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Obama Skeet Photo Scandal... Really???

I’ve received several emails asking my take on the Obama Skeet shooting photo... this photo clearly qualifies as the first entry to be the silliest non-news story of the year.

With all that’s happening on this State of The Union eve, I thought I’d lighten the mood up a bit.

I’ve received several emails asking my take on the Obama Skeet shooting photo (figure-1). Before I begin, I’d like to state how this photo clearly qualifies as the first entry to be the silliest non-news story of the year. But since a few legitimate questions have arisen, I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone by blogging my humble observations.

For those who don’t know, I held a Federal Firearms License for over twenty years, was in the business of specialized weapons and tactical and uniform equipment for law enforcement, competitively shot handguns, rifles and shotguns, and consulted on tactical training drills. Needless to say, I know shooting.

The first thing I noticed was Obama’s stance and shouldering of the weapon. When firing a shotgun, one should “lean into” the gun with the butt held snugly against the shoulder (figure-2 & 3). In this photo (figure-1), Obama is doing neither. I suspect he had quite the bruised shoulder that day, and I hope his watch wasn’t ruined by the recoil. Then there is Obama’s sighting and muzzle elevation, or rather lack of it. One doesn’t aim a shotgun like a rifle; you point it, looking just over the barrel as it’s swung to lead the target (figure-4). Obama is firing the gun straight ahead instead of at the thirty to forty degrees of elevation (figure-5) skeet clays normally travel.

Another noticeable discrepancy is the lack of a traditional shotgun vest with padded shoulder (like Bush’s official POTUS shotgun vest) and/or shell pouch usually worn by all trap & skeet shooters. Which brings up the question of where Obama keeps his shells for the next round? And, whether he rudely throws his hulls to the ground for someone else to pick up? However, no one could argue Obama rightfully counting that as one job he actually created. But I digress…

As for the shotgun, I agree with other assessments that it’s a (+/- $5,000) Browning designed for Sporting Clays with a custom left handed stock. However if this is a valid photo of our President out for a day of skeet shooting at Camp David, the base armorer has a lot to answer for to the Secret Service, and Michelle. Take a good look; the lower choke tube is missing! Choke tubes are used to send the shot in a directed pattern better suited to the game or sport pursued (figure-6 & 7).  Seeing how a round of skeet includes sets of doubles, firing the lower barrel would damage the gun with a potential of injury to the shooter.

Now with all that said:

Q) Is this image photo shopped? 

A) No.

Q) Is Obama actually firing the gun?

A) Yes. And I would give a month’s pay to see the following slides and the look on his face after the recoil hit. But those photos are less likely to be released than Obama’s original birth certificate or college transcripts.  And yes, I went there…  Deal with it!

Q) Does this photo prove Obama is an avid Skeet shooter?

A) As a matter of respect alone to the office, I’ll choose to accept the President’s word on that one.

Q) Is this photo worthy of the New York Times dubbing it… “Skeet-Gate”? 

A) No, but this shot may be hailed by history as Obama’s version of the Dukakis tank commander (figure-8) photo-op.

As to why the mass media jumped on this photo as if it were the holy grail of the news cycle? The answer to that question is far above my pay grade. However, I strongly suspect the next assignment for the consultant who talked Obama into and set this shot up, will very likely be quail hunting with former Vice President Cheney.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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