Seeing as the political world hasn’t given them (or us) anything else to talk about for the last day or so, rightwing talk radio is pretty much wall-to-wall Cheney. I suppose they’d have a hard time ignoring a story whose main themes are guns and Republicans. I just heard a guy defending the veep by pointing out that he, too, once shot a guy by accident, which seems like an inadvisable approach if it’s being coordinated by GOP central.
Josh Marshall has devoted 14 of his last 15 posts to the topic so if there’s a scandal in there somewhere he’s bound to run into it eventually. A less interesting question to me is why they waited to alert the press. Among the many things going through Cheney’s head I doubt that phoning the Washington Post was one of them, and I doubt even more that anybody in his retinue had the balls to bring it up.
More interesting is this tidbit from the Austin American-Statesman:
CORPUS CHRISTI — The Austin lawyer who was shot by Vice President Dick Cheney while hunting quail was peppered with as many as 200 birdshot pellets, but the wounds were mostly superficial because of the distance from which they were fired.
Harry Whittington remained in stable condition Monday at Christus Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Memorial. Whittington, 78, a longtime Republican, was hunting with Cheney and several others at a South Texas ranch Saturday evening when he was shot.
200 pellets? Cheney was shooting a 28-gauge shotgun with birdshot. Presumably he shot only once, or at least he hit his friend only once. How many pellets does a 28-gauge birdshot round contain? Unless it contains many hundreds of pellets, it sounds like Whittington got the whole thing.
Firedoglake has been following this pretty closely, and they have a lot of info, but the answer to your specific question is not given…
One thing does seem clear. Something doesn’t add up with the story they are telling: Whittington shouldn’t have taken 200 pellets if he was really 30 yards away. The shot sprays in a widening pattern, and the further away you are, the fewer pellets would strike you. If he really took a full load, he wasn’t sixty feet away, he was much closer.
Is it possible that Cheney actually shot his friend in a manner even more clumsy and embarrassing (and less manly) such as dropping his gun or walking around with the safety off and tripping? And then they came up with at least a halfway-tough cover story?
I am eagerly awaiting the answer to how much shot is in a 28 guage load. Any CSI-types out there who can elaborate on this?
“Mostly superficial” is, um, wrong. The latest news from the hospital is that some of those pellets are so deeply embedded the surgeons don’t want to risk removing them:
I can’t tell whether that means “less than 100” pellets will be left in Whittington (!!) or that “less than 100” pellets hit him in the first place, of which some small number will be left where they are.
They also don’t say where those pellets are: in the guy’s face? neck? shoulder? But they have to’ve gone pretty damned deep if getting them out is riskier than leaving them in. That is NOT a ‘superficial wound.’
A hunter, commenting at Talkleft on this latest bit of info, and calculating how close to Cheney Whittington would have to have been when he was hit, concludes:
Don’t know about the accuracy of his “5-15 yards” estimate, but that only shows how much the WH has stifled information about this.
Everyone keeps saying Whittington’s in great spirits, talking and joking. But it sounds like he was hurt a hell of a lot worse than originally admitted, and I’m having trouble imagining a guy being so blithe about catching 100-200 lead pellets from 30 feet (more or less) away, and being told he’s stuck with a bunch of them forever.
A single piece of #8 shot is about 0.002 ounces if I’m doing my late-night math correctly, and so that means there’s about 308 pieces in a typical 3/4-ounce 2.75″ load.
I don’t know how tight of a choke Cheney was using, but it seems unlikely that someone would get hit by 200 of them at 30 yards. And at that distance, each pellet just isn’t carrying that much energy (not that I’m voluntering to stand downrange while someone tests this out).
Wonderful analysis, all of which attempts to raise “questions, “TROUBLING questions, leading to claims of a “cover-up”.
That “cover-up”, I suppose, includes the official police report, which finds no wrong-doing. (Just like Laura Bush! Just like Laura Bush!)
Our local self-described LIBERTINE commentator Jay Severin né Jimmy Severino, was hinting tonight on WTTK in Boston that the “delay” in reporting the event (as if there was one) “might” be due to Cheney being “hammered” at the time. No evidence, mind you, just Jay’s drive-by slimings.
It was an accident. Cheney might not even be at fault. deal with it.
Of course, all of this would have been avoided (the speculation, I mean) if the stupid bastards were just willing to part with information.
