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Borowitz writes: "The White House's attempt to portray President Obama as a gun user may have had unintended consequences today."

President Obama fires a rifle at Camp David. (photo: Pete Souza)
President Obama fires a rifle at Camp David. (photo: Pete Souza)

Gun Sales Soar on Photo of Armed Obama

By Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

03 February 13


Andy Borowitz's satirical take on the recently released photo of President Obama firing a rifle is a commentary on the current gun control debate in America. BM/RSN


he White House's attempt to portray President Obama as a gun user may have had unintended consequences today, as a newly released photo of Mr. Obama firing a rifle at Camp David set off a panic of gun buying across the US.

Right-wing opponents of Mr. Obama were behind the frenzied gun sales, saying that they were terrified by the image of an armed and shooting President.

"I don't want to sound paranoid or anything, but now everything Obama has been doing makes sense," said Harland Dorrinson, who was waiting on a blocks-long line outside a West Virginia Wal-Mart. "He wants to take away all our guns and then he's going to come shoot us."

Learning that Mr. Obama only uses his rifle for skeet-shooting did little to calm Mr. Dorrinson: "Somebody owning a gun just for sporting purposes? Yeah, right."

In an effort to stem the panic, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters today that skeet-shooting took up relatively little of the President's time at Camp David, and that his favorite leisure activities were "actually badminton and frisbee."

The White House later released a photo of Mr. Obama putting away his gun and never using it again. your social media marketing partner


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+7 # ER444 2013-02-03 14:45
A public relations disaster!! Why can't the Democrats get a backbone and simply, finally, really stand up for what is right. Guns were not made to pulverize clay pigeons, they were invented to kill. Hunters kill animals with them, ok, but too many, many too many, Americans kill other Americans with them. This happens in no other "modern" country on the planet. Does this mean that Americans are inheritantly bad? No it doesn't. The difference is the unnecessary availability of over powered guns. It is the guns stupid!!!
+7 # PhilO 2013-02-04 00:25
I think this NY'er story is a gag!!!
+9 # Quickmatch 2013-02-04 08:36
Great call! What gave it away? Was it the editors lead calling it a "saterical take"?
+1 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-02-04 14:53
Seeing Obama participating in a harmless, enjoyable sport is just a catalyst for the crazies to play their role-being a crazy. When Cheney was on a hunting trip and he shot a hunting companion in the face a few years ago, did gun sales "soar?"
For Christ's sake, Obama was shooting at a clay pigeon. Cheney uses real pigeons when he participates in a "harmless" (too bad for the pigeon) "sport." Come on. Lead, which some environmentalis ts thought made Americans act like a loose goose was taken out of gasoline. Americans need to grow up. No more lead in gasoline, OK?
+5 # Keypinitreel 2013-02-03 15:03
This tells you what this whole gun thing (2nd amendment hawks)is about; Guilt. This is more about their inner guilt and fears than the truth regarding the society they live in.

They are paranoid because deep down, they know they should be.... the question then begs to be asked...why? Therein we will find our answers.
-4 # grandma lynn 2013-02-04 03:48
Guilt? Or deep-down fascination with death? Can it be admitted? God gives life, but they can take it away. The old, feared death-dealing God can be unmeekly challenged by a gun-toter with mega ammo rounds in her/his belt. Very anti-religion to shoot people or want to be able to shoot people, to decide that it's the right time to shoot someone. Every one is made in God's image. The shooter is shooting God.
+27 # kbarrand 2013-02-03 23:05
I think a law should be passed that says that gun owners can only shoot other gun owners. It's not cool to shoot an unarmed person.
0 # grandma lynn 2013-02-04 03:44
And the bystanders in the way get to inherit all the family wealth of the shooter, if they survive the cross-fire. If they are dead victims, the victimized family gets to inherit all the family wealth of the shooter, and the shooter also goes to prison on murder charges. The family of the shooter-murdere r gets to lose all.
+1 # indian weaver 2013-02-04 16:19
A trained law enforcement officer hits their target ~30% of the time! The other shots miss, hit innocent bystanders, shoot themselves. So, that is what a trained killer can do: miss 70% of the time they shoot at a target. So, I wonder what Joe Blow and George Zimmerman can hit with their guns? Well, Trayvon Martin was a few inches away and unarmed so Zimmerman did take out that innocent boy, and the local law allowed the shooter to go free! The average person, not trained law enforcement, will hit you and me more likely than their target, maybe up to 90% of the time for all those gun-toting, locked and loaded (with bullshit in their skulls) idiots supporting and enabling weapons of mass destruction in everyone's hands.
-7 # dfy 2013-02-04 07:11
Quoting kbarrand:
I think a law should be passed that says that gun owners can only shoot other gun owners. It's not cool to shoot an unarmed person.

