2/13/2006

Buckshot

The whole anti-Bush/Cheney hunting accident is reaching a fever pitch in the liberal blogosphere. My personal favorite is this post from over at Matt Singer's site, where "Gerik" breathlessly informs us that, in his opinion, "hunting without an appropriate licence [sic] and shooting your friend in the head makes you a poor hunter and bad person." [Emphasis mine]

First of all, a missing bird stamp does not a poacher make. Apparently it is a deficiency that is easily remedied after the fact by sending in the fee of..what?...oh yeah, 7 bucks.

Second, all of the self-righteous losers piling on are really sort of a joke. Ok, Gerik, you think a hunting accident makes you a "bad person?" Ever run a red light? Push your luck on a left hand turn in the face of oncoming traffic? Squeeeeeeze one a little too close for comfort passing on a two lane highway? Puh-leeeze. How many people die every year in auto accidents vs. traffic accidents?

Did Cheney do something really stupid? Sure. Was it an accident? Of course. (Or not?) You guys are so blinded by your hatred for this Administration that you have completely lost perspective. What's next? Impeach Bush for a fender bender?

10 comments:

Treasure State Jew said...

100% on the mark. However, the story this morning about the WH shifting the blame onto they guy Cheney shot is just bad pool.

Wulfgar said...

all of the self-righteous losers piling on are really sort of a joke.

Wait a second. In all the years I've used firearms, the first thing in my mind is the first thing that I was taught in hunter's safety, which was that you check your target and beyond. I think that more than just implies that you don't wheel around and fire behind you. Does knowing this make me a "self-rightious loser"? At least I've never shot anyone in the face before.

And GeeGuy, it's a poor tactic of argumentation to claim that risking your own butt with poor driving choices is the same as shooting a gun at someone else's face. That's an improper analogy if ever I've heard one.

Furthermore, it doesn't support your point. Did Cheney do something really stupid? Yes. Was this, then, an accident? No, not so much at all. It was the stupid causing harm to others.

If anyone has lost perspective, it's those who would defend Cheney for doing something "really stupid" just to disagree with those who don't like him. It shows a greater distaste for those who use words you don't agree with than for a man who stupidly shot someone in the face. That's a true loss of perspective.

GeeGuy said...

One problem, Wulfgar. With a tap of your keyboard, you create a distinction that doesn't exist.

"Risking your own butt with poor driving...?" No, when you risk your own butt, you often risk other, innocent people's butts. And you're telling me that discharging a firearm without being sure of your target is somehow more egregious or risky than passing in a no passing zone? I would bet that, in "all the years" you've been driving cars, the first thing you were taught in drivers ed was follow the traffic laws. Ever push a yellow/red light? Well, my friend, it would be nice if you were only endangering your own self, but I have tried numerous cases that would demonstrate the contrary is true. So the analogy is entirely proper. Both Cheney's accident and an auto accident involve the negligent use of a dangerous instrumentality.

Let's see, because Cheney did something stupid, it wasn't an accident? I can't argue with that logic, Wulfgar, because it doesn't exist.

Look, I enjoy your posts even though I usually disagree with you. So I'll grant you this: When I think of the notion of an accident, it is anything that is not intentional. Thus, it is negligent, or grossly negligent. I don't think you are saying he was trying to kill the guy, so I can only assume you contend he was grossly negligent, and that a basic auto accident is mere simple negligence. I'll admit that is a legitimate point, although I do not necessarily agree. But to play a game of semantics about whether it was "stupid" or an "accident" really does not advance the debate.

My point was that there are all kinds of accidents (gross negligence and otherwise) that result in people getting hurt. Do you really contend that someone who negligently causes injury to another is a "bad person?" Or just Cheney 'cause you can't stand him?

Wulfgar said...

So the analogy is entirely proper. Both Cheney's accident and an auto accident involve the negligent use of a dangerous instrumentality.

