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The press is playing games again. It's time for them to become more detached. No doubt Cheney fired his weapon and the pellets struck his hunting companion. The account I read stated that the lawyer walked unannounced into Cheney and partners' firing as the latter were letting loose at a covey of quail. Although the lawyer was peppered, the real victim would seem to be Cheney. He must feel awful about something that was beyond his ability to prevent.
Bet the dude with the pellets in his face feels like a victim.
Driving in to work this morning the radio announcer stated Cheney peppered the man with buckshot!
Now, being a sort of country boy I know that
1) You don't hunt quail with buckshot.
2) A person is not peppered with buckshot
3) Had it been buckshot, he would not be recovering (unless he is recovering in the same manner as Yasar Arafat).
Just seemed to highlight the differences between someone who knows which end the shells go in and which end the shells come out, and someone who is clueless.
I'll have to read up on this. Agree with SA prosecutor, I bet the dude who got hit with the birdshot is feeling pretty victim-y now...
Of course, the injured person is a victim but so too is the shooter in this instance. The headlines say things like "Cheney shoots hunter." In reality, the injured walked into the line of fire--like a person walking in front of a firing range or someone jumping in front of a train. There can be more than one victim, and I get the impression that if anyone was at fault it was the victim. Cheney is not my favorite person, but I have hunted and you don't get in front of any gun, let alone a loaded gun. The press needs to take more reponsibility for its appalling characterizations.
Being one of those city prosecutors I don't know too much about no quail hunting. But doesn't the NRA teach looking at what your shooting at? I know it's just an accident (Cheney's not trying to silence a perfectly good campaign donor) but did you expect the media to say anything else but the quick headline of CHENEY SHOOTS HUNTER. It is factually accurate.
Well, it's being characterized as an accident. The headline in the nearby Austin American Statesman, probably not a newspaper that loved Cheney, accurately described the situation as an accident, a mishap.
Whittington still in ICU after accidental shooting
Austin lawyer recovering after being shot by Cheney in hunting mishap
Whittington still in intensive care at Corpus Christi hospital
By Robert Elder, Sarah Coppola
Monday, February 13, 2006
Just before sunset Saturday, 78-year-old Austin lawyer Harry Whittington pulled off "a double": bringing down two quail with two successive blasts from his shotgun.
One of Whittington's hunting companions, Vice President Dick Cheney, wasn't as accurate.
A few minutes later, Cheney accidentally shot Whittington, according to Pamela Willeford, the U.S. ambassador to Switzerland, who was hunting with the pair on the 50,000-acre Armstrong Ranch in South Texas.
Cheney sprayed Whittington with birdshot across his face, shoulder and chest, said Katharine Armstrong, whose family owns the ranch in Kenedy County.
"He got peppered pretty good," she said. "He's going to be sore and bruised. But he was talking and communicating the whole time."
Armstrong was with the hunting party but in a nearby vehicle with her sister.
Cheney ran to Whittington and was the first to reach him, Armstrong said. Within seconds, Cheney's security detail, some of whom are medically trained, responded, and the others stepped back. The security team called for an ambulance, Armstrong said.
After a brief stop at a Kingsville hospital, Whittington was taken by helicopter to Corpus Christi's Christus Spohn Hospital Memorial, she said.
Hospital administrator Peter Banko said this morning that Whittington was in stable condition.
"Mr. Whittington rested well overnight and has been laughing and joking with the staff," Banko said, adding that Whittington will be evaluated again this morning. Banko said Whittington probably will not be released today. The doctor treating Whittington was expected to speak with reporters this afternoon.
"I don't know how much spray he has got," Banko said. "My understanding from the physicians is that after you get peppered, sometimes they need to do exploratory surgeries if it gets lodged in a little deeper. Sometimes, it's tweezers. I can't really comment on how extensively he was sprayed."
Although Whittington was in the intensive care unit, Banko said it was "a fairly common procedure" for someone with this type of injury.
Whittington has been receiving visits from family and friends. His wife, Mercedes, made the trip to the hospital with him, but Cheney, Armstrong and Willeford did not.
"He is just doing great," said Willeford, who visited Whittington on Sunday. "As my husband said, he has a twinkle in his eye. . . . It was scary, but fortunately he is going to be just fine. He is anxious to get on home."
Armstrong said Whittington was moved to the Corpus Christi hospital because doctors there would be able to perform more tests than Kingsville's hospital could.
Whittington, one of the founders of the modern Republican Party in Texas, is a regular visitor to the ranch.
He started working in Republican politics in the 1950s and, in the 1960s, drove the young George H.W. Bush around West Texas during his first congressional race.
In Austin, Whittington is perhaps best known for a high-profile, and so far successful, fight against city hall.
Six years ago, Austin condemned a downtown block owned by Whittington's family to build a $10.5 million parking garage at the city's convention center. Whittington has been fighting the city ever since.
He racked up two legal victories last year, and in January, the Texas Supreme Court denied the city's request to hear an appeal, reaffirming a prior ruling in Whittington's favor.
The Whittingtons and the Armstrongs are longtime friends.
