Yeah, that’s how the left was spinning a very common hunting accident, known affectionately as, peppering. Ask any hunter about their experiences with birdshot gone astray and they will regale you, for hours, if you let them, about the most amazing and often, humorous stories of their hunting adventures.
If you ever attend an event where Senator Conrad Burns and Congressman Dick Schulze are standing together, they both invite you to feel the buckshot that is still rolling around in their hands. Dick was shot by Congressman Bob Livingston, and Burns was shot by a 17-year-old kid you received a kind note from him with some of the buckshot taped to it. The buckshot will work its way out of the skin after a while and you just pick it out. Dick says that Bob sent him a little metal detector and some tweezers as a joke and his friends tease him about setting off metal detectors at the airport.
OK, this is where I pause while liberals pitch a fit that we could be so cavalier about hunting accidents and how dangerous and deadly guns are, blah blah blah. Listen, when they pitch fits of outrage at radical Muslims who burn buildings, cut off heads and blowup innocent people, then I might take their concern for hunting accidents, a little more seriously.
It is also interesting that the Vice President didn’t ask anyone else to take the fall for him, unlike when John Kerry did take the fall for himself on a ski slope, but choose to blame a secret service agent, 50 feet away. Ok, falling on a ski slope is not like a hunting accident, but it does show the character of each man. And because there is no comparison, why would John Kerry care that people knew it was actually he who caused his own downfall . . . and not the secret service agent, and why was the press complicit in “covering it up” as though it really was something significant?
I sometimes think that liberals must possess the same genetic predisposition to inconsistently apply standards to similar cases, depending upon who is involved. For instance, Ted Kennedy waits until the next day to tell anyone that he has murdered a woman and nonchalantly nibbles on his eggs benedict while the fish are nibbling on her. Was there an outcry in the monolithic media that he was trying to cover up a murder? No, there was no need, since they successfully covered it up for him. But Vice President Cheney shoots his friend, Harry Whittington, in a hunting accident with a handful of be-bes and you would think that he is the reincarnation of Saddam Hussein. No, wait, liberals love him. Well, you get the picture.
One problem with liberals is that they were denied the privilege of owning guns as kids and missed out on the most American of all motherly warnings . . . “Be careful with that be-be gun, or you’ll shoot someone’s eye out.” Well, we were careful, and accidents did happen, but no one ever suggested that we be sent to some impeachment detention center. Growing up with guns, for the vast majority of Americans, was just a fact of life . .. for baby boomers at least.
But one of the most interesting things about the liberal media’s mass temper tantrum other than the fact that they didn’t get that great shot of Harry lying in a pool of blood with Cheney standing over him, gun in hand, is how out of touch with reality they are.
I was at an event the same night, only a couple of hours after the accident occurred, and everyone was talking about the shooting, and actually speculating on the field day the press would have when they learned about it. Now think about that statement and unravel where the source of the news must have come from. Earth to NY Times, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, et al . . . you guys don’t control the news any more. You aren’t even a close second. The inmates are running the asylum now and it is your worst nightmare.
We have this new invention, thanks to Al Gore, called the Internet. And a slightly older invention, thanks to Alexander Graham Bell, called the telephone. No longer do families gather around the dining room table, tuning the dial to Edward R. Murrow, waiting breathlessly for his brand of the truth. No longer do the big three networks keep America waiting until the six o’clock hour to distill the “news” into the perfect blend that they want us to consume. News flash . . . we are all the news now. We can make it, break, it shake it or stake it . .. . just like you guys have done for years.
You rant and rave and pout and protest that they didn’t tell you first so that what . . . .you could put your spin on it and then recycle it back to us? There were dozens of people present or knowing of the accident within the firing of the fateful shot. The thought that I am sure did not cross their minds was, “oh my gosh, everyone, don’t move a muscle until I get the White House press corp in here.” And why weren’t they there? I don’t know . . . why weren’t they with Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky in the oval office? Because these events . . . according to liberals, are private and the public doesn’t have the right to know what happens in the private moments of an elected official’s life.
Another point, that the tantrum-throwing press is missing is that the accident on the Armstrong farm could have gone either way because Cheney wasn’t the only one walking around with a loaded gun, the way dictators do in oppressive regimes. There were others who had loaded guns, walking with him in the same sport, with the same opportunity to shoot him at any time. This is a perfect illustration of what true equality and freedom represents that people living in oppressive regimes could never understand.
We witnessed in Atlanta, at the funeral for Coretta Scott King, the trashing of a president . . . right in front of him, and did not see armed soldiers come in and arrest the “people of poor taste.” President Bush was a fellow mourner, with equal access to a microphone and the opportunity to trash the other side or to make political statements, but he chose to honor the memory of a great woman . . . not take pot shots at his enemies. VP Cheney was hunting side by side with fellow hunters . . . all carrying loaded guns and any of them, including Cheney, could have been shot, or even killed. That is the wonder of the nuances of freedom of expression, choice, and even adventure. You never know what is going to come out of someone’s mouth . . . or their gun. But it all seems to work out with a system based on absolutes, judicial restraint, equal access, free expression, and a wide variety of opportunities to live the way we choose, and to invite others to feel the pellets under the skin which represent these choices and consequences.