PETA says the Obama administration is sending a mixed message to children about gun violence by not calling for a ban on hunting.
An animal-rights group says it's dismayed that President Barack Obama didn't include a hunting ban in his proposals to curb gun violence.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals accused Obama of "speaking out of both sides of his mouth" in the gun-control debate.
"The administration is either serious about stopping violence in this country or they are not, and if they are they need to stop all forms of gun violence — and that includes hunting," Lisa Lange, PETA senior vice president of communications, told MSN News on Thursday.
PETA said earlier this week that it had written to Obama, copying Vice President Joe Biden, with a simple request: Stop pointing to hunting as an example of "responsible" gun ownership.
The request was made as Obama was preparing to announce proposals to address gun violence in the aftermath of last month's school shootings in Newtown, Conn. A gunman killed 20 students and six adults in the attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Biden headed a task force that shaped the administration's proposals and met with a broad range of interest groups, including hunting and outdoor sports groups.
The proposals, announced by Obama on Wednesday, didn't include a call for a hunting ban.
In fact, Obama specifically referred to hunting as an example of "responsible" gun ownership.
"Let me be absolutely clear. Like most Americans, I believe the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. I respect our strong tradition of gun ownership and the rights of hunters and sportsmen. There are millions of responsible, law-abiding gun owners in America who cherish their right to bear arms for hunting, or sport, or protection or collection," the president said.
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Biden, speaking Thursday at the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in Washington, reiterated that view. The vice president said he has two hunting guns himself, including a 20-gauge and a 12-gauge.
PETA accused the administration of sending a "mixed message" to children.
"When we teach children that one form of killing is entertaining yet this other form of killing isn't, how can they be expected to differentiate? Violence is violence and the administration should oppose all forms," Lange told MSN news.
Another animal-welfare group, The Humane Society of the United States, declined to comment on PETA's call for a hunting ban.
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