Amid the persisting gun violence and mass-murders across the US and surge of calls for better gun-control laws, the White House has released a photo of the American president to confirm reports of his shooting hobby.
The White House effort on Saturday to settle continuing rumors about President’s shooting hobby by releasing a photo of him while skeet shooting comes just two days before a trip to advance his gun-control pledges made in January in the aftermath of an elementary school shooting massacre in Connecticut that killed 20 children and seven adults.
The publication of the official photograph took place following a wave of skepticism among political and media circles concerning Obama's claim that he takes part in the shooting sport "all the time."
Obama had reportedly stirred controversy when he answered “yes” to a question on whether he had ever fired a gun in an interview with liberal magazine The New Republic.
The admission came as a surprise to many American, local press reports have widely reported.
“Yes, in fact, up at Camp David [presidential vacation retreat in Maryland], we do skeet shooting all the time,” Obama said in the interview published in the magazine’s February 11 edition, released last weekend.
Further asked whether the entire family participates in the ‘shooting sport,’ Obama replied, “Not the girls, but oftentimes guests of mine go up there.”
Nearly a month after the Connecticut shooting carnage on December 14, 2012, Obama delivered a nationally-televised public address, calling on the US Congress to enact better gun-control measures.
Meanwhile, the powerful pro-gun lobby in Washington, the National Rifle Association (NRA), which has rejected Obama’s proposals, sneered at his newly released photo.
“One picture does not erase a lifetime of supporting every gun ban and every gun-control scheme imaginable,” said Andrew Arulanandam, an NRA spokesman.