Well, it doesn't seem like the end times, but here I go about to defend Dick Cheney, so the end must be near.
I can't stand the administration - Cheney included - but this was an accident. There was nothing extraordinary about it and if he were not the VP we would never even have heard about it. Give the man a break.
These sorts of minor injuries occur all the time and are not reported. All gun shots are reported to the police as a matter of course. Reporters look at the police blotter every day. When it's a major incident or the person is of note, it's reported, but most are ignored. Otherwise, the news would be filled with such incidents every night during hunting season.
While I realize the late night comedians are going to have a field day with this - lets leave it where it belongs, with the comedians, not the news people. There's no reason the American public needs to know this much about the incident.
If it weren't a slow news time, or if Americans could stomach looking at real news issues, this would have been gone in a day. But, people would rather think about this than about real issues - like the fact that China pretty much owns the US, and that we haven't gotten "Bin Laden's head on a platter" as was the stated goal of these wars that are going on and on and on. Not to mention, if you want to focus on Cheney, there's the whole Scooter Libby issue.
The man had an accident while hunting. Having been around lots of hunters, I can tell you that everyone becomes lax about safety rules. Just as we all become lax about safety in every aspect of our lives. Yeah, we shouldn't. We also shouldn't drive over the speed limit, but most people do at times. As far as accidents go, cars are far more dangerous than guns.
People have said in the last couple of days that they find hunting barbaric and would rather get their meat at the grocery store. Obviously, if you feel that way, you need to go hunting once and go to a packing plant once and you'll discover hunting is the far kinder of the two. I've seen both up close. Hunting is the gentler, kinder, more humane, fill in the adjective of your choice, by far.
Hunting is part of the natural order of nature. It's how birds eat snakes that eat mice that eat insects. All animals hunt - including man. The reason we control what/when man can hunt is that we have tools other animals don't have that give us a huge advantage. And because man has gotten so far removed from the natural order of things that we don't understand the basics of how things are supposed to work.
But, of course, it was not always that way. Man hunted for his food just like every other animal. Some animals are omnivores and some are herbavores. Man is an omnivore, as are many other animals. I don't eat a lot of meat myself, but for many meat is a big part of the diet.
Some people do eat their kill, but for some it's just sport. However, if people do not want to eat it, the kill is generally passed on to someone else who does. I do not care for any sort of game, nor does anyone in my family, but some of the people in my family still like to hunt. It's never hard to find someone who wants the deer, goose or whatever. I don't get the thrill of sitting in the wet, freezing cold at dark :30 in a blind, waiting for something to fly. But there are things I enjoy that others don't get the thrill of so it's not mine to judge.
People have strong views about things like hunting. While I'm not a hunter, and do not have any guns in my home, I'm very familiar with it and realize it's not about a "power" thing for people who hunt. It's the same rush I get in hunting out a bargain on a pair of shoes or something of that nature. The "hunting" aspect remains the same, regardless of the desired target.
Although I don't agree with the Vice President's politics, I feel for him as a human in this circumstance. I can only imagine how bad he feels. And I suppose in such circumstances there's always the idea in the back of my mind of "but for the grace of God, there go I..." I grew up with guns and hunting and only by the grace of God did we all get to adulthood without any major gun incidents.
We had plenty of other injuries, and they were the result of accidents. I grew up on a farm and it was a rough and tumble existence in many ways - not that I would trade it at all. But, for those of us with that sort of background, we have more of a sense of how an accident can happen at any time. Most of us have a very limited amount of "accident potential" in our daily work lives. When you're a farmer, that is tremendously increased.
I never thought I'd find myself speaking on behalf of Dick Cheney, but here goes. Back off and give the man a break. He was involved in a hunting accident. It was an accident. He didn't intentionally try to shoot and kill someone.
To people who don't have the background, hearing that someone has been SHOT seems major. To those of us who have that background, we realize there are "degrees" of being shot, and it's all too common. Many people who have no rural background would be shocked by that. It's just a difference in how people perceive the world and the history we bring with us to today.
It's always those sorts of things that are of greater interest to me in the long run. I think the fact that so few people have a rural upbringing anymore will have dramatic effects on our country and how we perceive the world and our place in it.
Although I do not care for Mr. Cheney's politics, I do not think he's an unfeeling man with regard to his friends. I'm sure he is feeling tremendous remorse for the incident as anyone would. Maybe, just this once, we should delay the blaming and let he and his friend get past this in their own way.
Lets all just hope that Mr. Whittington does well and recovers fully.