February 16, 2006

The Quail on the Grassy Knoll, Part 2

I just read the transcript of Dick Cheney's interview with Brit Hume on Fox News, and it is obvious that the Vice President is extremely remorseful, haunted by the fact he shot a friend. The image of Cheney firing at the bird, only to see Whittington drop, obviously plays over and over again in his mind.

My heart goes out to Mr. Whittington and his family, and also to the Vice President and his family. This is traumatic for all concerned, and I wish for all of them to recover as fully as God and time allows.

That said, some of the details of this late Saturday afternoon hunt are still unclear.

Obviously, I'm still very interested in discovering if the shotgun pellet in Harry Whittington's heart is really "roughly 5 mm" as Dr. David Blanchard claimed. Odds are that the good doctor was mistaken, and I hope that this is indeed the case. Ammunition using pellets of that size, which are more suitable for goose hunting than quail hunting, are not made for the Vice President's 28-gauge shotgun. I have two emails in to media contacts at the hospital where Mr. Whittington is being treated, and hopefully they will indeed confirm this is a simple mistake in judging the size of the shot.

Another thing that perplexes me is the relative positions of the three hunters in this incident. According to the Vice President in Hume's interview:

HUME: Tell me what happened.

CHENEY: Well, basically, we were hunting quail, late in the day.

HUME: Let's recall the setting.

CHENEY: It's in South Texas, wide open spaces, a lot of brush cover, but fairly shallow, but it's wild quail. It's some of the best quail hunting any place in the country. I've gone there to the Armstrong ranch for years. The Armstrongs have been friends for over 30 years. And a group of us had hunted all day on Saturday.

HUME: How many?

CHENEY: Probably 10 people. We weren't all together, but about 10 guests at the ranch. There were two of us who had gotten out of the vehicle and walked up on a covey of quail that had been pointed by the dogs. The covey was flushed, we shot, and each of us got a bird. Harry couldn't find his. It had gone down in some deep cover, so he went off to look for it. The other hunter and I then turned and walked about 100 yards in the other direction.

HUME: Away from him?

CHENEY: Away from him, where another covey had been spotted by an outrider. I was on the far right ...

HUME: There was just two of you then?

CHENEY: Just two of us at that point, a guide and an outrider between us. And, of course, there was the entourage behind us, all the cars and so forth that follow me around when I'm out there. But the bird flushed and went to my right off to the west. I turned and shot at the bird, and at that second, saw Harry standing there. I didn't know he was there.

Here is where I start to get confused.

The three hunters - Dick Cheney, Harry Whittington, and a third hunter Cheney does not name, but self identifies herself in this CTV article as Pamela Willeford, the U.S. ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, were walking in a line when they flushed a covey of quail and all three fired and brought down birds. Cheney and Willeford were able to find their birds, but the quail Whittington shot went down in heavy cover. As Whittington sought his bird, Cheney and Willeford went off "in the other direction."

We aren't told exactly what the course change was, but most people, I think, would assume a reversal of course of 180 degrees. At this point, the explanation becomes unclear to me.

Cheney and Willeford have apparently left Whittingon somewhere behind them as they sought a second covey of quail, with Cheney explicitly stating he was on the far right. A quail flushed, as Vince President Cheney recounts:

...and went to my right off to the west. I turned and shot at the bird, and at that second, saw Harry standing there. I didn't know he was there.

Let me see if I get this.

The two hunters had separated from Whittington and had gone off in "the other direction," meaning a returning Whittington came up from either the dead rear, left rear, or right rear of the party. Let's look at how this plays out.

Whittington advances from the center rear
First off, a center rear (straight behind) situation doesn't make much sense. A hunter would have had to pivot and bend to an excessive degree to have hit Whittington, who would have been on their inside. None of these AARP-aged folks would appear to be capable of that sort of Cirque de Soleil contortion. Let's rule that out as a strong improbabability, (but not an impossibility).

That leave us with the more logical situations of Whittington angling in from either the right or left rear.

