March 2, 2006

Dead-Eye Dick

The fascination of shooting as a sport depends on whether you are at the right or the wrong end of the gun.

P. G. Wodehouse

I haven't read any believable explanation as to why vice president Dick Cheney didn't inform the press until four days after he shot Harry Whittington while hunting quail. I believe that he spent those four days trying to come up with an excuse. A fourth grade student might have come up with one. The classic "the dog ate my eyeglasses" just wouldn't work. However, "I put my reading glasses in my hunting jacket instead of my distance glasses," might be believable. Perhaps, "Harry's nose looked like a quail's beak." How about "The sun was in my eyes" or " I didn't know that my cataracts were this bad." Well, he didn't come up with any excuse. A politician without an excuse is the equivalent of a city dog owner without a shovel.

I tried hunting for several years and quit when I realized that I had neither the aptitude, the training, nor the time. However, I did learn the basic rule that you look before you shoot, not after. I once went hunting snowshoe rabbits with a real expert. While I frightened a lot of rabbits, my friend was shooting them in the head with a shotgun, while I didn't bag a single one. If I could have done what he did, I might have continued hunting. Instead I decided to spare the world one more dangerous person with a loaded gun. There is no doubt in my mind that Dick Cheney with a loaded gun is a menace and that he should pack it in. If he needs an outdoor hobby, why not golf. It would be a lot harder to hit a person with a golf ball than with a 28 gage shotgun loaded with buckshot, no matter how hard he might try.

Nothing like this incident has ever happened in American political history. It should serve as a warning about the potential for real political mischief. I suggest that congress pass a law forbidding the president and vice president from ever hunting together. The temptation would be too great.

Despite the Secret Service, death by assassination is a real risk for a president. I have a theory that some presidential candidates choose a vice president to run with them whom no one, Democrat or Republican, would want to be president. An example would be George H.W.Bush's veep Dan Quayle. Oh well, like father like son.

That incident has also altered my attitude toward prayer. I have considered joining president Bush's fundamentalist Christian allies in praying for the health of the president. Should any fatal mishap happen, I would prefer that it happen to the vice president. I don't think much of the president, but compared to the vice president, George W. Bush is a gem.

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