When the gun owners doing the shooting is the woman defending her children from the gun owner who s conducting a home invasion with intent to rob, rape and kill.
+25 # ChickenBoo 2013-02-03 23:22
Oh ha, ha, ha! Obama is coming to shoot us?! Nobody said a word when Dick Chaney and his ghoul-friends were out shooting and he shot his aid in the face! And then his AID was the one who apologised!? The Repukes are really scrambling for something crazy to scare themselves with these days!
+10 # wwway 2013-02-04 00:33
To the angry white male the only thing worse than a black man in the White House is a black man who can shoot. How dare others enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!
Have Americans lost their senses?
A white Marine with PTSD shot a white Navy Seal, Kyle, and his white friend at a shooting range in Texas. Kyle founded an orginization that uses shooting as thearapy for PTSD. I do believe the Paramilitary Culture influence in this country has taken leave of good judgement! Americans have taken leave of their senses as well as their judgement.
+9 # grouchy 2013-02-04 02:13
An interesting point in this piece is that "he only uses his rifle for skeet shooting". One generally doesn't use a rifle for that purpose but rather a shotgun. Rifles are used for hunting big and small game for military purposes, sometimes on fellow citizens and then, sometimes on children.

It is also interesting that almost all of the mass shootings are NOT done with shotguns! And there is a deeper meaning behind this that has not been explored. Why rifles and pistols and not shotguns? And again I point out the fact these shooters make the choice of dressing in military clothing to do their work. Why is that? Why the popularity of military type rifles? I'd say it's all pseudo-military activity and it ties into something deep in our society.
+5 # DaveM 2013-02-04 02:16
He skeet shoots with a rifle? I knew politicians had problems, but even so....
+5 # Quickmatch 2013-02-04 08:38
Doesn't anyone pay attention. Look at the picture. That is a shotgun.
+3 # jwb110 2013-02-04 12:51
Quoting Quickmatch:
Doesn't anyone pay attention. Look at the picture. That is a shotgun.

Finally somebody notices that it is a shotgun. Thank you.
+2 # RikiT 2013-02-04 02:32
I've watched a lot of skeet shooting. I've never seen anyone shoot at the angle in the Obama photograph. Real skeet shooters are always firing skyward. I suspect this is just one more example of what a phoney he is -- like his failure to do anything about too-big-to-fail banks or the so-called war on drugs travesty or ... gee, the list is almost endless.
+1 # Phlippinout 2013-02-04 09:38
Hey Riki, not all skeet shooters keep their gun to the sky every minute they are shooting. You are a hater and entitled to be one, but dont tell me how skeet shooters ALWAYS aim, that is insulting! At a gun range, indoor or out, we all stand and aim a little different.
+1 # indian weaver 2013-02-04 16:24
I think the list of Obama's lies is actually endless. Try writing down only the few lies you know he's mouthed, and it gets tiresome, so many lies, so little time. This gun ad for Obama is totally laughable, a lying coward holding a gun for cheap publicity and political meaning. Well, that makes sense after all since it is Obama.
+6 # lamancha 2013-02-04 03:48
No,all of you miss the point. The prez. was out to prove that not all left handed people are geeks. And also to prove how versatile he is - from shooting hoops -to shooting clay pigeons. Plus,it's a great respite from targeting victms of the drone attacks. That takes a lot out of a person - even a Prez.
+20 # Ralph Averill 2013-02-04 04:14
"He wants to take away all our guns and then he's going to come shoot us."
These are the people with whom we are trying to have a serious, grown-up discussion?
+1 # Phlippinout 2013-02-04 09:46
Its all the white paranoia, they are afraid that the growing brown minorities will one day treat them the way they have been treated and from the looks of it, they are pretty scared! They can arm themselves all they want but each stupid shooting brings us a little closer. I did not think the same after the Trayvon Martin shooting, I had already endured the Shawn bell and Oscar grant killings and the Trayvon martin killing proved to me that white men have a war going on and it extends all the way up the ladder.
+2 # barbaparee 2013-02-04 04:24
Public reactions to seeing Obama with a rifle is one of the most tragic comments I have yet read about how intentional brainwashing has led our country to such paranoic extremes. It is obvious that a democracy has difficulties fonctioning within a population that cannot see the difference between S... and Shinola!!
+2 # 2013-02-04 06:56
In a totally paranoid space in the U.S. where a brutal school shooting can't even raise the consciousness of why not everyone needs an assault weapon, this take on Obama is even crazier than the rest. Next thing you know, they will want to ban basketballs d u e to their lethal value in the hands of the President.
+5 # James Klimaski 2013-02-04 07:01
All satire must begin with a tinge of truth.
+2 # hoodwinkednomore 2013-02-04 07:16
If it weren't so real it would be funny. Too rediculous. Like having George W hankering around in his jeans and spurs....Just give it up and, as they say, get a life...
-5 # EPGAH3 2013-02-04 07:40
Why does he need a rifle instead of a shotgun to shoot skeet? Or does he not know the difference, as evidenced by his gun-control bill?
According to said bill, a shotgun is an assault rifle. This news shocked hunters and terrorists alike, but terrorists refused to swap AK for Remington.
+3 # Quickmatch 2013-02-04 10:03
Did you see the picture? Did you look at it? He is using a shotgun. There's no mention of shotguns in any recent legislation--th e most recent HR1022 of 2007 lists military-style shotguns like the SPAS 12 or LAW 12. There's no link of hunting shotguns with assault rifles. Really scared, aren't you?
+1 # mdhome 2013-02-04 09:18
This is an onion story, right?
+5 # glenn 2013-02-04 09:46
I'm sure the president knows the difference between a rifle and a shotgun. It would be well if the press also could tell the difference, likewise the correct use of the terms magazine and clip; and bullet, cartridge and round. The almost willful ignorance of the press on firearms terminology just adds fuel to the false charge of it being liberal. Not necessarily liberal, but ignorant and too lazy to do research.