Whittington advances from the right rear

In the crude image above, the green circle represents Willeford, the blue circle represents Cheney, the red circle coming up from the right rear is Whittington, and the the black circle is the quail, with the curved, dotted line representing the bird's flight path, and the short dotted line between the blue circle (Cheney) and the red circle (Whittington) representing the path of the birdshot from Cheney's shotgun.

Assuming all three hunters were moving in roughly the same direction (towards the top of the page), what do you notice? A hunter on the right, swinging right, would have most likely shot a forward-facing Whittington on the left side. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department incident reports states that Whittington was shot on the right side of his body.

Whittington advances from the left rear
Now, I suppose it is possible for the shooter on the right to swing to the right and hit a person on their right side, but only if the victim turned aggressively inward, and it seems questionable that a 78 year-old man would have the reflexes to make that turn quickly.

It would, however, seem to make sense that a shooter on the left, swinging left, would almost certainly hit the victim on the right side as Whittington was struck.

If the hospital is correct in estimating the size of the pellet in Mr. Whittingon's heart (and that is indeed the major point of contention), then Vice President Cheney could not have fired the shot, because ammunition is not made for his shotgun using pellets of anything approaching that size.

In addition, it seems quite puzzling how a hunter on the right, swing right, could have hit Harry Whittington on the right side of his body.

I'm very glad that it appears Mr. Whittington will survive this horrible accident, and I'm glad that the Vice President has now given his side of the story.

I just wish what I've heard reported made more apparent sense.

The Quail on the Grassy Knoll

The Quail on the Grassy Knoll, Part 3

Posted by Confederate Yankee at February 16, 2006 12:02 AM | TrackBack

CY, you're theorizing is interesting, but not terribly pertinent. This is the important statement by the VP:

CHENEY: Well, ultimately, I am the guy who pulled the trigger, that fired the round that hit Harry. And you can talk about all of the other conditions that existed at the time, but that is the bottom line. And there is no — it's not Harry's fault. You can't blame anybody else. I'm the guy who pulled the trigger and shot my friend. And I say that's a day I'll never forget….

Which goes against the blame Whittington talking oints offered by the White House and others.

It is nice to see Cheney be this forthcoming.

Posted by: David (SNAFU Principle) at February 16, 2006 12:54 AM

I heard on the news that Mr. Wittington is working from his hospital bed, I'm sure there's a lawyer joke in there, but I'm not going to make it; hope he gets well soon. Just out of curiousity, does anyone know the brand of shells Cheney uses?

Posted by: Tom TB at February 16, 2006 06:06 AM

Using your second scenario (Whittington advances from the right rear): if Whittington had made a left turn to cross behind Cheney (and possibly Willeford) his right side would have been exposed to a right swinging Cheney.

My problem is in trying to understand how a piece of 7 1/2 shot made it through ribs (even going between the ribs) and through a lung to lodge next to the heart. If that kind of penetration was made, then the pellets striking the neck and head should have killed Whittington. Even an oblique penetration of the frontal area of the ribs is almost unbelievable for a piece of 7 1/2 shot to have achieved, especially on a human.

The piece of shot next to the heart is a mystery indeed.

Posted by: Old Soldier at February 16, 2006 07:33 AM

ftw: the diameter of American lead shot is calculated by subtracting the shot size from 0.17". Assuming Mr. Cheney used 7-1/2-shot the pellet diameter is 0.17 - 0.075 or 0.095". See:

Posted by: Bluepike at February 16, 2006 09:57 AM

First my heart and prayers go out to both Mr. Whittington and Vice President Cheney, obviously they have a deep meaningful friendship. (and not the kind that liberals or Willie Nelson could understand)

And I really don't particulary care about the details, the 'magical' friend is somewhat interesting.

But what does strike me is the Vice President said the bird went off to the west. According to other posts I have read the incident occurred at 5:30 pm (I'm presumming this is local/central time). I live in Louisiana which is not too far off and that is pretty close to sunset this year.

