Major print media outlets have been incorrectly writing that a photo of President Obama shows him firing a “rifle” instead of a shotgun.
The New York Times on Saturday was forced to print this correction: “An earlier version of this article misstated the type of weapon that President Obama fired in a photo released Saturday by the White House. It was a shotgun, not a rifle.”
The New Yorker story about the Aug. 4 photo says this: “The 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.”
The Drudge Report has this link: “AP calls it ‘a rifle cocked in his left shoulder’…” The Associated Press has since fixed the mistake in the story — without issuing a correction. The wire service story now says that “Obama is seen holding a gun against his left shoulder.”
A rifle shoots one round with a single bullet straight, while a shotgun fires a shell with many pellets that scatter in a wide area. Skeet, which Mr. Obama said he shoots “all the time,” is done with a shotgun, as are the similar shooting sports trap and sporting clays.
The CEO of Browning, Travis Hall, told The Washington Times on Saturday that the shotgun is one of his company’s firearms made for clay shooting.
Emily Miller is senior editor of the opinion pages at The Washington Times. Her “Emily Gets Her Gun” series on the District’s gun laws won the 2012 Clark Mollenhoff Award for Investigative Reporting from the Institute on Political Journalism. Click to follow her on Twitter and Facebook.