Archives About Staff BagNews is dedicated to visual politics, media literacy and the analysis of news images.
February 2, 2013

Obama Firing a Gun. (Or: Why Skeeter Attack a Major Backfire)

It’s always fascinates me how the debate over a photo’s circumstances can be so overshadow its content. That’s true in the case of the Obama skeet shooting photo which, in my mind, is the second most stunning White House photo after “The Situation Room.”

Before tackling the content, however, let me go on the record as criticizing the skeptics, or “skeeters,” for just not trying hard enough. I mean, if you’re going to challenge Obama’s claim that he’s fired guns, or challenge the photo as just one lame example, why not go all the way and challenge the legitimacy of the photo itself? I mean, why haven’t the doubters thought to challeng the angle of the smoke against the wind direction in Thurmont, Maryland (the closest town to Camp David) that day?

Or the wind speed?

Or the humidity and why the Prez looks so dry?

I’m sorta surprised, also, that we haven’t seen historical video and Google Earth analysis of Camp David and the tree types or the woodland background of the helipad area, which is where the skeet shooting range lies, to suppose that the whole scene was concocted– just like the destruction of the World Trade Center, right?  And then, I haven’t heard a word from the cynics about why the President, on that day trip to Camp David last August 4th, would choose to skeet shoot (among all the other options) on the occasion of his 51st birthday?

(…Could it be, perhaps, that Obama was so hooked on the Olympics, smack dab in the middle of the shooting events that, after watching the finals of the Men’s trap that Thursday, he couldn’t wait to eviscerate a few clay pigeons himself that weekend?)

Honestly, I can’t tell you why Obama has hardly breathed a word about shooting before last week’s  New Republic interview. Perhaps, after being skewered for ties to revolutionaries like Bill Ayers and Rev. Wright, and then being linked with terrorism (if just for parody’s sake) by a publication as conservative as the New Yorker, who needed the trouble? With that initiation to presidential politics, perhaps any reference to shooting (I mean, look what they did to him over bowling?) just wouldn’t be simple.

Which is why the photo is so incredible, and the critics and conservatives short-sightedly forced Obama into releasing one of the most advantageous photos of his presidency. We know, of course, that such a photo, unilaterally released by the White House, would have been skewered as an epic example of pandering, in the caliber of “Dukakis in the tank,” with skeet shooting sure to be derided by NRA-types as sissy stuff. Instead however, forced into releasing the photo as a STFU and evidence he’s inhaled fired, the Administration, with absolutely no negative consequence, has inserted this amazing visual into the public record. As such, with Sandy Hook still fresh in people minds, with the President tacking left and the Administration pressing for new legislation on gun control, the photo frames Obama exactly where he always craves the leverage — which is, from the other side of the fence.

Please though, don’t tell me people on the right are just going to parse, qualify and dismiss this image. Quibble if you want about the age and style of the gun (old and not very powerful) or the pettiness of the context (real men kill things). As Karl Rove famously said, politics is TV with the sound off. (In other words, the authority of the content itself.) And now, the picture is out there. Ultimately, what dropped out of the internets Friday — in living color and in twelve sizes, minuscule to mondo — is the president firing a gun.

(photo: Pete Souza/White House caption: President Barack Obama shoots clay targets on the range at Camp David, Md., Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012.)

  • Matthew Brooks

    It doesn’t look like he knows how to hold a gun right.

    • black_dog_barking

      I too thought BHO looked a bit awkward. But then I realized he’s left-handed. Yet another minority that gets a bit of societal mistreatment from time to time. Now Dick Cheney, that guy could hold a shotgun.

  • nina sanctuary

    I am getting the hang of Bag News, I guessed this photo would be put up. It really hits the spot. The gun is a visually effective signifier but what is signified is up to the viewer. Does it portray him as the real American with gun and sinewy strong arms to protect his patch, or as someone having a bit of (harmless) exercise? It works both ways. One thing for sure Arnie and Bush wouldn’t be seen dead with an old token weapon like this. I like the parallel lines made with the road and gunfire, the tree trunk and Obama body trunk, together making a perfect rectangle in the middle of the picture.

