Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Interview with former cop, current hunter, Republican, fellow Markland, on the whole Cheney shooting

In press lingo, the Cheney shooting story certainly has legs. Not so much over the actual shooting than the VP's office repeated delays on informing the public, and perhaps even the White House, of critical details. This, of course, raises many questions and suspicions, and highlights the concerns that people opposed to the Bush Admin have been saying all along: its secretive to a fault. Why did the news of Cheney shooting a fellow hunter take more than 24 hours to reach the press, and certainly hours before even the President knew? What was the VPs office frantically trying to spin or cover up? Was Cheney under the influence of alcohol? Was their discussion of having someone else take fault for the shooting? And why was their another extended delay in reporting that the shooting victim, lawyer Harry M. Whittington? At worst, if Cheney was found to have been negligent, or under the influence of alcohol at the time of the shooting, he could be charged with manslaughter if Whittington dies as a result.

Trying to gain some insight into this story I contacted my Uncle Skip Markland, retired Toledo policeman and a State of Ohio Certified Hunter Safety Instructor. He's also a diehard Republican. While some good points, he did actually inadvertently call me a moron.

I'm not certain I agree that they were thinking about claiming someone else did it, but one never knows. Unfortunately, this is what you will be reading in some left-wing moronic blog site.

Like mine.

Besides that, though, he offers some great common sense perspective on the issue, and put me in my place with my stereotyping of hunters. Here's some extended excerpts:

To blame anyone other than the VP is inappropriate. One thing that aggravates me is the stance of our political spokepersons when they claim that it "isn't all that serious" and that it "happens all the time". The Hell it ain't serious and it does not happen all of the time. Factually , hunting accidents are very rare with only a few incidents in each state per year so compared with all of the time that sportsmen spend in the woods hunting, a hunting accident is a very rare occurrence. That's why hunting is one of the least dangerous outdoor activities compared to many others including tennis and bicycling. When they say it isn't a serious incident, what they are saying is that the victim's wounds are not life threatening. It's only sheer luck that the man wasn't killed and I suppose it would take that for the Washington spin meisters to consider it serious.

On the delayed public notification:

From my history as a public servant, it is a very serious and newsworthy incident. I believe they would have been better served to release the information immediately. Accidents happen and our VP obviously did not do this on purpose. I think they made a serious mistake by delaying the press release and added to their PR problems on this one. There was nothing to hide and it isn't something that's going to go away. Do a press release and let the political chips fall where they may. It would have been in the headlines for a couple days and everyone would have forgotten it by the next month, except David Lettermen and Jay Leno but that's their job.

On hunting mistakes:

Keep one thing in mind. . . although we can all criticize the other hunter who makes a mistake, it can happen to the best hunter out there including me or you if you ever take up the sport. None of us are immune from making mistakes as hard as we try to avoid them. In hunting, one of the biggest problems that can lead to accidents is "tunnel vision". You are focusing so hard on making the good shot that you ignore everything else. This shooting is a classic example of that. I have even found myself guilty of this but fortunately I have never shot anyone or come close. It just happens so I do sympathize with the VP and any other hunter who causes such an accident. I have seen many interviews with hunters who have shot someone accidentally and these were truly unfortunate accidents. The hunters were good and safe hunters for the most part but made a tragic and very regretable mistake. (That's why hunting accidents are generally not prosecuted as crimes as I have heard some of our liberal media morons suggesting be done today)

Isn't it the norm for hunters to go hunting carrying a cooler and a couple six packs? Isn't it likely Cheney was drinking, if not drunk, when he shot Whittington?

It is possible but let me say this. You, in suggesting this, are accepting a common stereotype and myth that all hunters are drunk or have been drinking every time they go afield. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many hunters drink. Many hunters do not drink. The ratio of drinkers vs. non-drinkers is nothing different that the general population. However, very few hunters go into the field after or while they are drinking alcohol. So when you ask "How many hunters go quail hunting without some beer?" My response is "very few." Although I and many of my hunting friends enjoy our beer, we do not go into the field after we have been drinking. Do some hunters go into the field after they have been drinking? Of course. It certainly happens but once again they are certainly in the minority. And yes, they are the morons that create and advance these unwarranted stereotypes. So, we will never know if the VP had been drinking or they were trying to cover up his involvement unless someone comes forward or other evidence proves it.

In closing:

By the way, I went grouse hunting last Friday and never had a beer all day. Imagine that!! I did not shoot anyone either.

Now for the next theory to add to my left wing moronic web site: will this result on Bush asking Cheney to resign so Condoleeza Rice can become the Vice President, and thus possibly cement the Republican hold of the White House for another term?