Prior to President Barack Obama's first trip outside Washington to promote his gun-control proposals, the White House released pictures of the President shooting skeet.
Obama surprised both supporters and detractors in an interview with The New Republic magazine, when he answered "yes" when asked if he had ever fired a gun.
"Yes, in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time," Obama said in the interview released last weekend, referring to the official presidential retreat in rural Maryland, which he last visited in October while campaigning for re-election.
Some questioned Obama’s claim and few could recall Obama ever talking about firing a gun or going skeet shooting "all the time."
There are many reason the White house released photos of the President with a rifle in his hand but the predominate one, most will agree is political.
Despite NRA claims Obama has not been, at least thus far, a strong advocate of tough gun laws.
Still he faces an uphill battle trying to limit assault weapons.
The politics are shaping up to be a herculean battle on both sides of the argument.
Painting Obama as a zealot who wants to take away all guns has served the NRA and the Republicans well up until the consistent shootings all over the United States that have occurred recently.
In testimony before her former colleagues Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford delivered a passionate plea urging a ban on assault weapons. She delivered here comments in a hushed, deliberate voice two years after the Arizona Democrat suffered head wounds in a Tucson shooting spree that killed six people. The session also came two months after 20 first-graders and six women were slain by a gunman who invaded Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Of course that was followed by the mass shooting at a Colorado movie theatre ant a ‘Batman’ premiere with the shooter dressing up like the Joker.
Even Sylvester Stallone who played Rambo weighed in saying that despite his "Rambo" image and new shoot-em-up film "Bullet to the Head," he's in favor of new national gun control legislation.
Stallone supported the 1994 "Brady bill" that included a now-expired ban on assault weapons, and hopes that ban can be reinstated.
"I know people get (upset) and go, 'They're going to take away the assault weapon.' Who ... needs an assault weapon? Like really, unless you're carrying out an assault. ... You can't hunt with it. ... Who's going to attack your house, a (expletive) army?" The 66-year-old actor, writer and director said he also hopes for an additional focus on mental health to prevent future mass shootings.
In the interview, which appears in the Feb. 11 issue of The New Republic, Obama said gun-control advocates should be better listeners in this latest debate over firearms in the U.S. He also declared his deep respect for the tradition of hunting in this country, which dates back generations.
"I have a profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations," Obama said. "And I think those who dismiss that out of hand make a big mistake. Part of being able to move this forward is understanding the reality of guns in urban areas are very different from the realities of guns in rural areas. And if you grew up and your dad gave you a hunting rifle when you were 10, and you went out and spent the day with him and your uncles, and that became part of your family's traditions, you can see why you'd be pretty protective of that."
Obama’s gun control measures, which include a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, as well as universal background checks for anyone who wants to buy a firearm, have met some resistance on Capitol Hill and from opponents of tighter restrictions on access to guns, including the powerful National Rifle Association.
Closer to home for President Obama was the killing of a 15-year-old girl who had performed in President Barack Obama's inauguration festivities is the latest face on the ever-increasing homicide toll in the president's hometown.
Chicago police said Hadiya Pendleton was in a park about a mile from Obama's home in a South Side neighborhood Tuesday afternoon when a man opened fire on the group. Hadiya was shot in the back as she tried to escape.
Not even mentioned were the shootings of black teenagers Trayvon Martin and Jasmine Thar which reminded the country for a brief moment of the differences in focus on gun violence.
Chicago recorded more than 500 homicides for the first time since 2008.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday that the president and the first lady's "thoughts and prayers are with" the teen's family, adding: "And as the president has said, we will never be able to eradicate every act of evil in this country, but if we can save any one child's life, we have an obligation to try when it comes to the scourge of gun violence."
Even if stronger background checks did identify a criminal, “as long as you let him go, you’re not keeping him from getting a gun and you’re not preventing him from getting to the next crime scene,” said Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s executive vice president.
He said poor enforcement is “a national disgrace.”
What he did not say is why with many states having Republican Governors have not implemented reasonable reforms.
As long as shootings continue all over the United States the debate will rage on and reform is possible.