Hunting Safety: Dick Cheney
Did the Vice President really shoot a lawyer?
The Corpus Christi Caller-Times paper broke this story:
Harry Whittington, 78, the prominent Texas lawyer who was injured by shotgun pellets fired from Vice President Dick Cheney’s gun Saturday evening, continues to do well and is in stable condition Monday morning in the intensive care unit of Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital, said Peter Banko, hospital administrator.
Vice president Dick Cheney’s miscalculation during a hunting trip has left one person injured and millions more talking. The Vice President’s office says while on a hunting trip Cheney accidentally shot another hunter, Harry Whittington.
I can hear the liberals screaming now….
“Good news, ladies and gentlemen, we have finally located weapons of mass destruction: It’s Dick Cheney.” –David Letterman, on Cheney’s shooting accident
“But here is the sad part — before the trip Donald Rumsfeld had denied the guy’s request for body armor.” –David Letterman
“We can’t get bin Laden, but we nailed a 78-year-old attorney.” –David Letterman
“The guy who got gunned down, he is a Republican lawyer and a big Republican donor and fortunately the buck shot was deflected by wads of laundered cash. So he’s fine. He took a little in the wallet.” –David Letterman
“Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot a man during a quail hunt … making 78-year-old Harry Whittington the first person shot by a sitting veep since Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton, of course, (was) shot in a duel with Aaron Burr over issues of honor, integrity and political maneuvering. Whittington? Mistaken for a bird.” –Jon Stewart
“Now, this story certainly has its humorous aspects. … But it also raises a serious issue, one which I feel very strongly about. … moms, dads, if you’re watching right now, I can’t emphasize this enough: Do not let your kids go on hunting trips with the vice president. I don’t care what kind of lucrative contracts they’re trying to land, or energy regulations they’re trying to get lifted — it’s just not worth it.” –Jon Stewart
“The Vice President is standing by his decision to shoot Harry Whittington. Now, according to the best intelligence available, there were quail hidden in the brush. Everyone believed at the time there were quail in the brush. And while the quail turned out to be a 78- year-old man, even knowing that today, Mr. Cheney insists he still would have shot Mr. Whittington in the face. He believes the world is a better place for his spreading buckshot throughout the entire region of Mr. Wittington’s face.” –“Daily Show” correspondent Rob Corddry
“Dick Cheney accidentally shot a fellow hunter, a 78-year-old lawyer. In fact, when people found out he shot a lawyer, his popularity is now at 92 percent.” –Jay Leno
“Cheney’s defense is that he was aiming at a quail when he shot the guy. Which means that Cheney now has the worst aim of anyone in the White House since Bill Clinton.” –Jay Leno
“I think Cheney is starting to lose it. After he shot the guy he screamed, ‘Anyone else want to call domestic wire tapping illegal?'” –Jay Leno
“When the ambulance got there, out of force of habit they put Cheney on the stretcher. No, the other guy!” –Jay Leno
“Dick Cheney is capitalizing on this for Valentine’s Day. It’s the new Dick Cheney cologne. It’s called Duck!” –Jay Leno
“He is a lawyer and he got shot in the face. But he’s a lawyer, he can use his other face. He’ll be all right.” –Craig Ferguson
“You can understand why this lawyer fellow let his guard down, because if you’re out hunting with a politician, you think, ‘If I’m going to get it, it’s going to be in the back.'” –Craig Ferguson
“The big scandal apparently is that they didn’t release the news for 18 hours. I don’t think that’s a scandal at all. I’m quite pleased about that. Finally there’s a secret the vice president’s office can keep.” –Craig Ferguson
“Apparently the reason they didn’t release the information right away is they said we had to get the facts right. That’s never stopped them in the past.” –Craig Ferguson
“You know what they say, if Dick Cheney comes out of his hole and shoots an old man in the face, six more weeks of winter.” –Jimmy Kimmel
“The Vice President says that it was an accident. He claims the guy got in his line of fire, but the good news was he was delicious. Eat what you shoot!” –Jimmy Kimmel
“This is a great story. You’ve got the Vice President, a shotgun, a bunch of rich guys hunting tiny little birds. The only thing that could possibly make this story better is if he shot Michael Jackson.” –Jimmy Kimmel
“The man who was shot is named Harry Whittington. He’s a high powered Republican lawyer, he was very lucky. They say the only reason that he wasn’t killed is he was wearing the body armor that never got shipped to our troops.” –Jimmy Kimmel
“But all kidding aside, and in fairness to Dick Cheney, every five years he has to shed innocent blood or he violates his deal with the devil.” –Jimmy Kimmel
“So in summary, the Vice President of the United States shot a 78-year-old man in the face. Congratulations Mister Vice President, you are now a Crip.” –Jimmy Kimmel
Not being a screaming liberal, I will still say that Cheney is an unsafe hunter and stupid. Yeah, I know these are harsh words, but he shot his hunting buddy squarely in the face with a .28 gauge!! How checking where your barrel is aimed BEFORE you pull the trigger!! I am unpersuaded by the spin the ranch owner is putting on the story – are we suppose to believe that it was Whittington’s fault for being shot in the face? No way. Vice president or not, it is the shooter’s responsibilility to know where the rest of his hunting party is BEFORE he shoots.
I have not heard enough details about the incident to point blame. Some accounts say Whittington was behind Cheney, who turned and fired. Normal custom is for all bird hunters to proceed forward in a more or less straight line, stopping when the dog points. No hunter should get too far ahead or behind the others. It goes without saying that one should never shoot when another hunter is in the line of fire. Possibly some contributory negligence on both parties here.
Update: Thesmokinggun.com (absolutely no pun intended) website has put up a copy of the TX Game Department’s report on the shooting.
Accidents happen, and ethical responsible hunters should take every proper step to lower the risk of accidents. Not clear yet if that happened here. But Liberals, conservatives and middle-of-the-roaders alike should be disappointed by this incident for at least a couple of reasons. First, Cheney apparently did not have the proper upland birds stamp with his license, so he was hunting illegally and has been fined. Also, his staff clearly tried to keep the incident a secret, which is inappropriate, and has had the predictable effect of blowing this minor incident way out of proportion and opening all hunters up to unfair criticism. And finally, my understanding is that Cheney refused to talk with the Sheriff’s office, which is standard procedure when any Tom Dick or Harry is involved in a hunting accident, and by doing so, Cheney has shown himself to believe he is above the law. Very disappointing.
Correction: just noticed smoking gun site, and looks like I heard some bad info, i.e., no fine was involved.
PA law is not like Texas.I quote our Game and Wildlife Code. ” unlawful. . .through carelessness or negligence. . .to shoot at and cause serious bodily injury to a human being is a misdemeanor of the second degree.” The Code provides a penalty of “not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000 and may be sentenced to imprisonment up to 6 months”. If the incident occurred in PA, would Cheny go to the slammer?
UPDATE: The lawyer Cheney shoot suffered a mild heart attack and remains in the hospital; one of the pellets is lodged in his heart. He is expected to recover and live a healthy life. Here is the kicker though: IDIOT (that is an acronym for the group of a-n-i-m-a-l rights fanatics that are so far left their PO Box is on Mars; we use IDIOT so the google ads don’t key in on their real name), like I was saying, IDIOT “has sent a letter to the chairman of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission urging that Cheney’s hunting license be revoked.” Why do they care? He shot a lawyer, not some little furry creature.