2.14.2006

Guns Don't Kill People, The Vice-President Does

By now you know that Dick Cheney was trying to be a macho man and ended up shooting a dude in the face. I can’t think of any original jokes about it, since the ineternet and late night TV have been cranking them out at a record pace. Needless to say, The Daily Show is mandatory watching at a time like this.

So I will instead turn to Cheney’s disgusting hunting habit.

First let me say, me and hunters do not see eye to eye. I don’t want to get too deep into that argument, but the whole notion of hunting in an industrialized society makes me feel uneasy. That being said, when someone argues for hunting and talks about their respect for animals, the desire to commune with nature, how they eat or use every part of the animal, and so on and so on, I sort of understand. I guess I sort of get the big picture of hunting as bonding with nature, but I’ll never really see it as anything more than shooting animals with guns for fun. Go catch a deer with your bare hands if you want to impress me.

But what Cheney does takes it to another sick and depraved level.

Cheney was “hunting” quail on a private ranch that was established for that very purpose. The birds are not wild, they are raised in pens. At the designated time they are released, in order to be shot by fat pigs like Dick Cheney. Since they have been raised in pens, their wings aren’t very strong so they don’t fly that fast, if at all. To make it a little more interesting, some people advise getting the birds dizzy before you release them.
Whether in a bag or in a cage, it’s a good idea to swing the birds in a circle at arm’s length immediately before releasing them. A dozen times is a good rule of thumb.
Ask yourself, if Cheney was shooting at a bird in the air, why did he shoot a guy no more than six feet tall? I’m betting the bird he was gunning for could barely fly. According to reports, Cheney's party actually drove right up to the site where they shot from. How's that for communing with nature?

Where is the “sport” in this? Cheney has a long history of, pardon the pun, shooting ducks in a barrel. In 2003,

Upon his arrival at the exclusive Rolling Rock Club in Ligonier Township, gamekeepers released 500 pen-raised pheasants from nets for the benefit of him and his party. In a blaze of gunfire, the group—which included legendary Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach and U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), along with major fundraisers for Republican candidates—killed at least 417 of the birds. According to one gamekeeper who spoke to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Cheney was credited with shooting more than 70 of the pen-reared fowl.
"Hunters" particpate in pen hunts with all sorts of animals, from deer to zebras. Lord knows, when the blogosphere starts scratching the surface, there will be a whole history of Dick Cheney’s perverted hunting habits. But is it all that shocking that that a creature as vile as Dick Cheney gets his rocks off doing this sort of thing? If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. During Vietnam, when he had a chance to serve in the military and face other armed human beings, he chickened out, saying, "I had other priorities in the '60s than military service." Yet he has no problem sending other peoples sons and daughters, who might also have "other priorities", into war. When he has the chance to actually hunt wild game, he instead drives up and shoots domesticated birds.

No sense of fair play, no sense of right and wrong, and a tendency to shoot first and ask questions later. With this sort of mindset, sooner or later the shit hits the fan. For Cheney personally, now it has. But for innocent Iraqis and American soldiers, not to mention the hundreds and perhaps thousands of birds that have happened to cross his path, his recklessness and willingness to shed other's blood has been known for quite a while.
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