cross-posted at skippy the bush kangaroo (now with 30% more snark!)

irrespective of the political implications of “dead-eye” dick cheney’s “hunting” fiasco (we put “hunting” in quotes, because there’s no real sport to raising domesticated animals who grow up seeing humans as friends and providers, then releasing them into the wild for the first time in their lives and killing them), there are several questions being brought to bear by real hunters who know about real gun safety.

we quote several after the jump:

reports from the owner of the ranch where the vp was hunting that whittington violated some sort of “texas protocol” requiring hunters to make formal announcement of their comings and goings in the field were a bit misleading. everywhere that upland birds are hunted, the drill is pretty much the same. it makes sense to let other hunters know when you’re moving to the left or right, or that you’re back after visiting a nearby tree, but there’s no requirement to do so. the onus is on everyone who carries a gun not to shoot at anyone else. – field&stream

if vice president dick cheney had followed the protocols taught to 12-year-olds in hunter-education programs, he never would have shot his pal last weekend while quail hunting, according to hunting safety experts…

  • 1. treat all guns as loaded.
  • 2. don’t point your muzzle at anything you’re not willing to destroy.
  • 3. never place your finger near the trigger until you’ve sighted the target.
  • 4. be certain of your target and what’s around it — behind it, beside it and under it.

it apparently was item no. 4 that resulted in a problem for cheney. – espn outdoors

members of the club receive safety lessons from james t. dobensky, a retired firefighter who has taught gun safety classes for the state and the national rifle association. controlling the gun’s muzzle is the best way to prevent an accident, and that advice might have prevented the vice president’s accident, dobensky added.

“you always control the direction of the muzzle. if you control the muzzle at all times, there wouldn’t have been accidents,” dobensky said. “i think the vice president should have kept a little closer look on where his hunting companions were at”…

“know your target, what’s beyond the target and what’s next to the target,” he said. “stay in eyesight and in a row. if someone gets up a little, we slow him down and if someone falls behind, we wait for him to come up. – meridian record-journal

cheney’s hunting party broke several basic rules: too many in the hunt party; no dog, or at least not having the dog retrieve a downed bird; hunting from a vehicle. and cheney broke some of the most basic rules: shooting at a low bird and not being aware of the placement of his hunting party members.

one report i read stated that cheney shot whittington at 5:15 p.m. on saturday — way too late to be hunting quail. – charlotte observer

but our favorite is this qualified endorsement from the jackson hole star-tribune:

wyoming gov. dave freudenthal, a democrat, said the accident wouldn’t keep him from going on a bipartisan hunt with cheney.

“i would be proud to hunt with the vice president — cautious, but proud,” he told reporters in cheyenne.

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