  • black_dog_barking

    Wouldn’t be surprised if the prez doesn’t bag himself a right-wing loudmouth or two with this shot. Shades of Donald Trump (anyone remember him?, big mouth birther “show me the birth certificate”?).

    Grab some popcorn, sit back and watch the fun.

    • Michael Shaw

      Thought where you were going was Cheney shooting hunting buddy.

    • Serr8d

      No, he’s bagging skeet, don’t you know?


  • BooksAlive

    My older daughter’s family vacationed on Lanai and participated in skeet shooting there. I’m sure that was her first and only time. Her husband captioned the photo he sent of her as Annie Oakley. They’re both MDs, BTW.

  • sameolbs

    Skeeter Obama….lol

  • bks3bks

    Gun nut epistemology took a big hit yesterday with the shooting of Chris Kyle. I guess carrying a gun is not the magic amulet that the NRA would have us believe.


    • Serr8d

      Wow. Just like a liberal ghoul, to politicize on the backs of the recently dead. Taking after Obama, I see; he certainly didn’t waste any time using the tiny corpses in Newtown to advance his far-Left ideology, did he?

      I just wish he’d used his OWN three kids…

  • marcsobel

    Personally, I like the dark glasses. You know they will be given the fist bump treatment. I can hear them being described as an Angela Davis homage.

    • marcsobel

      Also, you forgot the obviously false typeface on the Nike swoosh.

  • Serr8d

    Beretta DT10 Trident L Sporting. Biden’s shotgun, likely. Cost: about $10,000, depending on the grade.

    Figures that the ‘Man of the People’, looking to shame the ‘evil rich’ into paying their ‘fair share’, uses a premium gun that only a very few shooters could afford.

    And, he looks like an uncomfortable hack, shooting parallel to the ground. Seldom do bird hunters fire shotguns that aren’t properly elevated.

    • Organ_Morgan

      It’s not the Beretta DT10. You’re blowing it out the back end.

  • Earl Mardle

    My, Seer8d IS busy with the TeaParty, NRA talking points isn’t it? Couple of points. The issue is whether BHO ever FIRED a gun, not whether he is olympic quality marksman. So he’s a bunny with a gun, big deal. As for the photoshopping crowd, go for it guys, point out that it is still Winter in Catoctin Mountain Park (Wikipedia has a nuch photo taken Feb 9 that makes getting the pickup shot a bit hard) and analyse the the way the smoke lays over the background till your hearts are content. BTW, until this pic I never realised that some shotguns vent smoke out the side of the barrel.

  • quincyscott

    For the overwhelming majority of law-abiding and reasonable gun owners, this image may indeed be effective in getting them to reassess the president. Most of these folks shoot skeet, or some other sporting equivalent, and agree with the majority of Americans that guns and bullets need reasonable restrictions. Maybe this image helps nudge them.

    On the other hand, the nuts on the fringe will see in this picture their worst fears realized. What could they find more frightening than a black guy firing a gun?

  • Old Baleine

    @serr8d: nice try, most people visiting here wouldn’t know the diff between a Berretta and a Browning, but I do. You, apparently do not know, either.

  • Cactus

    While I hate to agree with a righty — even a broken
    clock is right twice a day. There is something awkward about BHO holding that
    rifle — like he’s not really all that comfortable, as if he were posing. My
    dad occasionally went skeet shooting and I remember seeing him do that. One
    also occasionally sees it in movies. But I don’t remember seeing anyone shoot
    straight ahead line-of-sight. Aren’t the disks shot into the air in imitation
    of bird flight? I may be getting childhood memories mixed up, but it seems
    shooters track the flight of disks (and birds) as they leave the ground.