Why hide this? Why sit on it? Why spirit the VP away from the scene and send some Texas matron to handle the press? The Vice President shot a man. There ain’t no way to sugar-coat that, and any God-damned idiot can see it. So why not get out in front of the story, and trot Deadeye Dick out first thing to tamp down the rumor weeds?
It’s par for the course with these cowards and now the scandal vultures are coming home to roost. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of police-state chickenhawks.
Yep, 200-300 in a 28 gauge shell depending on the shot size. That would have to be one heck of a close shot, even with the tightest choke.
Um, thirty yards is ninety feet away, not sixty. Apparently my late-night math, ain’t so hot.
Ninety feet actually underscores my point howver.
Note the use of the word “might” there. The VP could have settled this for all of us back on Saturday night.
He chose not to.
Cheney, heard talking into cell phone Saturday night:
“Tell that reporter, and I’ll shoot you again, motherfucker.”
John is going to keep making posts about guns until the righty-lefty ratio evens out again.
From a medical point of view, anything under the skin would be left alone, unless it was near a vital structure and posed a danger. They would scrub off or pick out anything that was embedded in the skin itself, surface enough to be seen.
It’s a common misconception that doctors usually remove bullets, but they don’t. One of my teachers had a humorous little lecture on this – that any patient with a gun shot wound would automatically think we were dumb, because in the westerns the first thing the ol’ doc does is take out the bullet. But you do more damage making all those cuts and searching for the shot, which is much harder to find than it sounds.
What I’ve seen so far says the wounds are face, neck, and torso. Some possible aspects that put him in the ICU:
– concern for the face and neck, and the possibility of swelling or an expanding collection of blood which would shut off the patient’s airway.
– concern whether any of the pellets caused air in the wrong part of the chest cavity (pneumothorax). Sometimes it takes hours for this to show up.
What happens if the guy ever needs an MRI?
It depends where the pellets are. In or very near the eye or spinal cord, or near a blood vessel, he can’t have an MRI. Other places, not really a problem.
Yeah, he’ll never get an MRI, and he’ll be a problem in the airport for the rest of his life…
Hmm, I must have heard the story wrong then. I was under the impression that Cheney pulled the trigger of the gun that shot Whittington.
How many? Who cares?
Fault, schmalt. It’s just a mystery, and everybody loves a howdunit. Maybe Cheney just gave him both barrels?
The Other Steve
Someone else was firing the gun? Do you suppose Vince Foster did it?
It had to be Clinton. We’re in a time of war, the USA is a battlefield in said war, at the very least Mr. Whittington deserves 100 tiny purple band-aids.
What happens if the guy ever wants to board a plane?
Fortunately, the feds just abolished the useless no-fly list. Donald Nelsons across the land are shouting with joy.
Reminds me of what happened to poor James Garfield. He was shot by a nutcase — but the bullet didn’t kill him. His doctors did. By poking around looking for the bullet, they introduced a ferocious infection that killed the President. He lingered for 80 days, after the bullet and the poking of the doctors (one of whom punctured his liver looking for the bullet). Some reports say the suppurating wound was four inches across by the time the poor man died.
All of this was actually used by the assassin’s lawyers at trial — they argued that Charles Guiteau had only committed assault, not murder. Didn’t save him, of course, back in 1882.
We all should be congratulating the Vice President for shooting a potential terrorist:
Tim F is confused by:
This is a fine example of why “up to” or “as many as” is an at best lazy and usually sensationalistic and at worst deliberately misleading formulation. “I have slept with up to 200 supermodels in the last year” is a true statement, and passes muster by the above standards assuming that there are 200 supermodels in the world, because “up to” means “the number is less than or equal to” and 0 is less than 200.
Ok, so it’s more than 10.
Depending on who you listen to, it’s… more than 10, less than 200, less than 100, about 100, etc., etc. So I’m going to go with 110, +/- 90…
“…if there’s a scandal in there somewhere he’s bound to run into it eventually.”
And usually if there’s not as well.
It turns out that Cheney had failed to pay $7 for a stamp to his hunting license to let him hunt upland state birds at the time of the shooting.
THE CHEAP BASTARD! He’s turning out to be more like Burr with each passing day…!
The original accident report is at the smoking gun.
