Thursday, February 16, 2006

Something to consider

Firstly, I concur with people like Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit who believe that the current furor over Vice-President Cheney's hunting accident is far more illustrative of the media's pathology than the VP's unsafe gunhandling.

I have read that the VP had some legal difficulties years ago as the result of alcohol - and now some are asserting that the 'delay' in alerting the authorities and the media is some sort of cover-up of the VP's intoxicated state when the accident occurred.

It is certainly possible that Mr. Cheney was intoxicated. (The best 'evidence' of this, in my opinion, is the accident itself, because the VP is an extremely experienced and accomplished wingshot) I believe, however, that it is not likely he was intoxicated - for the following reason:

Quail hunting, or any form of wingshooting (i.e. bird hunting) is, for people like the VP - a way of life. It is as all-consuming a passion as golf is for some, exercise or watching football is for others. In plainer words, Dick Cheney lives to hunt. I say this based on people I've met who have spent their lives hunting birds, on the fact that he shoots a 28 gauge gun (an expert's) and on the fact that Mr. Cheney traveled to Northern Italy to have a gun custom made for himself. For people like this, the experience of being out in the field is literally a religious one – and is treated accordingly.

Thus, hunting is much too important to be sullied by participation while intoxicated. Additionally, the performance degradation that alcohol imposes on the hand-eye coordination necessary for successful shooting is well known and no true aficionado would permit himself to thus squander an opportunity in the field.
Finally, those with him were likely of the same mind as he himself, thus, if he were ‘impaired’, the others would not have permitted him to take to the field.

This is not a legal defense, but a psychological study based on some factors known to me.

I think that what happened was very unfortunate, but not nearly as unfortunate as what is being done by the media in response to it.


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