Chaney's Hunting Accident
Dick Cheney should be congratulated for making headlines of our point
that hunting isn’t safe. We all know that hunting isn’t safe for animals,
but our statements that hunting isn’t safe for people have fallen on deaf
Of course the hunt facility and the White House are reporting that no
one should worry, the accident was minor and Harry Whittington’s just
fine, thank you. But a Corpus Christi newspaper reported that Harry spent
a night or two in intensive care in a hospital before being transferred to
their trauma center. The doctors said that removing the lead shot that
“peppered” his face, neck and chest could be more hazardous than leaving
it. How frustrating it must be for this obviously successful lawyer that
he cannot, if he wishes to stay in the good graces of the Bush
administration, even bring a lawsuit for so much bodily harm.
Privilege has its advantages. Cheney gets to shoot someone, albeit
accidentally, and the only consequences are a few lousy jokes made at his
“expense,” so to speak. The consequences to others are far more serious.
Now a man will live with leadshot in his body, “upland game birds” are
living, dying, or dead with leadshot in them, raptors and carrion feeders
have ingested or will ingest lead on the far from pristine property that
is a hunt site for the rich.
One of the most galling aspects is realizing who paid for Cheney’s
pleasure trip to kill birds. You got it, you and I did. What surfaced
during his latest hunting trip was that Cheney travels with a medical team
and no doubt a slew of bodyguards, and at least to one hunting
destination, he arrived in grand style on Air Force Two. On December 9,
2003, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported:
“For the second time in two years, Vice President Dick Cheney arrived
at daybreak at Arnold Palmer Airport in Latrobe. Air traffic was halted
briefly at about 7 a.m. as Air Force Two landed and Cheney's security
detail loaded him and his favorite shotgun into a Humvee and drove up U.S.
Route 30 to the exclusive country club.” Do we also pay his fees to the
On October 30 2001, just days following 9/11 when we thought Cheney was
attending to the nation’s serious business, the Poughkeepsie Journal [New
''Yes, the vice president was in the Town of Poughkeepsie… Several
residents complained about the traffic local roads created when several
were closed for security Sunday…Monday the vice president was at the rod
and gun Club on Clove Mountain Road for several hours. It wasn't clear
what Cheney was hunting for; hunters at the private club generally shoot
pheasant and ducks…there were at least a half-dozen New York State Police
cars, an ambulance and several black vans or sport utility vehicles, some
with license plates from the State of Maryland. Men inside the vehicles
wore jackets with an American flag on the sleeve and the words ''Secret
Service'' on the breast. Others wore high-laced boots and black clothing,
with the words ''Police Secret Service'' on the back…By mid-afternoon, the
echo of gunshots could be heard in the distance.
The Union Vale Fire Department's Clove Station and the ambulance crew,
which is down the road from the gun club, were on standby Sunday and
Monday. ''We made sure we had enough people on to cover our equipment,''
Assistant Fire Chief Loren Pickney said. They were not called on. The
closest the volunteers got to the vice president was watching his
motorcade drive by. ''It was an easy detail,'' Pickney said.
I suppose that with a national debt sloshing over eight trillion
dollars, Cheney’s contribution to it seems like a drop in the bucket, but
I still think that this man’s obvious addiction to hunting is far too
costly for the American public. (www.all-creatures.org/cash)
Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting
New Paltz, NY 12561