So it seems to me the shot was probably a bad call, looking to the west you'd either be blinded by the sunset or if it was cloudy/overcast it would probably be pretty dark for making a snap shot.

Posted by: NRO reader at February 16, 2006 10:13 AM

In response to Old Soldier:

The shot would not *have* to pass through lung tissue. I am not sure if you are speculating or relying on a medical report, but if this is merely speculation on your part, I can assure you (I am a physician who has done scores of autopsies) that shot can pass between ribs (where only muscle is present) to reach the pericardium (the sac that encloses the heart) without lung tissue in the path.

If, however, you are relying on a medical report that says that it passed through the lung (it would be the left upper lobe), then that's different, and I would defer to someone who knows something about ballistics to comment on that.

Posted by: Pablo at February 16, 2006 10:25 AM

There is a movie in this somewhere...........Perhaps Oliver Stone can direct........................

Posted by: Steve at February 16, 2006 11:05 AM

I suspect that we're watching another interesting medical phenomenon, with several commenters having their legs come off in CY's hands.

Pablo, the doctors have several times talked about the pellet migrating to the heart. I'm not sure that we need to think too much about ballistic penetration. Expecting a 0.08g soft lead pellet to penetrate the intercostals, miss the ribs, and penetrate to the pericardium ballistically seems to be asking a lot.

Someone call Arlen Specter?

Posted by: Charles Martin at February 16, 2006 11:17 AM

NRO Reader -

It's south texas, open fields.

Sunset in Houston is about 6:15 right now, it will be a bit later further south.

At 5:30 there should have been plenty of light (it was a very clear weekend here in Texas) though the sun could have been in his eyes if he were looking directly into it.

I think when a guy says "other direction" and "west" , etc. he's speaking in generalities, not for purposes of constructing a word problem for a math class.

Posted by: Tumbling Dice at February 16, 2006 11:40 AM

So a 7 1/2 shot is about 2.5 mm in diatmeter rather than 5 mm. The doc is off by a factor of 2. A bit surprising, but not completely out of the question.

Posted by: ginger at February 16, 2006 11:41 AM

So a 7 1/2 shot is about 2.5 mm in diameter rather than 5 mm. The doc is off by a factor of 2. A bit surprising, but not completely out of the question.

Posted by: ginger at February 16, 2006 11:41 AM

I think the premise upon which you base the rest of the scenario is flawed. When someone says that they went off in "the other direction" while they are moving forward across a field, it doesn't mean that they turned and walked in the opposite direction. Remember, they had already hunted there. You don't just do a 180. Whittington's bird went off to one side of their direction of travel, so when he veered off from their straight line of travel, they veered off in the other direction.

One veers to the right, the other to the left. Or vice versa.

Posted by: GunGeek at February 16, 2006 11:43 AM

Now, I suppose it is possible for the shooter on the right to swing to the right and hit a person on their right side, but only if the victim turned aggressively inward, and it seems questionable that a 78 year-old man would have the reflexes to make that turn quickly.

He's spry enough to be out there all day hunting, he sees the VP swinging on him, I think an instinctive "spin and crouch" isn't all that far-fetched.

And the shot got to the heart via the bloodstream, not as a result of the shooting itself.

Posted by: roogue at February 16, 2006 11:49 AM

But what about the magic birdshot? Need more detail. Like did Whittingford's head move back and to the left, back and to the left, back and to the left? Toward or away from the grassy knoll?

Posted by: Scooby dooby doo at February 16, 2006 12:34 PM

As an avid quail hunter, I find the VP's explanation entirely plausible. Assume the following scenario:

The three hunters get the first covey up with Cheney (C) in the center and Whittington (W) on the right. W looks for his downed bird somewhere in the 2-4 O'clock area while the other two hunters veer to the left and continue hunting. After going 100 yards or so they encounter another covey. Meanwhile W has found his bird and is heading back toward the hunt. Given that the terrain would include brush, mesquite and other obstacles it is doubtful that either C and the other hunter (H) or W would have gone in a straight line during any of this action. Say when W gets to the group he is coming from 4 or 5 O'clock behind C and attempting to walk behind C and H when C, following the quail's flight turns to his right rear and fires. It is entirely plausible that W is facing not "forward", but at a right angle behind C and H about 30 yards away as described by C. If that is what happened then C could have shot W in the right side of his shoulder and head.