    I like the rifle he’s using, or is it a shotgun? It
    does look old and I wonder if it wasn’t his grandfather’s. Would have been nice
    to have that detail (if so) when the photo was released.

  • alzarkawiREADmyblogs

    Learn BHOK, I was busy with TEA CREATION OF ANTI-TERROR ACTIONS, now I’m dedicated to “my” personal miamidade K F R U N D E L D remainnings of mayoral varez AND AS AFTER BUSH TOOK ma noriega, clingtong betrayed not continuing on UN$addam, Iraqui Shias (costed actual anti-American arabs fuel) panama gov (didn’t pursued prd, and prd’$ cd and the stealing of the mireyist Arnulfist Party), openning the cartel 20th century socialism and “new” “right” concept (confusing latino, ayatola right with Bush, TEA, etc.), zelaya’s costarrica, and the rest of the cartel gov$ (expl: brother mu$LIMhood is not only bailedout (DEATH PENALTY, ANOTHER FOR BHORK) BUT 1ST LINE f-16S, ABRAHAM TANKS FOR THE HUNDREDS…
    So, debby debthor$e’$ chillis (later I’m giving “my” personal paralegal fight seekers and permanent insults in front of chillis employes as example, SO MI A MI DADE po li ce criminaly SELF SEEKEing insurgent psyquiatric PROGRAMMING (that;’s why rivera lost, CITY CAMMS remain, and even radiomambi accepted oscaraza bhork BRAIN REASONNING) brains, so the continental castropre-invasion of civillians thinking against anti-terror “feel relax” on not facing any “smartasses” anti-terror IDing any insurgency)
    Know this: (CHILLIS LAUGH ON ME TILL TODAY, I will reffer to steve LATTER AFTER I GO SEE HIM TO HEAR MORE INSULTS ON MY SERIOULY BACK INJURE) on my sister, mom, bhopters stabbed on other countries… all who helped me) BEATTENED UNDER POLICE KNOWLWDGE, MOM AND SISTER FOR AYERS RAPPED AND TRYED TO KILL, TORTURED, CPTN NOEL AND OFFCR DOMINIC haven’t beg me any pardon, SO… YOU ARE TERROR LOGISTICK FACING YOUR PUINISHMENT ifsoG (as my real family are under Stockholm syndrom, HOW?: AGAINST MAYORAL VAREZ?, BHORK?, NARCONELLI?, “ETC”. gov DOCTROLLS/ATTNYS from miamidade, panama and costarrica gov, they have private castrowellfarefraudoctroll$), SELAC is the “new OEA (OAS”) …
    AH!: FHP WITHE BIG OFCOURSE INSURGENT, BALD, OLD, AND criminal face, how a criminal face individual can even be a police?
    well, lets ID terror logistics, come on!, is the only way the continent is going to be free, fight with me!

    • Organ_Morgan

      Did you really think anyone would actually read that incoherent discharge?

    • FREE TEAleaf

      morganpirateorgasm, you remmember me of the view s(beep)t, If wasn’t because proving to your brains what is comming thru bhork brother mu$LIMhood, acorn, ayers, etc, controlfreak plan$ are for the sodomy… of bhork’$ PHA$E B,

      $harri ALAwfull few trillions more final duel 22.. 22… 27th account ending…

      but bhork, your f(beep)t VIOLENT SEEKER RIDICULE FAILLINGS, NEVER SURRENDER TRYING, OPPORTUNITIE$, bhork”$ world, hey, your newblackpanty is here (ON CITY CAMM$!!, THAT’s why I include accusation to miami criminal cartelpolice and judges, managers, mayorales… “ordinary” crime… I KNOW HOW TO DEStroy’M mass of $(beep)t, as tedpalpatineantikennedy used to do himself, and mostly of the time, a cousing of him, uggly as bhork$.
      and, all because of no one is allowed to resist enter into their s(beep)t and to live and think as they are told.
      well bhork, another hightreason, waterboardding for you.

