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Monday, February 13, 2006

Hunting accidents

I preface this post by saying I am not a hunter. I am not a "gun nut", I am dreadfully uncomfortable around guns in spite of the good intentions of the Logical Husband and many, many friends. Disclaimers thus out of the way.....

Vice President Cheney (aka the "Prince of Darkness") was involved in a hunting accident this weekend. The VP's party was out shooting quail, which I am told is a difficult game bird to hunt, when a member of the party walked into the VP's line of fire and was shot. The press reports that I have read, seen and heard say that the man shot had left the party to try to find a bird that he had shot and when he returned to the party unannounced he came up out of the VP's line of vision.

I emphasize "unannounced" for a reason. Even I, a non-hunter, know that you do not leave your hunting party and if you do leave the party, you let them know where you are when you return for this very reason! I also know (thanks to living in Minnesota and Wisconsin where hunting and fishing are rights of passage) that hunting accidents happen every gun season. It is a given.

Now the White House Press corp is up in arms. It seems that they were not told of the accident for 18-24 hours after the accident had occurred. Helen Thomas even asked if the VP had or intended to "tender his resignation?" In answer to the question "what took him so long to notify somebody?", Scott McClellan (White House Press Secretary) answered:

"You know what [the vice president's] first reaction was? His first reaction was: Go to Mr. Whittington and get his team in there to provide him medical care,"

Get the man medical care or call the press? What to do, what to do??? Call the police (and an ambulance or Helen Thomas? Dang, that's a toughie...

The MSM is in high umbrage over the delay in telling them about the accident. I certainly don't remember such umbrage back in 1969, when Senator Teddy Kennedy accidentially drove his car into Poucha Pond. If you recall, Senator Kennedy waited until the next morning (after he had talked to several people including his lawyer) to report that Mary Jo Kopechne was still in the submerged car.


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