Posted by: WillyT at February 16, 2006 12:41 PM

The truth will come out. Chaney had no valid hunting license. The entire party was inebriated. Chaney was using birdshot made with depleted uranium. Before the "hunt" quail were apprehended by security forces, drugged and "softened up" in preparation for the hunt, then released. I expect these facts to be reported on Democracy Now very soon.

Posted by: Zhombre at February 16, 2006 01:00 PM

No wonder you are confused. You begin with an assumption -- that Cheney walked 180* away from Whittington -- and then pile on one assumption after another. When Cheney says he walked in "the other direction", the most you can reasonably understand that mean is that he walked in a direction other than the direction Whittington walked in. That sets up all kinds of possibilities for Cheney swinging on Whittington as he was approaching from the flank.

Your life must be very complicated.

Posted by: RightWingConspiracy at February 16, 2006 01:17 PM

The linked report says "right" side, but includes a diagram showing left-side trauma. Which do we buy?

Posted by: J Garrison at February 16, 2006 01:29 PM


Other than the fact that it is spelled "Cheney" you have other problems in your post. Cheney did have a valid hunting license. He did not have a $7 stamp for - what was it -"upland bird game" - something like that. If you can't find the link to the actual news stories about that, instead of listerning to your friends opinions, I would be glad to post it for you. But you could start with google.....

I laugh every time I think about this whole uproar. Accidents happen. To everybody. It is a done deal. Get over it.

Posted by: Specter at February 16, 2006 01:57 PM

As WillyT mentioned, the area they were hunting in was covered by brush. It's very likely that Whittington, in a hurry to catch up to his party and the brush blocking his view, got ahead of the group. When the quail covey was flushed into flight, he realized his error and had turned to retrace his steps when he was shot. That would account for the injuries being on Whittington's right side.

This was a tragic error with blame on all parties. But, as Cheney said, it's the guy who pulls the trigger who is ultimately responsible.

Posted by: David Walser at February 16, 2006 02:14 PM

Well, something is certainly amiss...

If you look at the diagram on the Fish and Wildlife report, the left side of the body is shown shaded, while the right side of the body is identified as the side hit.

Why would a person that is swinging right "most likely" hit a person behind them on the left?

That would only make sense if you swung past the person behind you. In which case, you would have a greater chance to have seen the person before pulling the trigger. However, even in that case it would have only been a split second.

If you take the text at it's word, and not the diagram, the guy was hit on the right. That means that Cheney pulled the trigger before he swung past Whittington. Also from the diagram it looks like he only received part of the shotgun pattern, say 20% of the 180 degrees of a shotgun pattern. It would seem to indicate that Cheneys gun was aimed slightly above Whittington.

I'd recommend anyone who has questions on this go play or watch a round of skeet to see the dynamics involved in bird shooting.

Posted by: keith, Indy at February 16, 2006 02:29 PM

Another thing wrong with your scenario is you assume that Whittington made a straight beeline back to the hunting party.

Posted by: keith, indy at February 16, 2006 02:34 PM
No wonder you are confused. You begin with an assumption -- that Cheney walked 180* away from Whittington -- and then pile on one assumption after another. When Cheney says he walked in "the other direction", the most you can reasonably understand that mean is that he walked in a direction other than the direction Whittington walked in.

If I told most people that if they went left and that I was going to go in "the other direction," which way would the vast majority of people think I was going?

In any even the final police report is out. Make of it what you will. The police are satisfied, and as poorly written as their description of the event is, I suppose I should be as well.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at February 16, 2006 02:45 PM

I'm hoping someone can help me out here. While I'm aware that Texas has rather permissive gun laws as states go (hurrah for Texas on that one), it seems to me that an unanswered question is, whether any one of us would get off with a warning for doing the same thing.

