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In an interview that appeared in Sunday’s New Republic, President Barack Obama stated that he has a “profound respect” for the US’s hunting traditions and that to exclude hunters from the gun debate discussion would be “a big mistake.”

The interview was conducted on the same day that Obama announced he would put the full weight of his administration into urging Congress to approve an “assault weapons ban.”

The President detailed that “the reality of guns in urban areas are very different from the realities of guns in rural areas.” Obama returned to the “tradition” portion of his remarks by saying, “If you grew up and your dad gave you a hunting rifle when you were 10, and you went out and spent the day with him and uncles, and that became part of your family’s traditions, you can see why you’d be pretty protective of that.”

Obama went on to say that he respects “the right of responsible gun owners” and that he has been “explicit about believing that the second amendment was important.”

This belief, along with the President allowing concealed handguns in parks and in checked bags on Amtrak trains, is what led the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence to give Obama an “F” grade in 2010.

It will be interesting to see what grade the Brady group gives the President this year as he has made the banning of “assault rifles” and “high-capacity magazines” a top priority.

When asked if he had ever personally fired a gun Obama replied, “Yes, in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time.”

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