Sunday, February 3, 2013
I'm sure we've all seen by now the "photo op" of President Obama shooting skeet. If he's shooting skeet then I'm Daffy Duck.
Skeet [clay disks of bright colors] are thrown by a machine from two towers erected to the right and left of the shooter. (There are other set ups like ones used for "sporting clays" but that isn't represented in the photo release.) Usually, the skeet is thrown about ten or more feet above the ground. The shooters are arranged in a semi-circle at various stations around the semi-circle. The "group" of shooters lines up at one stage and each shoot in turn. They then move to the next station and shoot again. Each spot is designed for the shooter to shoot above the horizon. This is for safety and learning too that when in the field, a hunter never shoots a shotgun below the horizon. A small fact that Vice President Dick Cheney forgot when he wounded his hunting partner a few years ago. Skeet are then thrown either from right to left or left to right or both at once. It is very challenging and the shooter either uses a double barrel shotgun or a semi automatic shotgun. Each shooter is limited to two shots.
Trap shooting is a little different. Again the range is set up in a semi-circle with stations for each shooter. In front of the shooter, there is a low level boxlike structure which houses the throwing machine. These "pigeons" are thrown away from the shooter either to the right, left, or center and at random. Again, the disk goes up and so does the shooter's barrel. Rarely would it be ever level with the horizon.
Now, what's wrong with the president's picture? First the weapon is nearly level to the ground. Can't be skeet shooting, nor likely trap either. Second, it is evident that the President has never shot a shotgun before as his stance is leaning slightly backward. Look at the position of his torso to his legs. Skeet or trap shooters never do this. They lean slightly forward like a boxer in the ring. Third, he doesn't know or was never taught that the butt of the weapon must fit to his shoulder. He's holding the weapon with a gap between his shoulder and the top of the butt. Sure you can fire it that way, but expect lots of pain if not bruising later. Fourth, either skeet or trap shooters wear either a shell bag or a vest or both. Apparently, the president is too tough for that. Fifth, most shooters wear baseball style caps. The bill helps unwanted sun in your eyes. Most golfers do too for the same reason. Sixth, he appears to be aiming as one would with a rifle. Doesn't mean you don't do that with a shotgun but as you are trying to hit a moving target, as opposed to a stationary one, your body must swivel with the target right or left and up or down. The worst shotgun shooters are those that try to aim the weapon like a rifle. Seventh, I suppose it could happen, but in my fifty years of shooting a shotgun, skeet, trap, and hunting, including double barrel muzzle loading black powder shotguns, I have never once seen a smoke like that. Smoke going straight out the barrel is normal, but what the heck is that second smoke stream shooting behind and away from the barrel? Perhaps some sort of release value to diminish the recoil from the shot but I've never seen that on a range.
All in all, this was staged like everything else in President Obama's life. That he says that he's all for sport shooting or hunting is all well and good; but, the Second Amendment says nothing about sport shooting or hunting. It is about a right of possession and not about a right to perform an activity.
God help us in the next four years.