Obama Shoots Skeet at Camp David — and Has Advice for the NCAA

Camp David

President John F. Kennedy shot skeet at Camp David, shown here with David Niven and The Washington Post’s Ben Bradlee in 1963. Camp David Photo.President John F. Kennedy shot skeet at Camp David, shown here with David Niven and The Washington Post’s Ben Bradlee in 1963.

President Barack Obama, seeking a ban on assault weapons, says he shoots skeet “all the time” at Camp David.

Obama told The New Republic magazine in an interview that at the presidential retreat in Maryland’s wooded Catoctin Mountains “we do skeet shooting all the time.”

“Not the girls, but oftentimes guests of mine go up there” to shoot skeet, Obama added in an interview published in the magazine’s Feb. 11 issue.

President Dwight Eisenhower, who had the good sense to rename the presidential retreat for grandson David — it had been known as Shangri-La before then — installed the skeet shooting range in the 1950s.

Obama, father of two daughters, mentioned his interest in skeet shooting in response to a question on whether he had ever fired a gun.

Obama has responded to a shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school last month by proposing legislation to mandate background checks for all gun buyers, ban high-capacity ammunition clips and reinstate a ban on sales of assault weapons. Obama also signed 23 executive actions aimed at circumventing congressional opposition to new gun restrictions, including several designed to maximize prosecution of gun crimes and improve access to government data for background checks.

Twenty students and six educators were killed in a mass shooting Dec. 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Skeet shooting involves shotguns, not Bushmasters. And there are no mega-clips involved.

The president also expressed concern about violence and injuries in professional and intercollegiate football in this interview, saying he would “think long and hard” if he had a son before allowing him to play. Obama, an avowed sports fan, says the National Collegiate Athletic Association in particular should consider rules changes in view of emerging evidence on long-term health consequences of head blows suffered by players.

He said he is “more worried” about amateur college players than professional National Football League players who are “grown men” represented by a union and paid a salary.

“You read some of these stories about college players who undergo some of these same problems with concussions and so forth and then have nothing to fall back on,” Obama said in the interview. “That’s something that I’d like to see the NCAA think about.”

Obama predicted that football rules will “probably change gradually to try to reduce some of the violence.” He said the while rules changes to tamp down violence “may make it a little bit less exciting,” the result “will be a whole lot better for the players, and those of us who are fans maybe won’t have to examine our consciences quite as much.”

 

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