February 14, 2006

The Quail on the Grassy Knoll

Austin lawyer Harry Whittington was shot during a hunting trip with Vice President Dick Cheney on Saturday. This afternoon, he suffered a slight setback as a birdshot pellet in his bloodstream became trapped in his heart... and what an interesting pellet it was.

Via CNN (my bold):

Dr. David Blanchard, the hospital's emergency room chief, said Whittington suffered an "asymptomatic heart attack," meaning Whittington did not display symptoms such as chest pains or breathing difficulty. He said a roughly 5 mm piece of shot became lodged in or alongside Whittington's heart muscle, causing the organ's upper two chambers to beat irregularly.

The physician quoted is Dr. David Blanchard, director of emergency services at the hospital. Only “T” and “BBB” shot - at 5.08mm and 4.83 respectively - are close to that size range.

According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department incident report, Vice President Cheney was hunting with a Perazzi Brescia 28-gauge shotgun using factory-loaded #7 1/2 shot.

#7 1/2 shotgun pellets have a diameter of 2.41 mm, half the size of the pellet found in Harry Whittington's heart.

According to 28-gauge aficionados, the size shot found in Whittington's chest is not made for the caliber of shotgun Cheney was shooting.

The most logical explanation is that the hospital equipment is merely inaccurate in measuring the size of the pellet, in which case they should recalibrate their machines.

If the hospital equipment is accurate, however, then someone using a shotgun other than a Perazzi Brescia 28-gauge fired the shot that wounded Harry Whittington.

The Quail on the Grassy Knoll, Part 2

The Quail on the Grassy Knoll, Part 3

Posted by Confederate Yankee at February 14, 2006 07:34 PM | TrackBack

An explanation of the disparity may be as simple as the radiologist being unfamiliar with the metric system.

Years ago, my wife had a kidney stone trapped where the ureter enters the bladder. A radiologist told me the stone was "about 3 cm in diameter". I laughed aloud - 3 cm is an inch and a quarter ... much too big to descend thru the ureter.

He wasn't used to having people laugh at him. He invited me into the dark room and pointed out the stone. It was perhaps an eighth of an inch in diameter - more like 3 mm than 3 cm.

So maybe the radiologist couldn't tell the difference between 5 mm (which is a little smaller than .22 caliber) and 2.4 mm.

Bill Drissel

Posted by: Bill Drissel at February 14, 2006 09:58 PM

Was Cheny on the grassy knoll? Or is the sewer drain?

Posted by: Peter at February 14, 2006 09:59 PM

the real story is being covered up.the v p last week spilled coffee on the sportcoat of a visito when he got up to shake hands . it is possible that some of the coffee also marred the carpets. the sportcoat was apparently whisked out the back entrance of the white house in a secret service mail bag with diplomatic immunity.the stain may be irreparable,but no dry cleaner in 20 blocks will admit to trying to clean it,the white house is covering this up.why have they not admitted to this spill,or leak as they are sometimes called.Some experts believe this is a violation of the constitution,as no where is it indicated that the v p can spill coffeee without the consent of the senate.and why have two milk chocolates disappeared from the desk of the v p s receptionist,while the v. p s cheeks are definitely bulging.the whole thing is cascading out of control,and then there is iraq where reporters have not been asked to vote on the new gov t .O tempore o mores as cato would have said.

Posted by: j morrissey at February 14, 2006 10:46 PM

This is very strange.........It appears that a shallow wound lead to a #7 1/2 pellet moving to the heart via blood flow in his veins..............That is very bizarre and it is possible that multiple pellets moved to his heart and that is why a larger reading size than a single pellet............At this point I'm going to wait for the info or this hunting accident, which is what it was..............

I've hunted 30 of my 40 years and this is strange, and bizarre.....................