When I was in the army doing PR work, we were told Maximum Disclosure, Minimum Delay
The White House blew it. Avoiding the Sunday papers and “Meet The Press” has a price to pay
FDL has done excellent work explaining just how dumb Cheney was
I am amused by the conspiracy theories being floated from portside soon will have it that Cheney was atop the Texas University tower picking off coeds
Over on starboard the excuse is the MSM had no need to know (I kid you not) and besides, MSM has “failed” to run the Muslim cartoons
Oliver Stone is going to be all over that one.
There are 439 pellets in a 3/4 oz. load.
Fueling your passion
for the 28 gauge
This is the whole story, for me. He’s a big enough man to go hunting, but not big enough to sit down with the press, take some responsibility, and get on with it. It’s like the chickenhawk NRA. All hat, no cattle.
I don’t see any reason to dispute the 30 yard figure given. Those trying to make the case that it must have been much closer need to do more research.
Standard .28 load is ¾ oz. shot and it holds a tight pattern:
So even at 35 yards it stays in a 30 inch circle. How many pellets? Depends on the shot size. With the ¾ oz. load there are 439 pellets for No. 9 shot, or 368 pellets for 8-1/2.
With No.9 at 30 yards, that is 439 pellets with less than a 30 inch pattern. If we go with the figure that 200 pellets hit him at close to maximum effective range, it makes sense that many pellets caused superficial wounds, and some penetrated deeper. I’m sure they can make a better estimate than between 6 and 100 though.
It sounds like a close to a direct hit at close to maximum range. Dead-eye Dick seems like the most appropriate nickname coming out of this.
Meanwhile, the report from the Pajamas Peeps.
I guess now we know why they keep Dead Eye Dick® in a top secret undisclosed location all the time.
See, they really are protecting us!
He wasn’t peppered with pellets. He was tickled with freedom bits.
I am so through with this bullshit. That someone would seriously post this:
You are living in a state of delusion. I am just so tired of people out to place themselves on the moral highground. YOU just know that Cheney isn’t man enough to sit down with the press. That is so pathetic it’s scary.
I can’t belive we have to endure three more years of these assholes. I know, mustn’t sound angry, or just plain exhausted at the inability of Bush or Cheney to own up to anything resembling failure, ever.
November can’t come soon enough.
Oh come on, people, put this in perspective. It’s not such a big deal. After all, what happened, rally?
All that happened was that the Vice President of the United States shot a 78-year-old man. In the face. With a shotgun.
I mean, get a grip.
The late night comedy shows are also piling on this great man whose contributions to the freedom of all mankind will be honored throughout history.
David Letterman: “Good news, ladies and gentlemen, we have finally located weapons of mass destruction – it’s Dick Cheney.” “But here’s the sad part — before the trip Donald Rumsfeld had denied the guy’s request for body armor.” “We can’t get Bin Laden, but we nailed a 78-year-old attorney.” “The guy who got gunned down, he is a Republican lawyer and a big Republican donor and fortunately the buck shot was deflected by wads of laundered cash. So he’s fine. He took a little in the wallet.”
Jay Leno: “Although it is beautiful here in California, the weather back East has been atrocious. There was so much snow in Washington, D.C., Dick Cheney accidentally shot a fat guy thinking it was a polar bear.” “That’s the big story over the weekend…Dick Cheney accidentally shot a fellow hunter, a 78-year-old lawyer. In fact, when people found out he shot a lawyer, his popularity is now at 92 percent.” “I think Dick Cheney is starting to lose it. After he shot the guy he screamed, ‘Anyone else want to call domestic wire tapping illegal?'” “Dick Cheney is capitalizing on this for Valentine’s Day. It’s the new Dick Cheney cologne. It’s called Duck!”
Jon Stewart: “Now, this story certainly has its humorous aspects … But it also raises a serious issue, one that I feel very strongly about … Moms, dads, if you’re watching right now, I can’t emphasize this enough: Do not let your kids go on hunting trips with the vice president. I don’t care what kind of lucrative contracts they’re trying to land, or energy regulations they’re trying to get lifted — it’s just not worth it.”
Craig Ferguson: “You can understand why this lawyer let his guard down, because if you’re out hunting with a politician, you think, ‘If I’m going to get it, it’s going to be in the back.'” “The big scandal apparently is that they didn’t release the news for 18 hours. I don’t think that’s a scandal at all. I’m quite pleased about that. Finally there’s a secret the vice presdient’s office can keep.” Apparently the reason they didn’t release the information right away is they said we had to get the facts right. That’s never stopped them in the past.”