  • Pingback: Being Them « The Weekly Sift

  • [email protected]

    bhork I drive your Moregov$ armie$ away from fREDo. The site is acting interveined (I was a focus group back at then 1997 world kulturhuvudstat, I know internet very, veeeeery well, bhork finaly used internet to CONTACT the W(arg) H(ou$e of pain) and their BHORK’$ FAIGHT: MUSLIM, HIS MUSLIM FAIGHT stepanopuloususss, whatever (may end up AS CNN$ TO AL JAZZ CERA, after INVENTED BUSH DIDN’T EVEN SERVED…) ,

    but a neolibtiCAL $ite interveined (by their owner $y$tem castrogovcopie$ bailedout brotherMMMu$LIMhood, I DON’T EVEN HAVE A PC, homeless bhork, you know “my” your ACORN stepmother, chillis is where I will start, many police know my seriously backspinalcord injuries, and you bhork have me without a postal adress, wich belongs to the castrocoyote lourdesmartinez chillis police and the mayoral varez knew even before I came to (LEGALY) America to join the ARMY, wich I could’n because by the way,and they know of, my serious injuries, that also by the way, will cost you what money can’t buy, as all your ork$ I DEStroy with placer, beyound your ork$, and again, today steve (I saw 1 occupiedthewall stpdc2ndfloortoilet comming to blog seeking if “I act mad or crazy”, me.., sure), (THEY KNOW MY INJURIES) started your told detailed how by POLICE DOCTROLL$ debbydebthor$e figure of “power” INSHULTZ on me, repeating acorn views on me personaly even say “I invent my injuries”, having me mad, and you know my brokendiscs: I even lose weight under the sun sweatting bike or by foot to denounce you all imbeciles responsible, you know that too bhork, and you don’t tell’m on THEIR FATE I GIVE’M BY NATURE, fiu agents and mayoral castrocoyote ma noriega “things” WELL KNOW WHERE MATTERS of MANY AUUUUTHORITY WARG$, so I throw’m my (imaginary TEA) arrows then… you know I’m not and can’t now (ever being armmed or something, not jailed or “called to see a judge, if I see a judge I WILL HAVE’M ON GITMO WATERBOARDED AT LEAST) ah!, bhork, 4 countries, Europe studies, tittles, I WORK ON MY PROFESION LEGALY, MY TITTLES ARE NOT HIDDEN AND TERROR RELATED NEATHER)




    • arablod$pin$ used internet

      oops: I have no trillion$ to blog, I don’t have time for checkSPELLS (don’t need),

      I’m $orry Kara…
      internet, bhork, how much you wish intranets replacing… ah?

      so you can lecture without any challenges… “sure”, “We are inferior to you bhork”, “We don’t know what you are”…

      a (frakin) future waterboarding, your info bhork, your info… wao!: C$ARumen’$ info… fat&furio$, acorn, BROTHER MMMU $LIM hood… hammas, alche, laraza, castrogov future bailout$… castrogov benefit$ from bhork $OOOOO FAR…

      bhork, “my” your acorn stepmonster you had me since the ayers before the invasion times I ASKED to America against castrogovcopycityBUILDER ma noriega, the 1$t chavez.

      bhork finaly used internet (any pc can be trakked) to CONTACT the AraBLOOD$pin$ (TERROR LOGI$TICK$… the fat insURGENcy, those who doesn’t have problems with police and can just eat and wait till they’re called to have the machineguns payed by bhork) of his 3 new Iran$, using Bush’s (again) image and even imitates his slogans, voice, gestures, talk…

      hey bhork, I also studied Kahlil Hibrain’s written work:

      it is at the Garden of the Prophet: the nation:…” feel pity for the nation that aplausses as a great leader the fakedtea occupied sodomical pre-$harriALAWfull brother mmmu$LIM hood acorn of a fraud, plenty of ge$ture$ and imitating articulation$ (lecture)…

      more?, of C O U R S E, I don’t thing today I’ll be compensated by the terror sanctuaries of the whole continent, wich begins South of Westpalmbeach… all the way of the $ELAC terror (cuba related, so all names at the list are instantly BY MY MAGICAL INTERNET POWERS OF INSTANT MASS INFO) cartel gov laundrie$ to seek power and to, and here is where THEY LOOSE ME: to pursue and silence.