And another thing: why doesn't anyone have a problem with that?

Direct responses to my yahoo address on this issue (constructive ones, please!) are welcome.

Posted by: David L Alexander at February 16, 2006 02:59 PM

It is a little confusing, but it would seem that Whittington hooked up with Armstrong at the cars after retrieving his birds. He then headed in the direction of the hunting party.

Posted by: keith, indy at February 16, 2006 03:03 PM

If Big Dick saw him drop, then he saw him standing, which means there was a human in his sights when he squeezed the trigger. Conclusion? Inebriation, palsy, heart medication, dull wits or shitty hunter skills prevented his synapses from putting the brakes on his trigger finger. Since the first thing he did when he got to the cabin was pour himself a cocktail, I'd say the guy was hunting with a buzz. I know I always make sure I'm drinking when the cops arrive to my latest DUI accident.

Posted by: Harry DiBoner at February 16, 2006 03:05 PM

David - I would guess that it depends on a number of factors.

Severity of injuries
Flight Risk
Past occurances
Reliability of witnesses

Posted by: keith, indy at February 16, 2006 03:11 PM

Harry - that's just pure BS conjecture on your part.

You are swinging towards your target in an arc, shotgun at your shoulder, cheek pressed against the stock. It is likely that Whittington was partially obscured by the shotgun during the split second that this happened in.

And you can certainly be so fixated on your target that you wouldn't see a person standing slighlty below your point of view.

Posted by: keith, indy at February 16, 2006 03:19 PM

I do think you're overthinking this. If I saw someone swinging a firearm at me, I'd most likely yelp (okay, it would sound like a girl's high-pitched scream, but it'd be a yelp, honest!), then drop to the ground.

Whittington ain't as young as me. I expect he'd spin away as he tried to crouch. The direction he'd spin results in the placement of shot.

'Course, now, if Zhombre is correct in his conspiracy-type thinking, the Secret Service (notice the initials are SS? Coincidence? Riiight!) propped Whittington up, blindfolded, and Cheney shot him as a warning to Libs and RINOs to watch their steps!

Posted by: benning at February 16, 2006 03:46 PM

Granted, I'm no bird hunter. But I suspect a flushed covy of quail present a starkly different profile than an earthbound human. What with the wings and all.Isn't the hunter's first lesson to know what you're shooting at before firing? Unless your synapses aren't firing properly owing to them swimming in Cutty Sark. That's how you end up shooting a 78 year old man in the face, or wake up next to Anne Coulter -- a truly gruesome thought.

Posted by: Harry at February 16, 2006 03:46 PM

Here's a straight forward scenario. The party was walking north when the first covey flushed. The party fired, and all three shot quail. The VP and the Ambassador retrieved their birds, and wheeled back north leaving Mr. Whittington to retrieve his bird. Whittington does so and tries to catch up.

At that point, the VP is on the right since Whittington has dropped out of the line. Unbeknownst to the VP, though, he's coming up from behind and on the right. Another covey flushes. The VP wheels right and west, fires and hits Mr. Whittington as he closes on the line.

Admittedly, the official record on where Whittington was hit seems confused. As Whittington closes on the line, he almost certainly would be trying to make visual contact with the VP so as to get back into a safe position. He apparently didn't make any kind of verbal contact. Maybe he didn't want to spook the shooters. I really don't know the protocol. As he advances on the line, it seems likely to me that he saw the VP wheeling toward him. My guess is that it happened so quickly that he either didn't have time to yell, or that the gun's report drowned out any yell. Perhaps, he tried to take cover. If it was me, I think I'd probably try to turn away and drop. Given this scenario, it's feasible that Whittington could have been hit on either side depending on which way he tried to turn.

There are other plausible scenarios, too.

Either way, the VP is at fault as he has admitted. It seems to me, though, that Whittington probably should have let him know that he was closing.

Hunters' what's the protocol?

