Thursday, February 16, 2006

Notes from a Liberal Who Hunts (but not a Liberal-Hunter)

Would Sam Alito have shot Harry Whittington? I have no idea. Like Dick Cheney, Alito also claims to be a hunter. I hope Alito can hit the quail instead of the lawyer, but you never know.

It's amateur hour down in Texas. All the NRA types are either stunningly silent about the Vice President's latest target, or they're blaming the victim for being behind Cheney. Literally behind Cheney.

I might have mentioned that I grew up hunting.

Here are the four rules I learned at my hunter safety class, when I was 14:

1. The gun is always loaded.
2. Know your target, and beyond.
3. Use a safe field of fire.
4. Control the muzzle of your gun.

I've known the first rule since the first time I touched a gun. I think I was three. The second came with my first round of target practice, at 5. The third and fourth arrived with my very first attempt to shoot skeet, at 8.

My point: Anybody who has ever learned about guns or hunting can recite these rules by rote... in my case, roughly 30 years after first hearing them. In fact, before I could get my first hunting license, I had to recite them. But I've also had to live them.

Why are all these hunters running around saying our illustrious Vice President is also a great hunter? He's not even a great shot.

Cheney had the same four rules the rest of us had. How come he gets to break three of them? How can he possibly be a good hunter? He shot a guy who was behind him. And then his handlers and hosts blamed the victim... for standing behind Cheney. Sort of like his handlers blamed the messenger on that whole WMD thing. Whoops.

One question: Where was Whittington supposed to stand? In front of the Vice President? In retrospect, he might have been safer.

Here's another rule Cheney broke: All good hunters are safe hunters. Period. No exceptions.

How can Alan Simpson, a guy I've always respected, stand up and announce that Cheney is one of the best hunters he's ever seen? Is it only because they're both from Wyoming, and they served together in Congress? I mean, if Simpson actually believes what he said, he needs to surrender his hunting license. Or maybe he should go quail hunting with Cheney.

Message to the gun lobby:

Good hunters don't shoot other hunters.

Who taught me that? For starters, my grandfather and my uncle. But I learned the exact same thing at my hunter safety course, sponsored by the NRA, conducted by an NRA member.

Let's say it again: Good hunters don't shoot other hunters. I've written it twice so even Ann Coulter can understand it (I mean, I hope she can understand it, because I've read that she owns a gun). Cheney himself (finally) admitted the shooting was his fault.

Here's our Vice President's record, by the way:

1. One unfinished Ph.D.
2. Two drunk driving convictions (one up on his nominal boss).
3. Five draft deferments (which certainly qualified him to be Secretary of Defense).
4. One wounded hunting buddy.

I'll bet Justice Scalia is breathing a giant sigh of relief right about now. There but for the grace of God and all.




Blogger M. G. Tarquini said...

Psst. So you know. I laughed. Don't tell anyone. Some of my best friends work at the Dept of Homeland security - they just don't know it. And neither do it.

4:01 PM, February 17, 2006  
Anonymous jamie ford said...

Ah, hunting.

I live in Big Sky Country, and while I'm not that into hunting, I have killed a few animals for sport (and the BBQ).

I'm amazed at some of the knuckleheads we allow to wield a gun. A guy here shot a Llama thinking it was a deer. Not only did he shoot it; he tagged it and took it to a place to be processed. Amazing what you can do with a .270 and a case of Lucky Lager.

Did you happen to see Letterman last night? He featured a new Covergirl product--Birdshot Concealer.

2:59 PM, February 21, 2006  
Blogger Adam Hurtubise said...

Exactly, Jamie.

I missed Letterman, but I hear all the late-night folks are having a field day with this.

Imagine what would happen if all the late-night hosts were familiar with guns. Then nobody would be buying this "It's Harry's fault" spin.


10:58 PM, February 21, 2006  
Blogger Sean Chercover said...

Adam - allow me to add one to the excellent list of 4 rules that you learned in hunting class. This one I learned at PI school, qualifying to carry:

5. Never point a gun at anything that you are not willing to destroy.

3:08 PM, July 07, 2007  

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