gun control

Gun Control Advocates Need to Listen to Gun Owners, Obama Says

by PETER BAKER, The New York Times  |  published on January 28, 2013

President Obama said that he and his guests go skeet shooting at Camp David “all the time” and that gun control advocates need “to do a little more listening” to understand why so many Americans are wary of government limits on firearms.

In an interview released Sunday morning, Mr. Obama acknowledged that getting his package of gun proposals through Congress could be tough, and he expressed empathy for the strong sentiments of gun owners. Like Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who has mentioned that he owns two shotguns, Mr. Obama tried to associate himself with those who enjoy firing guns.

“Up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time,” he told The New Republic in the interview, conducted Jan. 16, just after he unveiled his gun proposals.

Asked about his family, he said, “Not the girls, but oftentimes 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.”

He added that the experience with guns in rural America differed dramatically from that in urban America. “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,” he said.

“So it’s trying to bridge those gaps that I think is going to be part of the biggest task over the next several months,” he added. “And that means that advocates of gun control have to do a little more listening than they do sometimes.”

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