Monday, February 13

Cheney's Hunting Incident Good Opportunity to Remember Hunting Safety

As we have all heard by now, our Vice President accidentally shot a fellow hunter this weekend. Now, I don't think that Cheney is guilty here of anything. However, he was almost certainly negligent of basic gun and hunting safety rules.

This incident bears remembering the common-sense rules that I, along with almost every Montanan I know, were taught during hunting safety class. First among those rules is to always keep your weapon pointed in a safe direction, and make it your business to know where everyone in your party is located.

A basic refresher on some of these rules can be found here.

Accidents happen, and in this case no one was seriously hurt (apparently). However, the Vice President should use this incident as an opportunity to exhort all of us to refresh our hunting safety skills.


The Raving Norseman said...

I'm not a hunter, so my comments should be viewed with caution and ignored where appropriate. ;)

But based on how I've heard the incident described, it seems to me that the only way an accident wouldn't take place in this situation is if no one ever fired a shot at all. Whittington wasn't where he had said he would be. Cheney fired at an area in which he had been assured there were no people. How more certain could he be without letting the birds fly away and walking over there to double-check? How would anyone get any birds that way?

Treasure State Jew said...

I am a hunter. The one thing that I have always learned was that once you squeeze that trigger, you can't take it back.

You need to KNOW what is in front of your barrel before you shoot. In general, that means not swinging around and blindly shooting.

It is not enough to be "assured" that there were no people there. You ONLY shoot where you KNOW there are no people there.

I am not saying that Cheney committed any crime or was legally negligent. Accidents happen. However, he should take responsibility. Every hunter is responsible for their shots.

In that instance, it would be better to let that covey get away than to risk hitting another. There will always be another opportunity.

The paper today has my blood boiling. Trying to shift the "blame" onto the guy who got shot is just bad cricket.

a-fire-fly said...

I am a hunter and I have let animals stroll away because I was Not Absolutely Sure where that bullet could go. You cannot take it back. I'm sorry doesn't help. You are absolutely correct Norseman. If he had not fired that gun the accident would not have happened. The birds would have flown away. And the Vice President would not have shot someone.

The Raving Norseman said...

You guys are right that it can't be taken back once the trigger has been pulled, and I guess I'm in the same position as the paper in that I'm blaming the victim for not remaining where he said he would. But my question, worded so poorly that firefly thought I was stating the opposite, stands: how does anyone ever pull a trigger?

This, by the way, is one of the reasons I'm not a hunter. I'd never be sure enough, so I'd never get a shot off. Every covey would get away.

By the way, I think Cheney should make a statement about hunting safety, and take reponsibility. He should be standing next to Whittington, who should then also take responsibility for hunting unsafely.

Treasure State Jew said...

Except Whittington had a heart attack today, after one of the pellets apparently reached his heart.

Communication with everyone in your hunting party isn't rocket science. However, everyone has to act responsibly and wear their orange.

Even in the best situation, accidents happen (which is why I don't think the Cheney is guilty of anything here). In the case in question, everyone was wearing their orange and Cheney apparently thought he know where his buddy was standing. However, you have to own up to your accidents.