I woke up from my bronchitis-induced nap to hear David Gregory and company peppering Scott McClellan with questions about the Cheney hunting accident. Gregory kept calling the Vice President "the shooter", which conjures up images of the grassy knoll. Others kept beating the timeline dead horse demanding an explanation about the delay in notification of the WH press corps. Is there some law that requires the WH press corp be the first ones notified if the VP farts? That is the impression one gets when listening to the uproar from the "journalists".
The ignorance of the press corps amazes me. One reporter asked if Cheney should resign since he "shot someone". Another was concerned about the status of the VP's hunting license. Yes Cheney did have a current hunting license, according to The Times-Reporter:
Cheney was legally hunting with a license he purchased in November, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department spokesman Steve Lightfoot said.
Darn... there goes that impeachment option for the VP. But that certainly didn't stop the liberals from lashing out about the hunting accident. The Nation's op-ed dept churned out this gem in "Cheney Gets His Gun":
"Now that the vice president has accidentally shot and wounded a companion on a quail hunt at the elite Texas ranch where rich men play with guns -- spraying his 78-year-old victim, er, friend, in the face and chest with shotgun pellets and sending the man to the intensive care unit of a Corpus Christi hospital -- it has become clear that Cheney was doing the country a service when he avoided service
U.S. troops had enough problems in Vietnam without letting a trigger-happy incompetent like Dick Cheney start shooting things up from behind the lines."
Over at the Huffington Post, Jane Hamscher penned this little ditty which Yahoo's opinion section thought was significant enough to print:
"But we do have to ask: who thought it was a good idea to put a gun in the hands of a fat, drunken, ill-tempered gimp with a bad heart in the first place?"
WOW - I did not know that old "Splash" Kennedy was involved in the shooting...
Here's some stats on hunting accidents in Texas from the American Statesman's Mike Leggett, which ironically appeared on Feb. 9th:
"The total of 30 hunting accidents for 2005 was the second lowest on record, bettered only by the 29 accidents last year, Hall said. While statistically hunting is one of the safest sports in the country, because it involves guns, fatalities still occur.
A high percentage of hunting accidents in Texas involve bird hunting, Hall said, and an even higher percentage involve careless handling of a firearm and having a loaded gun in and around a vehicle.
"There's always a wave of dove hunting accidents when the season starts each year," Hall said. During 2005, there were six dove hunting accidents, four involving quail and one involving waterfowl. "That's 11 out of 30 so that's more than a third with bird hunting, which is usually swinging on game (and not knowing where the gun is pointed)," he said. "
As the wife of an avid hunter and a field hunting guide, I know that accidents such as this are common. Thank goodness this accident did not involve the most typical victim - the hunting dogs. PETA would be prostrate with hysteria.
In the meantime, I'm sending "get well" wishes to Mr. Whittington. And for all those spouting the typically hate-filled comments one closing thought...
I would rather go hunting with Dick Cheney than ride in a car driven by Ted Kennedy!