Monday, February 13, 2006
Duck & Cover!
This morning, the understated global tittering was evident in the lead sentence of South Africa’s Mail & Guardian:
Never sneak up behind Dick Cheney when he has a gun in his hand.
Laughter aside, the seriousness of Saturday’s quail "hunt" hijinks, the historic nature of a Vice Presidential shooting, it’s obvious tabloid news value and the failure of the White House to report the Vice President’s wild shot, should provoke our slumbering emotion-addicted punditocracy to new heights of Runaway Wife/OJ-inspired excess.
However, a careful reading of Google results shows a most unOJ-like divergence of press coverage following the Corpus Christi Caller-Times' breaking of the historic non duel-related shooting.
The majority of press accounts say that Cheney’s victim is “in stable condition” and “in good spirits” but fail report Whittington’s presense in the Intensive Care Unit of Corpus Christi Memorial Hospital or initial White House silence regarding the shooting.
Indeed, whispers are wafting over the web that gender-neutral White House spinners, today, will hair-split and parse and insist that Cheney “sprayed” Whittington with “tiny metallic pellets” and most certainly did not “shoot” the victim.
I’m curious how this shoot-free “spraying” tack will play with the NRA/NASCAR/hunting crowd.
Here’s a picture of the “tiny metallic pellets” more commonly referred to as “birdshot” along with gunpowder and a shell casing.
Birdshot, in the United States, is made of highly toxic lead and ranges in size from 0.135 to 0.32 inches in diameter.
I found a December 9, 2003 statement by the Humane Society of the United States reacting to the Vice President’s 2003 Ligonier Township, Pennsylvania pheasant slaughter that I linked to yesterday:
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported today that 500 farm-raised pheasants were released yesterday morning at the Rolling Rock Club in Ligonier Township for the benefit of Cheney’s 10-person hunting party. The group killed at least 417 of the birds, illustrating the unsporting nature of canned hunts. The party also shot an unknown number of captive mallards in the afternoon…The Humane Society of the United States deplores the shooting of captive birds and animals where traditional “fair chase” hunting ethics are discarded and kills are guaranteed.
Images: FireArmsID.com, Stanford.edu, ThomasHawk.com, WhiteHouse.gov