  • FmrADDHONOREM IraqWarS Blogger

    go ahead bhork$, erase these messages… no one will hear me… “sure”
    wait!, as you block me from my own townhall and heritage, before their eyes!!…
    I can jail you, bhork… for the felonies you have on me and my people and I already MAGISTRALY (joinned creatting internet first) instantly massively as you ever dreammed (0 trillion$) communicated…

  • am

    As far as Obama not holding or gripping the rifle properly, he’s already pulled off his shot so it is possible he’s now relaxed his grip and shoulder position. I also agree that because he is shooting the rifle left handed it tends to look awkward. Right handedness being the default ‘normal’ setting for most people’s brains where images are concerned.

  • waterboardding OR bhork DRONE?

    Hey!, I want to drone missile/artillery (terror helpers) out too. Bhork won’t be dronned out because he WON’T ESCAPE THE WATERBOARDDING, he can’t go no where, he won’t go no where but to face man’s justice upon him…

    more, of C O U R $ E…

    comming up: chillis, publix and winndixie KNEW I WAS SERIUOSLY INJURIED AND SPINALCORD LEVEL OF PAIN, permanent, no matters the medicine, it will be there. So miamidade, prepare to know ruin and burden you enjoyed to hook people into your (CONCIENTLY) sodomize “legaly” in your pre-$harriALAwfool high treason and cartel gov laundry for the trillion$… and severe punishment to all of you imbeciles…

    chillis had police I SAW SAW ME being felonicaly abused, I want those imbecile police UNEMPLOYED AND THE POLICE RECORD APPEARING ANYWHERE THEY SEEK FOR A JOB ON THIS CONTINENT.



    but till then, I say who the terrorist, and who the allies are…

    AND NAMES, VEEEERY IMPORTANT, and when and what they did… and if I can make’m, on my face, that’s why I’m sure about… if they say it all, like ma noriega was as inferior mind LIKE BHORK TOO, HEY BHORK, i MAKE THE un$ADDAMes and ma noriega declare war on America by their own words… knowing WHO PROTECTS HER, THOSE with a humbble slogan they used and I still love to remember and feel safe: “WHEN THE WORLD NEEDED US… WE WERE THERE”…
    wait!: bhork can drivebymediarrea media(LUNA)tiK his way out of NATIONALY TV ACCEPT HE’$ “JUST” willing to drone out american people and the mainstream of $(beeep)t traitors just makeup “realitytv $(BEEP)T” covering by blamming Bush water…board?…
    drivebymediarrea’$ sources, you’re going to waterworld too…

  • Bruce

    Firing from the Drone position, the BarBarack ASSASSIN demonstrates the Cheney scattergun approach to wiping ALL the pigeons in the trap at once!

  • Matthew Brooks

    No, it’s not just that. He doesn’t shoulder it completely. He’s not gripping the top part solidly enough . It looks like he’s never fired a gun before. Frankly, it looks like a poorly devised photo-op.

  • bks3bks

    One word: Benghazigate.


  • Organ_Morgan

    Jesus Fucking Christ, if you can’t even count Obama’s children, you are devoid of credibility.

  • black_dog_barking

    Guess that could’ve been stated a little clearer. Stewart ran a collage of the gasbags hyperventilating “Where’s the picture?” of the prez out recreationally shooting. And here it is, which recalls the Donald’s “Where’s the birth certificate?” campaign that disappeared two or three days after the release of the birth certificate.

    I remember when we had a press that reminded us of these kinds of action-reactions. Ah yes, those were the days. Ummm … you’re standing on my lawn.

