The White House has released a photograph of Barack Obama at his country retreat shooting clay targets. It is the first time the US President has been seen shooting a gun and comes after sceptics questioned his claim that he shoots clay pigeons regularly while at Camp David.
Obama was asked in an interview if he had ever fired a gun. He replied:
"Yes, in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time... Not the girls, but often guests of mine go up there. And I have a profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations. And I think those who dismiss that out of hand make a big mistake."
Critics questioned the President's comments. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican, even challenged Obama to a shooting contest. Obama's comment was widely seen as an attempt to reach out to gun owners to ease their concerns about his proposals on gun control.