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Amid gun control debate, does 'skeet-gate' matter?

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Jason Reed/Reuters

(Read caption) President Obama is pictured as he meets with police chiefs from three US communities scarred by mass shootings last year to talk about the administration's push to reduce gun violence, at the White House in Washington, Monday. Obama's statement in a recent interview that 'we do skeet shooting all the time' at Camp David, raised eyebrows amid gun control debate.

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As Washington engages in a fierce debate over gun control, does it matter whether President Obama has personally ever shot a gun? Would it change things to learn that he'd fired a weapon a total of five times in his life? Or 50? Or 500? 

We ask this, of course, because of the ongoing minicontroversy over Mr. Obama's statement in a recent interview with The New Republic that "we do skeet shooting all the time" at Camp David

It may have seemed at the time like a casual, offhand remark – Obama certainly didn't claim he's a hunter or a real gun enthusiast (though he made clear he has great respect for those who are). But it was immediately challenged by many who smelled, if not an outright falsehood, then a likely exaggeration.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) of Tennessee challenged the president to a skeet-shooting contest. Reporters pressed White House Press Secretary Jay Carney for details of the president's adventures in skeet shooting – or better yet, a photograph of Obama engaged in said activity – to no avail. The New Republic briefly posted what it believed was an official photo of Obama wielding a gun at Camp David, but that turned out to be an Internet hoax.

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