities that have gone on at Camp David without generating very many photographs…say, walking in the woods or talking on the phone, as examples.
Gun enthusiasts’ fora had a field day criticizing the comment, disputing the reality of it, and some even circulated a Photoshopped photo of Obama with a shotgun in an effort to discredit it. In their world view, it would be impossible for a person who wants to increase the safety of Americans with gun regulations to also enjoy shooting a gun from time to time.
That is a deeper issue: that those in the pro-gun community who intractably and uncritically support the 2nd Amendment, support the NRA’s positions, and want no regulations on firearms, simply don’t believe–or won’t accept–that there are gun owners or sport shooters who aren’t “on their side.” They present the case that ALL gun owners believe the same things and ALL gun owners are anti-regulation. They believe, all evidence to the contrary, that the “the other side” really wants to confiscate all their guns. The 30-40% of gun owners who are classified as liberal would beg to differ – well, they would, if they weren’t banned immediately from many of the popular gun forums when they try and make that simple point. Liberals also have a presence on the internet, The Liberal Gun Club, but, oddly, they don’t tend to ban folks who have opposing views.
This issue will come down to this: Either folks will accept the statement by the President and the photograph for what they are, or, for those reality deniers who don’t live in an evidence-based society, we may hear Skeeters talk for years about that time Obama went to the NASA sound stage (where they supposedly once ‘faked’ the moon landing 44 years ago) and pretended to shoot a gun. They’ll invent their own ‘proof’ to support their Obama Hates All Guns claims: “Can’t you see the shadow of the chem-trails on the far right of the photo, on the pathway?”
So it goes.
McAllister is a life long liberal, environmentalist, Eagle Scout, and even gun owner – born in Harlan, Kentucky and has lived in Southern California, New York City and now resided in Lexington, Kentucky as a Systems Analyst.
You can read more of McAllister’s observations and opinions at Shoot From the Left Hip.