February 17, 2006

Piling on.

I have not commented on this, because I think the entirety of the coverage of Dick Cheney's hunting accident has been overblown by dimwitted pinheaded pundits, and there is nothing to be added that would be of any benefit.

Which is why I cannot for the life of me figure this one out. Chuck Hagel, of all people, is quoted thusly in this article just out:

[...] And Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, a Republican and Vietnam war veteran, told The Omaha World-Herald, "If he'd been in the military, he would have learned gun safety." [...]

If that is actually what he said, it is beneath him as a veteran and as a thinking rational human being.

Is he saying that no one with military experience has ever accidentally shot someone? If so, it is beyond ludicrous.

Is he saying that people without military training are somehow less able to understand the fundamentals of gun safety? If so, it is beyond ludicrous.

Is he saying that in order to go hunting, a person must have first served in the military? If so, it is beyond ludicrous.

I can't figure out what he's trying to get at here, other than it must have been a while since someone cared enough to ask him about anything, and he got so excited by the prospect of blasting away at something that he shot off his mouth before defining his target.

I hear stuff like that happens in Washington a lot more than people accidentally shooting their hunting partners.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at February 17, 2006 09:57 AM

You are not going to give me extra credit in the gun safety sweepstakes because I was in the Army?

Posted by: Larry Anderson at February 17, 2006 10:07 AM

No, because you explodey-artillery types can't hear worth a dern. If I'm gonna come up on you from behind, I want to make sure that if I do yell at you, you hear me.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at February 17, 2006 10:13 AM

That's a good point.

Posted by: Larry Anderson at February 17, 2006 10:21 AM

You don't think Hegel had an ulterior motive to criticizing the Veep, do you?

I was going to find a way to interject something smartalecky from a guy with a similar last name, but I can't figure out what the heck that one was talking about either.

Posted by: skinnydan at February 17, 2006 10:30 AM

Ulterior motives?! In D.C.!? Why, that's just CRAZY TALK!

As for philosophy, I learned all I know from the Bruce's Philosophers Song.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at February 17, 2006 10:49 AM

I read an article that put the blame on Cheney's accident due to not following protocol on bird hunting. By having three hunters you have the opportunity for cross-fire. With two you just cover left-right fields, as most people will swing their guns in a 180 degree arc. It is much safer to have only two hunters shooting when birds are flushed from cover and you get the chaos resulting from birds flying in every direction.

Unless they are teaching bird hunting in the Army, Hegel is in error.

Posted by: MarcV at February 17, 2006 11:12 AM

Marc, depends on what you mean by birds. I imagine even Hagel did some hunting of these sorts of birds in the army. Not that the Army taught it, exactly.

Posted by: skinnydan at February 17, 2006 11:16 AM

It's all a very unfortunate mess--anytime anything like this happens, it means someone made a mistake. People DO make mistakes--even experienced hunters--you know, being human and all, but I think the frenzy surrounding the incident is vastly out of proportion to the incident itself.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at February 17, 2006 11:21 AM

Marc, I've read some things about that, too.

Lyman used to hunt, and has been on big dove hunts, but not quail.

Protocols were strict. But protocol is usually maintained by the leader of the hunt. From what I read, could be that Cheney and the other hunter also shouldn't have gone forward without Mr. Whittington.

Could be, in the end, that Ms. Armstrong must bear the brunt of responsibility for the accident. She was the host, and provided, far as I know, the hunt personnel.

Posted by: Janis at February 17, 2006 11:23 AM

And heck, even Molly Ivins calls the affair a "simple hunting accident.

Google Harry Whittington. (Comments won't take my cite. Chicago Tribune.)

Posted by: Janis at February 17, 2006 11:34 AM

As far as frenzy, it should not be surprising that the MSM is in a lather over this, since it involves two of their favorite targets: guns and the Bush administration.

Anytime that M. Ivins puts pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) is an accident waiting to happen.

Posted by: MarcV at February 17, 2006 12:26 PM