Politicians Flaunt Steel To Come Off As 'Real': The Mash-up

02/11/2013 10:14 am ET | Updated Feb 11, 2013

The oddest thing about that weird period of our lives where the press was seeking (and then parsing) photographic evidence that President Barack Obama had been skeet shooting wasn't actually the mini mediagasm that formed around the idea of the president taking aim at clay pigeons, it was the fact that the White House felt compelled to mention that the president participated in that activity at all. In general, the response is (and for a time was): "Who really gives a rip?"

But if you want to know the reason that the White House felt so compelled to place a shotgun in Obama's hands at a time when he was simultaneously engaged in leading a national conversation about gun violence, then...well, we've answered the question, haven't we? Because the president is knit up in an effort to pass gun safety legislation, he has the concomitant need to show that he's down with hunters and sportsmen, even if the doing so requires him to be photographed in his mom jeans again.

(Watch a mashup of politicians and rappers toting their guns above. CAUTION: This video contains images and language that may be offensive to some viewers.)

Anytime we talk about gun policy, we also talk about gun culture -- its pervasiveness, its permanence, and even its occasional perniciousness. Our nation was paid for in steel, the story goes, and we've all been a little bit tied to guns ever since. But even as we put the gun culture on trial, our politicians run to splash around in its shallow end. They front like hunters, preen like hard-asses, all for the sake of impressing voters -- even as they allow the same cliches of gun owners to flourish.

The whole notion of grabbing a gun in order to claim a certain amount of "realness" is a concept that's always had a home in some distinct sub-sections of hip-hop culture -- in fact the entirety of rap culture frequently gets tarred with the "thug" brush, and frequently by the same sorts of haughty politicians who think nothing of jacking a little machismo from a conveniently located gun.

We were wondering how such politicians would feel if we put their gun-strutting on trial in the same way, so we made a little mash-up to find out. Enjoy!

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