Armstrong is the former chairwoman of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission and the daughter of the late Tobin Armstrong, a cattle rancher and longtime power in Republican politics, and his wife, Anne, a U.S. ambassador to Britain during the Nixon administration.
The vice president's office didn't release any details about the shooting until Sunday afternoon and didn't explain the delay. A White House official, speaking anonymously Sunday night because he is not authorized to release the information, offered this explanation for the delay: "I think the first priority was on making sure (Whittington) got the medical care he needed and then get the facts together."
Cheney also has been a frequent visitor to the ranch. He spoke at Tobin Armstrong's October funeral.
Armstrong's ancestor John Barclay Armstrong, a Texas Ranger, settled the ranch in 1882 after winning fame for capturing outlaw John Wesley Hardin.
Willeford said she doesn't know whether Cheney and Whittington have hunted together at the ranch before.
Armstrong gave this account of the accident:
Whittington, Cheney and Willeford saw two coveys on the ground, one directly in front of them, with dogs on point, and the other 100 or so yards to the left.
"The idea was to shoot the first, then for the group to move ahead and shoot the second covey," Armstrong said.
After Whittington shot the two birds, he moved away to look for them. He had trouble locating one, so he told the group to move ahead.
Cheney and Willeford moved to the second covey. Unbeknownst to either of them, Armstrong said, Whittington had walked back near the group and was about 30 yards to the right of the vice president when Cheney fired at birds emerging from the covey.
Willeford added that the sun was behind Whittington, possibly making him difficult to see.
Armstrong said Cheney visited Whittington at the hospital Sunday, and "they had a great time."
Whittington was alert, sitting up and being talkative Sunday, she said.
"It's all OK," Armstrong said. "It's not that big a deal. Even Harry will tell you that."
All I know is that I can't wait for the next Saturday Night Live episode (They just might have to bump the Olympics). Those cats need something new and fresh and this smells like it.
As someone who fondly recalls my childhood days of playing "BB gun wars"* with friends, I find the non-gun crowd's apoplexy at this more-common-than-you-think incident pretty entertaining. Although this might be the first reported peppering I've heard of that didn't involve beer drinking in some form or fashion.
*yes, we shot at each other w/ BB guns, but there were rules: no pellet guns, and any CO2 pump guns could not be pumped more than once or twice. And we wore shop goggles for protection vs. maternal choruses of "you'll shoot your eye out" ...
Shop Goggles? You wimp. Why not wear Carhart Coats as well.
I think Cheney was exercising his executive authority and launched a preemptive strike on the quail, who no doubt were probably engaged in a vast, complex conspiracy to end our democratic form of government. In every one of these situations, you have to be prepared to accept some collateral damage.
[This message was edited by Robert S. DuBoise on 02-13-06 at .]
[This message was edited by Robert S. DuBoise on 02-13-06 at .]
And, just to show that Dick Cheney shows no favortism towards Republican donors of large amounts of cash, he heartily extended an offer for all leading Democrats to join him on his next quail hunt.
This is mainly just to hack off my office partner, but keep in mind and never, ever forget that he is from WYOMING. Not from around here. Us Texas bred and Texas Raised boys and girls know how to shoot. Now, those WYOMING boys... Well....
Andy Borowitz said it best:
(If the link doesn't take you to the right report, check the archives.)
Okay, so he could have used a stamp on his license. Does that go to his responsibility in the accident. I don't think so!
Might not go to responsibility but you think he could afford to buy the right hunting stamps. I guess VP's are exempt from following the regs on hunting licenses!
I was absolutely amazed that this morning's chief headline was that Cheney didn't have a tax stamp for quail. Will there be a call for another Woodward-Bernstein inside expose? Is this fodder for Pulitzer Prize consideration? Will there be a Democratic demand for Congressional investigations? A query by the SPCA as to what happened to the quail he was shooting at? I'm glad that there was no other serious news to compete with this big story.
Wonder (maybe Boyd knows this) how many non-elected sportsmen in Texas get a warning when caught hunting or fishing without having paid the tax to get all the right stamps? I'm pretty sure that "the Wal-Mart sporting goods clerk was too dumb to give me what I asked for" while likely true, probably wouldn't earn the rest of us a warning.
As for "Cheney the victim": BULL**** !!!!
Anyone who tries to pass the blame off on the shootee in this case is either: (1)a non-hunter who doesn't understand hunting safety rules; (2)an apologist for Cheney no matter what he does; or (3) a Bubba who does hunt but doesn't prioritize safety and has a "SH*T HAPPENS" bumper sticker on his truck right next to the one of Calvin whizzing on a Ford or Chevy logo.
One of the MOST FUNDAMENTAL rules of hunting is to KNOW (not suppose) where EVERYONE is before you point a weapon, to say nothing of before you pull a trigger. Anyone who does otherwise is, at least at that moment, a fool, not a victim.
So there is no room for accident, or contributory negligence, mistake etc?
The fellow hunter shot and wounded by Vice President Cheney suffered a "minor heart attack" after a piece of birdshot moved to his heart, a hospital spokesman said today. "Some of the bird shot appears to have moved and lodged into part of his heart ... in what we would say is a minor heart attack," said Peter Banko, with Christus Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Memorial.
This is getting sad.
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