Posted by: Old Dad at February 16, 2006 03:54 PM

Jeez, I would have thought the "depleted uranium" would have been a giveaway that Zhombre's tongue was pretty firmly in his cheek. We're not going too fast for you guys, are we?

Posted by: Assistant Village Idiot at February 16, 2006 04:30 PM

Keith, Harry, Dad, et al:

Whatever the scenario, whatever the mitigating circumstances, even Mr Cheney himself is smart enough to know, that the ultimate responsibility for what happened, is with the guy who pulled the trigger. Anybody who has undergone one minute of training in the use of firearms (including any Boy Scout with a merit badge in Marksmanship, which from my younger days includes me) knows this. Come to think of it, I actually know someone who thought of this besides yours truly:

Posted by: David L Alexander at February 16, 2006 04:33 PM

Just to confuse things a little more the sheriff department's report says Cheney pivoted counterclockwise which I would take to mean to his left.

Posted by: James B. Shearer at February 16, 2006 04:41 PM

I'd like to congratulate Mr. Cheney on his concern for his friend (which to me more than explains the delay in reporting to the press) and his choice in firearms. The Italians sure know how to make shotguns. IMHO.

Last time I was out shooting, when tracking the clay my attention was on where I was aiming. So, if I was tracking to the right and someone was too my right I'd have not seen them until after they had passed to the left of my barrel. And depending on elevation, I may or may not have seen them if I was still tracking a target. Explains why he didn't see Harry until after shooting to me. Less focus on the air and more on where the bird was falling at that point.

Posted by: Jim in WA at February 16, 2006 04:59 PM

David - nothing I've said takes the onus off of Cheney. I am mearly backing up that the explaination given is reasonable.

I've never hunted birds, but I have shot skeet and trap. Even on a tightly controlled range, accidents do still happen. If someone where to be walking where they weren't supposed to be, it is very likely they would have gotten peppered to some extent.

Shooting skeet, and hunting ground birds, is an entirely different sport then hunting deer, turkey, geese, or duck.

Posted by: Keith, Indy at February 16, 2006 06:35 PM

If I told most people that if they went left and that I was going to go in "the other direction," which way would the vast majority of people think I was going?

I don't know what the vast majority of people would think. tv watchers would say, "You'd go right." On the other hand, people who think before they speak might ask for more information (e.g., is there anything blocking you from walking 180* away from me?) The point I'm making is that your entire exercise is based on an assumption upon which you overlay additional assumptions. At the end of the day, regardless of the number of diagrams, it's only one of an infinite number of scenarios that can be asserted with equal authority because any assumption at the beginning is equally plausible.

Posted by: RightWingConspiracy at February 16, 2006 06:49 PM

It appears that the ranch manager actually videotaped the shooting! Check it out here:

Posted by: John at February 16, 2006 10:54 PM

Were we really supposed to take this post seriously...I thought, and still think, that it was meant to be funny. Everybody forgot to factor in to the account that Cheney was drunk and that he really didn't know which way he was turning.

Posted by: Mike at February 16, 2006 11:37 PM


"If someone where to be walking where they weren't supposed to be, it is very likely they would have gotten peppered to some extent."

I quite agree, Keith, and from everything I've read, including diagrams of who stood where and when, it all makes sense. But it still brings me back to my original (and as yet unanswered) question: "...whether any one of us would get off with a warning for doing the same thing."

Yes, Keith, accidents happen. The rest of us face consequences for them. Will the Vice President?

Posted by: David L Alexander at February 17, 2006 09:01 AM

What we all have to remember is that there is only one Vice President of the USA at any given time. He has an entourage of Secret Service agents that travel with him constantly, as well as a medical detail. We can project a scenario from our own hunting experiences, but they don't match the VP's. He is never alone.

Posted by: Tom TB at February 17, 2006 09:45 AM

"We can project a scenario from our own hunting experiences, but they don't match the VP's. He is never alone."

Yes, but how does this affect the consequences for his actions?

