- Hunters don't "pepper" each other with bird shot "all the time." This is not a common occurence. Any required hunter safety course begins with teaching newbie hunters how to avoid that. There are hundreds of hunting/shooting accidents each year, but the frequency of shooting accidents are well below "all the time."
- Dick and his hunting party were 'road-hunting' for quail with an entourage of assistants, secret service agents and medical personnel. [link]
This explains my initial question of "Huh, how can this guy possibly hunt? He's had octuple bypass surgery and at least one blood clot removal surgery that kept him off his feet. How the heck is he chasing birds and brush-whacking across grassy landscapes safely?" Simply put, he's not. They were chasing birds from the road, then stopping to blast away when they spotted some. And apparently, this is typical of how Dick likes to 'hunt.' This elitist-bourgeois habit ought to further endear him with the red state hunting/firearm demographic.
Each of the hunters was wearing a bright orange vest at the time, Armstrong told reporters at the ranch about 60 miles southwest of Corpus Christi.
Armstrong said she was watching from a car while Cheney, Whittington and another hunter got out of the vehicle to shoot at a covey of quail.
"Fortunately, the vice president has got a lot of medical people around him and so they were right there and probably more cautious than we would have been," she said. "The vice president has got an ambulance on call, so the ambulance came."
- A minor "peppering" with birdshot shouldn't land someone in the hospital for 48+ hours, even if the victim is 78 years old. This sounds more serious than the soundbites are indicating. It seems that Whittington had to be fairly close to Dick's muzzle since a lot of wing shooting shotguns scatter pellets rather widely within a short distance. Or, as B pointed out, a lengthy hospital stay could simply be a strategy for minimizing media exposure to Whittington. Alcohol?
- Were they waiting to see if the victim would survive before naming Cheney as the shooter? Something kept the media and police at an arms length for quite a while.
- The recipient of stray bullet is not the responsible party for the errant shot, the shooter is. One of the first lessons in the afore-mentioned safety training is to know what you're aiming at and where your companions are at all times. Or else don't shoot.
Will they award Whittington with a Purple Heart? They can always Swift Boat him later if the need arises. Lastly, what important world news are we missing while we're distracted by Quailgate?
ADDENDUM: Tush, on the other hand, likes to shoot mourning do-, er....killdeer.
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