Ummm, not so much. In an auto accident, blame is accessed, and people are punished. You know this as do I. Yet I use this to show that Cheney had no risk involved and is therefore liable to a greater degree, and you claim that I am wrong for doing so because others risk themselves, and are yet held liable? These things are not the same. And to make them so exposes the VP more by your account of liability. He screwed up, really badly. And my assessment of that wouldn't change one iota even if I accepted that people act stupid every day (your defense).

Let's see, because Cheney did something stupid, it wasn't an accident? I can't argue with that logic, Wulfgar, because it doesn't exist.

Again, you are equivocating. It was what we refer to as an "accident". But in your defense of the VP, you forget that accidents are not held blameless. Accident or no, there is fault here. You would do better accepting that than you would holding us "losers" to blame for pointing that out.

And you are correct that I do not find this to be an intentional event. Cheney screwed up, in a huge way, several times. First, not following the basic rules of gun safety. Second is the passive attempt for this event not to hit the press. I don't find that nefarious; I find it to be truly stupid. If this is a case of gross negligence, and I think it is, then the error is compounded by Cheney's refusal to speak of it, and the WH attempts to downplay the significance (with the help of bloggers such as yourself, I might add). There is a story here, and not so much a debate. The VP shot a man in the face, stupidly. What is to be debated?

Do you really contend that someone who negligently causes injury to another is a "bad person?" Or just Cheney 'cause you can't stand him?

I think Cheney is a bad person for reasons that have nothing to do with his poor firearm skills. But that's not the point and you know it. This guy is the next in line to become President of the United States of America. Is he worthy? Hell no. Canned hunts? How awful can you be? He was stupid (your word) enough to shoot a guy in the face with a shotgun. Is he a bad person? I don't know and I don't care. Is he a bad VP? Oh sweet God, yes he is.

Don't be obtuse enough to think that Cheney is the "everyman" you deal with in court. He isn't. And telling us such is an insult. We aren't that bad, we aren't that important, and we shouldn't have to suck up to those who are who do "really stupid" things.

Melody said...

No, impeach Bush for lying to the American public about spying on them. That's what he should be impeached for.

GeeGuy said...

Wulfgar, I wish I had more time to debate with you, but I am caught up in a case right now, so I'll be brief.

First, I am not in any way trying to suggest the points you raise are not legitimate or arguable. I do not think, though, they are as clear as you suggest.

Second, I do not think Cheney is to be held "blameless," and, in fact, like anyone else who injures someone in an accident he will be civilly liable. Maybe I am drawing too fine of a distinction here. There is a distinction between a civil wrong and a criminal wrong. Generally, criminal conduct requires a malicious intent. A civil wrong usually stems from a failure to be as careful as one should.

Criminal intent places us in the arena of punishment; civil negligence results in liability for damages. But we do not normally as a society impugn one's nature, morality or integrity for negligence. (Sometimes we do in cases of gross negligence, and if that is what you are saying, you have a legitimate point.) But what Cheney did is probably not criminal (State law quetion, I'm not admitted in Texas), but many of the left-ward bloggers are treating it as though he committed a crime. I think that goes too far. Is he "blameless?" No. Does an accident render someone a "bad person?" No. If this is the new standard from the left (that, in order to be morally capable of holding office one must be free from negligence), then so be it. Let's just apply it fairly from now on.

Thanks, as always, for the reasoned discussion.

Jim Rohrich said...

It was a stupid accident. That's it. And Melody... get a grip.

Jack said...

There's a new bumper sticker out today:

"I'd rather go hunting with Dick Cheney than riding in a car with Teddy Kennedy"

Anonymous said...

Yea- at least if Dick shoots you, you get immediate emergency care. Kennedy would just run away and we'd see how your health was the next day.

SallyT said...

...and, Wulfgar, while you were pondering these semantics and nuances of law so deeply, did you notice that Iran is enriching uranium? Or that AlGore was telling Saudis that America was a bunch of terrorists? Or that the Saddam papers/videos are being translated, proving the existence of Saddam's terrorist threats?

Call me suspicious, but perhaps that was the point of the media pig-pile.