Posted by: Steve at February 14, 2006 11:41 PM

Never depend on anything you read or hear from the dim-wit media types or the dim-wit politicians. Remember these are the same idiots that classified everything from a single shot 22 to a 12 Ga shotgun as an assult weapon. I'm now wondering when the education failed, thought it was in recent years but now appears it failed at least 20 years ago, for some like Dimmy Carter it failed 60 years ago.
The pitiful show put on by the White House press corp shows just how low they have sunk. I've ask the White House staff to deliver a case of lollipops at tomorrows press briefing to soothe the wounded ego's. Works for dentist and doctors with little children and the press acts like little children, but maybe not capable of handling a lollipop with a stick in it..wouldn't want the white house to be responsible for the choking deaths of dozens of rabid reporters, be faster just to shoot them or release poison gas in the room.

Posted by: scrapiron at February 15, 2006 01:41 AM

I took out my copy of "Cartridges of the World" by
Frank C. Barnes, and was reminded that all shotgun
gauges with the same size shot and barrel length will have nearly the same muzzle velocity and effective range, though of course not pattern density. Therefore any single 7.5 pellet from a 410 will travel as far and hit as hard as any single 7.5 pellet from a 12 gauge. We all have to be careful out there!

Posted by: Tom T B at February 15, 2006 05:00 AM


The question isn't velocity, but the fact that the size of the shot claimed by the hospital is not factory-loaded for 28-gauge shotguns like that used by the Vice President (and he was using factory loads).

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at February 15, 2006 06:45 AM

CY, I can't find a factory load for 28 gauge larger than #6, so something's wrong somewhere!

Posted by: Tom TB at February 15, 2006 07:45 AM

Tom, the load they were using is smaller than #6, not larger. Also, someone on here was talking about the pellet traveling through the bloddstream and into the heart. I also heard a radio report stating the same thing. I believe you'll find that the pellet was against the outer heart muscle meaning it penetrated the chest and stopped at the muscle. It didn't travel through the bloodstream. Whether it was there from an old accident is a question that comes to mind if the pellet size discrepancy is true.

Posted by: Monkeydarts at February 15, 2006 09:02 AM

The problem is that the spokesmen for the hospital and the media are idiots. It would be highly unlikely that a pellet would make it to the heart with bird shot at 30 yards. Also, the man is in his 70's. At this age even the occasional errection will cause you to go into atrial fibrillation much less the physical and emotional trauma of a gunshot wound. I would guess that the concern about a heart attack comes from the elevation of troponins that usually occurs with any tacharrhythmia. Also, the physicians are associated with Christus. This is usually not a high calibur doc.
Finally I am amazed at the production that is being made over this by the MSM. They are carrying on about the lack of information being provided. They need to read the HIPPA regulations on privacy in medicine and they will find that it is against the law to dispense information of any kind.

Posted by: David Caskey, MD at February 15, 2006 01:00 PM

David, I'm glad you made the point about a piece of bird shot (shot size 7 1/2) penetrating a man's chest to lodge next to the heart being rather unlikely - it just doesn't have the mass to make that kind of penetration. Besides, if the range was close enough for one piece of shot to penetrate, there should have been a bunch more with it. This makes CY point about the shot size even more pertinent.

It will be interesting to see what comes out in the end - no pun intended.

Posted by: Old Soldier at February 15, 2006 02:25 PM

Did Halliburton supply the rounds?

Posted by: the man at February 15, 2006 03:19 PM

Weren't there some pellets removed that could be measured directly? What's missing here?

Posted by: mr.ed at February 15, 2006 04:20 PM

Never trust the media when it comes to reporting on the size of a bullet or cartridge. Back when the FBI was assaulting the Branch Davidian compound, the L.A. Times, referring to the Barret .50 semi-automatic rifle in the Branch Davidians' possession, described it as a .50 caliber machine gun which fired a bullet that is 5-1/2" long.

Well, a .50 BMG cartridge is a mighty big round, and no doubt it is a fearsome thing, but there is no way in God's green earth that the bullet emanating from a .50 BMG round is 5-1/2" long.

Of course, the L.A. Times gets most things wrong these days.

Posted by: The Annoyed Man at February 15, 2006 04:33 PM

Well, lead's lead, not titanium. A spread-out shot pellet may well reach that size. Accident and media inaccuracy or not, it's a little poor-taste to take the piss here.

Posted by: Jeremy Nimmo at February 16, 2006 05:12 AM