Judging by the slope on the edge of the lawn in the photo, the skeet launcher is downhill, and the angle of the gun barrel is reasonable.
0 # eadg 2013-02-04 10:49
I never saw skeet shot at that low. It looks more like target practice to me.
+4 # avonsr06 2013-02-04 12:35
I am continually amazed at the mental energy of many Americans when it comes to guns. But recently (over the last 5 years)I have become increasingly more alarmed by things that I hear coming from the Republican side of the political fence; things implied and incited by Palinites, Limbaughites and Beckites because they speak to an extreme element that has shown that it will take dangerous and deadly action. My fear is that we are headed for a shooting war headed by some crazy that will attack minority members of our society. I am seeing very deadly rhetoric creating a deep seeded allienation that will eventually explode. We are clearly now 2 Americas: One is sane and voted the interest of the common good; the other voted for the destruction of the common man and the rise of corporations and moneyed terrorists bent on destroying a democracy.
+2 # davidh7426 2013-02-04 12:36
Will someone please enlighten me as to what sort of gun has a white tip at the business end and vents gas out of the side of the barrel ??

Surely venting gas would decrease the power and range of any weapon of that type.

Looking at the picture, the weapon looks more likely to be a toy, or an air-rifle.
+3 # Duderino 2013-02-04 13:24
So we are not to be afraid when Sarah is nominated to be one heart beat from having her finger on the Nuclear trigger but a black man with a gun "be scary". Really?
0 # Activista 2013-02-04 13:56
The single shoot gun fired by Obama looks like some archaic piece.
The hunting guns should be one shoot ... and strict laws for a clean kill.
I was hunting since 16 - getting license on had to pass quite comprehensive exam (game biology included).
Wounding animal by lazy/unskilled hunter caused taking the license away.
Hunting dogs WERE requirements for a small game.
Hunting is great sport ... takes people to the wilderness ... promote balance. Most nature destruction (magnitued higher than hunting) is caused by yuppies with herbicides, pesticides, rat poison like D-Con.
And dear and rabbit overpopulation ...
+1 # tpmco 2013-02-04 14:28
One thing you can say about Andy Borowitz is that he can pack a lot of bullshit in a very short piece.
0 # ishmael 2013-02-04 19:43
As with the Smokeout or Talk Like A Pirate Day why not have an annual "Gun-Free Day". Then the US can be part of the 21st century for at least one day a year.

Children (and smart adults everywhere) would love it.

Better yet, how about "Gun-Free Week " or "Month"....
0 # ishmael 2013-02-04 19:59
Without paranoud loons the Party of No simply couln't exist.

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