Special Guest Blogger: The Huntsman
Well, the FHR has been discussing this issue with some of his friends and one of them has given me permission, via the FHR, to post his thoughts on the hunting incident. I have edited them slightly for readability, because I think he typed the e-mail quickly, but otherwise have not changed anything. I have inserted some links for those who have little experience with firearms, hunting, or the American system of measurment. The gentleman we'll be hearing from is a long-time hunter from a rural area of the United States, and has plenty of experience with firearms and firearm safety.
So, please welcome today's Total Drek guest blogger: The Huntsman.
The Cheney thing is interesting. This administration has done a lot worse than this (domestic spying, touture). The hunting thing isn't as big a story as the media is making it. They need to get their priorites straight.
From a hunting stand point it is a big deal. What happened, from what I understand, is this:
The guy who got shot went to retrive a bird then got back in line without telling anyone. (When you hunt you stay in line so everyone knows where the other people are.) A bird went up and flew back through the line between Cheney and his hunting partner. Cheney shot, thus breaking one of the fundamental hunter saftey rules. Never shoot at anything coming back through the line of people. But honestly I feel safe shoting at something coming back at the line and so do the people I hunt with. [According to the FHR, the Huntsman has been going out with the same group of guys for the past dozen years or more, so this is a function of long experience.-- Drek] The thing is, and this is a more important safty rule, Always know where your hunting partners are.
I feel bad for Cheney. It was a legitimate huinting accident. And nobody can say it can't happen to them. Take this example: say you're grouse hunting and a bird goes up. You have a split second to make a shot. Now say some guy is up in a tree stand bow hunting in full camo and hasn't said anything to alert you because he doesn't want to scare any deer away. It would take extraordinary bad luck but it could happen. I've got to think Cheney feels horrible about it.
The gun people and lobbies who are saying it is no big deal are, I think, trying to soften the severity of what happened for the non-hunting public. The one thing I heard those people say is that you get hit with shot all the time when you're hunting. In reality, sometimes when you are hunting doves or ducks people are shooting UP into the air. The shot can rain down on other people hunting hundreds of yards away. By that time the shot has lost all its velocity and is harmless. This isn't what happened with Cheney.
Cheney way 30 yds from the guy (from home plate to first base). I can kill a turkey cleanly at 50-60 yds. Probably the only thing that saved the guy was this: Cheney was using a 28 gauge. That's a small shotgun, (good thing he's rich cause they're expensive) had he been using a 20 or 12 [gauge] the guy would probably be dead. Cheney was also using small shot, probally size eight for quail. Had they been hunting pheasants they would have been using size 6 or larger- and the guy would be dead. If it had happened in PA he [Cheney] would lose his liscence for 5 years. Also I don't know if you knew this, but neither guy had the proper licensing to be hunting. But the warden left Cheney off with a warning.
So, there you have it. From the Huntsman straight to you.
As a side note: Yes, I know calling him "The Huntsman" makes it sound like I have a superhero blogging. Get over it.