Barack Hussein Obama, who has spent years attempting to reframe the Second Amendment as being limited to "protecting the rights of hunters and sportsmen," has put that prevarication and obfuscation into full campaign mode in his effort to ban so-called "assault weapons." Obama claims, rightly, that these weapons are not often used for hunting and sport shooting -- unless, of course, you consider "hunting" those who assault our Constitution to be "sport shooting."
Of course, the guns in question are not, first and foremost, for hunting or sport shooting. They are purchased for defending Liberty -- consistent with the plain language and intent of the Second Amendment.
Along the way, Obama has also endeavored to reframe himself as a friend to hunters and sportsmen, last week offering up the nefarious claim that when he is at Camp David, "we shoot all the time." After that claim was panned nationwide, the White House propaganda teem released a photo on Saturday (02FEB), purportedly of "Skeeter" Obama shooting skeet at Camp David.
"POTUS shoots clay targets on the range at Camp David on Aug. 4, 2012," said White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer when releasing the photo. It was captioned, "President Barack Obama shoots clay targets on the range at Camp David, Md., Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)" and included the disclaimer, "This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House."
Apparently, Obama celebrated his 51st birthday on the shooting range because, you know, he "shoots all the time."
As with Obama's original "shoot all the time" claim, the photo has now become funny fodder for a new round of comedy at his expense. The disclaimer that the "photograph may not be manipulated in any way" just begs for more!
But beyond the humor possibilities of this photo, for anyone knowledgable about firearms, there are some obvious problems with this photo -- most notably the "gun smoke." Since the time of the Napoleonic Wars, gun smoke fouled the visibility on battle fields and betrayed the location of marksmen. Thus, the invention of smokeless powders beginning in the 1850s!
In regard to the photo in question, I don't think a shotgun has produced that much smoke since about 1870.
Though I have spent a lot of time with M-4s, the Sage EBR, and my trusty M-107, I am not a skeet shooter. Thus, I contacted three of the nation's most knowledgeable shotgun and skeet-shooting champions, and asked them their opinion of this photo. It took them all of about 10 minutes to respond that, indeed, there are numerous problems with the photo:
1) It appears that Obama is actually shouldering a Browning Citori, model 525 or 625, made in Japan, though he could clearly use some instruction on proper handling.
2) Obama may be posing with this shotgun, but there is too much smoke for modern shot shells that use smokeless powder. It may be that he fired a "popper" or blank round, which still use Black Powder, and does produce a fair amount of smoke.
3) The barrels on these guns are ported at the factory, with holes on either side of the vent rib of the upper barrel and either side of the lower barrel ribs. These holes are evenly spaced and point to the rear of the gun at approximately a 60 degree angle. The holes produce a "spray pattern" of gas as as the shot exits the barrel to reduce recoil and muzzle jump. The gas above the barrel is not exiting at the right dispersion angle.
4) This is a "fixed breach" gun which has a fair amount of recoil, not a gas operated semi-automatic. We fail to see any evidence of recoil in this picture -- meaning the muzzle of the gun would be lifting from any smoke exiting the barrel.
5) The gun also appears to have an extended choke in the top barrel and no choke in the bottom barrel, which is odd.
6) Skeet Targets are all presented at a high angle, where this photo depicts shooting something parallel to the ground. However, this may have been trap shooting instead of skeet shooting, but just as Obama has demonstrated he doesn't know the difference in a "clip" versus a "magazine," he may have said "skeet shooting" when he meant "trap shooting."
In an effort to preempt any speculation about whether the photo is authentic, former White House senior adviser David Plouffe tweeted: "Attn skeet birthers. Make our day -- let the photoshop conspiracies begin!"
So is the photo altered?
For the record, I think Obama is holding a Browning Citori in this photo. However, I think the photo was altered prior to its release -- but pay attention as to WHY.
This photo was not altered to "fool" gun owners, but to make gun owners look like fools, much like he did those who have legitimate questions about his birth certificate.
Obama used the "birth certificate doubters" to his advantage by keeping them guessing, and in the process diverting all their political capital down a rat hole that left his campaign unharmed and made his detractors look like conspiracy theorist fools.
He is doing the same with this photo. Obama has likely fired a shotgun at Camp David at some time in the last four years, albeit not "all the time." But this photo was deliberately altered as a diversionary tactic, so that opponents of his latest gun-ban mischief would divert political capital on the authenticity of this photo, rather than challenging the much more important question of Obama's underlying motivation to undermine the Second Amendment, and the rest of our Constitution.