Maybe it is good Dick never went to the Nam
Making a silk purse out of a sows ear
by James Glaser
Accidents happen all the time, but when you shoot a fellow hunter with a shotgun, the shooter is always at fault.
Vice President Dick Cheney shot his hunting partner Harry Whittington, in the head, neck, and chest... with a shotgun! Nobody wants to get hit with a scatter gun, but the first reports out were so filled with spin you would have thought hunting accidents like this happen every day.
Here is a quote from a story by Associated Press writer Nedra Pickler, "Cheney's spokeswoman, Lea Anne McBride, "It broke the skin," she said. "It knocked him silly. But he was fine. He was talking. His eyes were open. It didn't get in his eyes or anything like that."
In the same story Katharine Armstrong, the woman who owned the land the Vice President and Harry Whittington were hunting on said, "This is something that happens from time to time. You know, I've been peppered pretty well myself."
Who the hell gives these people guns? "I've been peppered pretty well myself?" What kind of crap is that? Shotguns are dangerous weapons, and when you get hit with one, you are more than 'peppered."
Here is what was reported, "The vice president didn't see him," she continued. "The covey flushed and the vice president picked out a bird and was following it and shot. And by god, Harry was in the line of fire and got peppered pretty good."
In this instance, "peppered" is used instead of shot. Harry is in a hospital in what is called stable condition. It must have been a pretty good peppering.
Dick Cheney shot before he looked to see where he was shooting or if there was anyone in his field of fire. It was a dumb mistake that only someone not thinking would make. Safety first is always the rule for hunting.
I am sure the vice president is just sick about this, but to put all this spin on the story and treat it as just another common hunting accident, where the man shot wasn't really shot, but just peppered is so very wrong.
Sad to say though, this is just another example of how the Bush administration can make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
It was not reported what kind of hunt the vice president and Harry Whittington were on, but Dick Cheney is know as a Club hunter. Club hunters shoot farm raised animals that are released into a fenced area in massive numbers, taking the "sport" out of the hunt. In December 2003, Dick Cheney went hunting at the Rolling Rock Club, in Ligonier Township, Pennsylvania, where it was reported his party had 500 pen raised birds released for their shooting pleasure. The story goes that Dick bagged more than 70 birds that day. That was in the morning, it was then reported that the vice president's group shot, "flocks of mallard ducks also reared in pens and shot like so many live skeet." That was the afternoon hunt. I say hunt loosely. Shooting that many birds in one day, way more birds than anyone could keep for eating, has nothing to do with either hunting or sportsmanship.
Club hunters get lots of shooting in, and it is very expensive. You shoot 70 birds in a morning and you really don't have all that much time worrying about safety. You buy 500 birds and you pay for them if you bag them or not. Like I said, I don't know what kind of hunt Dick was on Saturday, but I know what kind of hunting he was used to. Club hunting is nothing like going after wild birds, it is more akin to shooting targets at the range and your sense of safe hunting practices are way different.
It used to make me mad when I thought about Dick saying, "I had other priorities in the 60s than military service," when he was asked why he never heard his nation's call to arms during the Vietnam War. Now maybe I think it was lot safer for me, with him back in the States.
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