President Obama says gun-control advocates should be better listeners in the debate over firearms. In an interview with the New Republic, Obama said he has "a profound respect" for the tradition of hunting that dates back for generations.

"And I think those who dismiss that out of hand make a big mistake. Part of being able to move this forward is understanding the reality of guns in urban areas are very different from the realities of guns in rural areas," he said. Obama has called for a ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. In response, gun-rights advocates have accused him and others of ignoring Second Amendment rights.

The president said it's understandable that people are protective of their family traditions when it comes to hunting. "So it's trying to bridge those gaps that I think is going to be part of the biggest task over the next several months. And that means that advocates of gun control have to do a little more listening than they do sometimes." Has Obama himself ever fired a gun? "Yes," the president says, "in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time." ASSOCIATED PRESS