The Dick Heard 'Round the World
I'm very late in weighing in on Cheney's shooting incident. At the time it happened all I really heard and cared to hear was that the Vice-President had shot someone. I wasn't in the mood to pursue the matter any further and I just figured Scooter Libby had gone to that great bureaucracy in the sky and I just sunk back into my self-pitying funk.
With the odd exception of Paul Begala, I haven't heard anyone from the left who knew a great deal about hunting and the rules that govern doing it safely. Of course my first thought was,"Paul Begala hunts?" Then it occurred to me that I'm a walking, talking case study of someone who can be raised in the testoterone-soaked gun and hunting culture of the South and the West and not turn out like say, Dick Cheney.
But Jesus Christ, Paul Begala?
Anyway, all that aside, I'm not going to rehash all the stuff you already know. I'm going to talk, from a former hunters standpoint, about what a fucking idiot Dick Cheney is.
First thing: Dick Cheney and his band of merry men weren't hunting. They were out shooting mostly tame, raised for the purpose of being shot, birds. In my mind this is no different from deciding to take your gun and mow down all the family pets in your neighborhood. And they didn't even have the decency to walk to where the tame birds were.
The had to drive.
They had to drive SUV's.
Is there anything that sums up the pampered wanna-be macho swagger of this administration than that? I have no doubt in the caravan of courage that was this little hunting trip that there was a White House photographer ready to snap a picture of Cheney shooting trained birds.
Why do I keep picturing Uncle Jimbo from South Park drunkenly yelling"They're coming right for us"?
I don't hunt anymore. I feel absolutely no need to show my dominance over nature by gunning down animals for fun. I feel only scorn for people who hunt for sport. If you don't eat it, don't kill it. I have known, and still know, people who hunt for food. Many times when I was growing up a freezer full of deer meat helped my parents stretch their incomes to make it through to payday. If today, I found it difficult to feed my family, I would hunt to do so. I won't lie and say a part of me wouldn't enjoy it either. It's just that when it comes to dealing out life and death, I believe it should be a matter of life and death.
Growing up here in the South I have hunted just about everything that swam, flew, and ran through the Tennessee mountains and valleys. I really enjoyed squirrel and rabbit hunting. Believe it or not it was a challenge. You had a split second to identify your target, make sure no dogs or fellow hunters were downrange (hear that Dick?), aim quickly, and fire. It took practice and skill and we ate everything we killed. When we fished, if we weren't planning on eating the Stripe or Bass we caught, we threw them back to fight another day. I hunted deer on several occasions but I'm glad to say I've never killed one of the beautiful creatures, not for lack of trying, I assure you. I was just never quiet or stealthy enough. Besides, sitting in the woods at four a.m. in twenty degree weather, being absolutely still for hours on end, never appealed to me.
Hunting rabbits and squirrel, you tried to make noise in order to flush them. Shooting them once you did was the challenge.
I'm glad I never killed deer myself but I've been up close and personal on dozens of occasions when fellow hunters have. It's brutal and in no way something I would even want to be around today.I may someday teach my son to safely handle firearms, but I don't plan on introducing him to hunting. Age has brought empathy, and I don't like to watch any creature die violently. However I do admire the skill it takes, especially the guys I know that hunt deer with bows. Yes, for those who don't know, here in the modern age of assault rifles and twenty power scopes, some hunters prefer to do it the old-fashioned way, using bows and arrows. Even though these powerful compound bows carry the knock-down power of modern rifles, it still takes incredible skill to shoot something fifty yards away with one. Hell, I've known people that have hunted huge and dangerous Kodiak brown bears in Alaska with bows. Miss one of those and you may just find which part of the food chain you really belong to.
I said all of that to say this: There are hunters, who have a deep respect for nature and use what they kill for themselves and their families.
And there are men like Dick Cheney who like to murder small animals for sport.
One of the first and most important lessons you learn to do in firearms training is never, ever fire your weapon when you aren't sure of your target. And one of the first rules of hunting is always know where the members of your party are before you fire. Cheney violated both rules.
If you want to live a long life with all of the limbs you were born with, you never drink while handling firearms and you never hunt with a bunch of idiots who are drinking. The Vice-President's "I had a beer at lunch" is one of the stupidest things to ever come out of Cheney's mouth.
Anyone who has ever watched some drunk driver at a traffic stop on Cops knows that there are rules to lying about alcohol consumption.
"I had a beer" means "I had three".
"I had a couple" means " I drank a sixpack".
"Yes, I've been drinking" means "I'm shitfaced, Ossifer, go fuck yourself"
Add to this the fact that a man who has had something like eighty four heart attacks as Deadeye Dick has, is surely on a shitload of blood pressure and blood thinning medications and shouldn't be drinking any alcohol at lunch, dinner, or anywhere else. Much less around loaded (no pun intended) firearms.
Of course Harry "The Target" Whittington seems to be fine with being shot in the head and heart by a man who couldn't even bother to go to hospital to check on him, so I suppose this too will go away.It will be lost in the storm of slime and corruption that is the trademark of the increasingly lawless Bush administration.
So the Vice-President of the United States who, by his own admission, was drinking while handling loaded firearms and shot a member of his hunting party. Then they failed to inform the media for almost a full day. Then the Secret Service turned away police officers who tried to investigate.
Thank God he didn't do something really horrible, like have consensual sex with a woman.
That would have really riled up the puritan sensibilities of America's Republicans.
Then it would have been impeachment time for sure.
I always viewed Cheney as a shrewd politician and certainly an intelligent man and he no doubt is when it comes to life in the ivory towers of Washington.
But out in the real world, like his mental midget boss, Dick Cheney is arrogant and careless. It explains how this administration can keep doing the arrogant and careless things they keep doing on the world stage. Bush and Cheney are both just a couple of drunks stumbling around with really big loaded guns.
It's just a matter of time until they hurt someone else.