  • TEApollowitnesses

    waterboardding bhork$?, high treason on brothermu$LIMhood even bailedout? rusia open mic?, acorn electoral frauds?, ayers, alinski, dorne, rezco, FRANK MARSHALL DAVIS?

    hey!, wait!, so no one will hear and agree with me?

    oh, I think you’re going to gitmo to be waterboardding soon for not understanding where you are.

    ah!, cuba is also terrorist, if not, anamontes would be free, and the rest of the 30 ayers old net I DISCOVER THRU POLICE.

    but you can’t understand this, and never believe it is thr reality, stay on your bhork faketea occupied on your seat, I won’t stop jailing and soon, frying agents and spies, massively, like UN$addam’$ armies… 4 million back on 1990, 30,000 on 2003… (if clintoris had not followed anamontes’s and ted palpatine anti-Kennedy, acorn, bhork, $kerry, etc, “views on the war and the enemy” and high treason….there were being no need for an Iraq war II…) …

    smell the water, prepare for where these words are comming from.

    “see” you


    hey!, bork$!, YOU SHALL GO NO FURTHER

    prepare to be waterboarded…

    what!?, me and what army?

    TEAs armies

  • TEApollo

    ah!, UN$addam’$ armies mostly, surrendered to the allies, becomming into the new Iraqui police and army by the way, on 1990, after kissing allied troop’s boots and being attended as ever they, simply came back to the 2203 allied forces to again, being attended, they surely had medical records at the allied side… on 2003… and it continued…

  • TEApollo do you read

    simultaniously clingtoris betrayed Shais and Curds fueling more hate against America, on Miami, ma noriega was treated as only a narco (not terrorist) and cuba was never mentioned… that ended up as…. tadaaa: Panama had again, after the invasion, at the 2nd elections: again, ma noriega’s party, where their righwing copy called cd had their turn at the actual presidency, fidel himself accused the few real oppositors as “terrorists”…

    I already IDed many (American borned, supposedly, but perfect look and English accents… conviencent, like a French localy borned mu$LIMhood speacking in French) auuuuthority warg$ following legalities against proved pursued already people, for being anti-terrorists, obey fidel, clintoris, anamontes, mayorales, kfrundeld, presidents, “etc” (remain police surveillance always after any “mistake I would make, lose control, to scream at someone)…

    but, it is a great chance for intelligence opportunities, and to have them self declaring all… psyquiatry, I already blogged on miami’s fiu castroagent, trainner, and the recluiter, who I’m sure remain at the police, or at least, not facing the burden of easy prove they are related to both, acorn, and fidel.

    comming up: more details, I told you bhork you POs, you’re crazyly wrong on tedpalpatine, putin, ayatola, cuba, etc burdens they, as “liders” shall carry, terror charges, UN$addam, alzarkawi, or so far ma noriega’s fate, waterboardding, not TEA…

    I(f)SOG I’m taking masses of’m terror logi$TICK cartelgov$ so down they will see TEA sun with a telescope “like Gommer Pile used to be threatened of being rank degreed, only, that Gommer Pile went home after the nazi or japanese actors “just let’m go with just a warnning” … and We used to wait for the next program:

    the pink submarine, after that… Gilligan’s island… to be frustrated by the broken coconut radio the proff just made… and

    at the evenning: agent 99 (not 86), later, timetunnel…

    and, for the future acuarious era space colonizer: in search of…

    stay tunned… for free, as only freedomedia can bring you.

    This has being a conservative info window of freedom, I’m a TEAleaf, and I approve this free enlightment…

    pd: as I used to do for quality controls, if you don’t experiment a mixed feeling, tears/laugh, then reply to this propaganda, so I inprove my skills and you can have an space epicfannie, laughing and crying at TEA same time…

    that’s my goal on entertaintment, on enlightment, well, I leave you with talkradio, some tv programs, and mostly fox

Refresh Archives

Random Notes