Posted by: David L Alexander at February 17, 2006 10:19 AM

David, his injured buddy is doing his legal work while recovering in the hospital, and has no intention of pressing charges. Dick Cheney has claimed full responsibility for pulling the trigger. What more do you want?

Posted by: Tom TB at February 17, 2006 11:00 AM


Kingsville Dispatch
"Sheriff Fines Cheney $100 For Only Wounding Lawyer"

National Review Online
"Shot Came From Grassy Noll"

Dallas Morning News
"Red States Poll Shows Cheney Shooting Was Justifiable"

Austin Statesman
"Cheney Says Victim's Quail Call Was Best He Ever Heard"

Washington Post
"Cheney Prevents Hunting Party From Field Dressing Shooting Victim"

The Nation
"Cheney Drove Shooting Victim to Hospital Tied to The Hood of His Car"

Texas Medical Association Bulletin
"Corpus Christi Hospital To Do Jackass Face Transplant On Cheney Shooting Victim"

San Antonio Express/News
"Sneaky Lawyer Tactics Don't Work On Cheney"

Houston Chronicle
"Personal Injury Lawyers Hold Candlelight Vigil Outside Cheney Victim Hospital"

Wyoming Tribune Eagle
"Cheney Friends Decline Fall Duck Hunting Invitation"

La Raza
"Cheney Shooting Victim Gets Emergency Room Priority Over Illegal Aliens"

Vegan News
"Cheney Shooting Victim Converts To Vegetarian In Hospital"

NRA American Rifleman
"Witnesses Claim Cheney Only Feathered Lawyer"

New Orleans Times Picayune
"Getting 'Dicked' Has All New Meaning"

Posted by: Retired Spy at February 17, 2006 02:29 PM


Posted by: the other bob at February 17, 2006 02:47 PM

Tom, thou hast writ:

"What more do you want?"

In one word -- "consequences."

To elaborate (which would appear necessary...)

I coulda guessed what you told me without picking up a newspaper. I submit any one of us might have been looking at a few days in the slammer, if nothing else.

Posted by: David L Alexander at February 17, 2006 03:57 PM


On what basis do you make the claim that:

any one of us might have been looking at a few days in the slammer, if nothing else.

That is all very well and good to say, but do you have any evidence to support this? Accidents involving injuries are not necessarily or automatically crimes.

Posted by: Confederaet Yankee at February 17, 2006 04:24 PM

"Accidents involving injuries are not necessarily or automatically crimes."

They are more likely to be when they involve a gun. At least in other states. I dunno, maybe in Texas, this is considered "just a scratch."

My point (and I do have one) is to pose the question of whether there would be consequences (there's that nasty word again), if this were to be the average Joe, as opposed to someone in high office.

Posted by: David L Alexander at February 17, 2006 04:44 PM

Just another conspiracy, huh David? Forget about is a done deal...Move along folks...Nothing to see here.

Better start looking for the next "Scandal du Jour"

Posted by: Specter at February 17, 2006 11:13 PM


I think you have me mixed up with someone who thinks Cheney has something to hide. I don't. It seems to me worthwhile to know how the law would handle this if the shooter were any one of us.

Fortunately, it took awhile, but CNN finally came through for me, by going out on a limb and interviewing local law enforcement about it:

"Though hunting accidents occasionally warrant warnings or citations, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department spokesman Aaron Reed said criminal charges are not filed in shootings that authorities determine to be accidental... 'There are no charges for hunting accidents,' Reed wrote in an e-mail, explaining that citations or warnings are sometimes issued for code violations."

Now this is what some people would call "a straight answer." Which is all I ever really wanted. That, and knowing that Mr Whittington is doing very well under the circumstances.

My work here is done...

Posted by: David L Alexander at February 18, 2006 12:34 PM

Apologies David if I sized you up wrong.

There are so many people that feel that if something goes wrong somebody should face criminal charges nowadays, that I mistook you for one. It used to be that people knew that "accidents happen". Now it is "accidents happen and someone must pay." IT drives me nuts.

Posted by: Specter at February 19, 2006 06:52 PM