This may not be quite up to the high standard set by the poem on rathergate, but it’s close.
This wingnut’s inability to embed links ultimately undermines his otherwise powerful argument.
I don’t want to be one of those crazy commenters who just links to things, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t pass this Malkin post on. She’s comparing this to — you guessed it — Hillary’s murder of Vince Foster. Too good.
Your analysis is wrong, OCSteve. The gun doesn’t put its entire load of shot into the 30-inch patterning circle — it puts the same percentage of its shot into a 30-inch circle as would a 12-gauge. That percentage depends on the choke Cheney was using.
Strong candidate for Post Of The Day!
[b]Sherard[/b], [i]has[/i] he sat down with the press? Has he taken responsibility? You don’t think this is a minimum standard for the VPOTUS? And so easy!
But you don’t think he should be held to that minimal standard. Hoookay.
Oy. Must not post here after the other place (that uses brackets) without checking the draft. Sorry.
“Of course, all of this would have been avoided (the speculation, I mean) if the stupid bastards were just willing to part with information.”
You mean by… immediately filing a police report?
And most states require hospitals to report all bullet wounds to the cops anyway.
If DickC had flown directy to a press conference and told the whole story fifteen minutes later, all you’d hear from the peanut gallery is “DAMAGE CONTROL! DAMAGE CONTROL! What’s he trying to hide? Why won’t he let the police do their job without interfering with the investigation?”
I, for one, am enjoying the overwrought reaction from the press corps. So they didn’t immediately call the whiners in the press. Oooooh, scandal! I thought the press was supposed to ferret the news out, not wait for it to be fed to them like chirpy, baby birds. I think I will be watching the Olympics while the Titans of the Blogosphere battle it out over a minor mishap.
Seen any good Danish cartoons lately? That’s right. The same press bitching about this are too wussy to publish them. They know Cheney won’t burn down their offices. I hold the media in utter contempt.
Somebody (here, or on another blog) suggested that the delay was due to them waiting to see how the guy did. If he was in serious shape, then a fall guy would be needed.
Doug, the fact that he’s a liar undermines his argument as well. He says the following:
Actually, one person made such a comment. Me. And I wasn’t being serious.
How come we haven’t heard anything about the members of the hunting party who didn’t get shot by the vice-president? There were 6 or 7 people in the hunting party. Only one was shot by the vice-president. That’s about an 85% safety rate. Not bad, if you ask me.
Hell, you’re probably more likely to take a bullet looking for your car in the parking lot after the Super Bowl in Detroit than you are to take one while hunting with Cheney.
Every time you leave a post mocking the Vice President, Osama bin Laden gets stronger.
The press, a bunch of incompetent stenographers? Bestill my beating heart.
I guess you’re from the “bring it on” school of journalism. I wonder how I managed to see all 15 (12 real + 3 fake) cartoons, then.
Apparently Cheney has been cited for failure to have the proper Lawyer stamp on his hunting license ……
Stormy, you screwed this up. Let me fix it for you:
I though hunters were supposed to ferret out their prey, not wait for it to be caged and released in front of them like chirpy, baby birds.
Those people are coocoo for Cocoa Puffs, IMHO.
Tickled with Freeom Bits … fantastic.
DougJ, was that you spoofing GOP4’s site as Rxxthe3rd?
::grin:: If not, I gotta say it was impressive. If it was, I still bow to the master of…something. Have we come up with a name for that yet? DougJ-ing, the blogosphere’s favorite verb right now.
Meanwhile, in the rest of the non-quail world, some British troops filmed themselves beating the crap out of Iraqi kids (listen to the sicko getting extreme pleasure out of watching the kids get hit – it will make you ill), and the provincial government in Basra suspends relations with UK forces.
Yet….this disaster is washed out by Dead-Eye Dick(tm) and Neil Entwistle, Pretty White Woman Murderer of the Week(tm).
[sigh….] Could the shooting all be a Rovian Plan??? “Dick, look, there is going to be a really sick video of Brit troops beating Iraqi kids put up online this weekend. Do me a favor. Go hunting with somebody, and wing him with some buckshot or something. Anything to distract the press…” ;)
The Other Steve
Man, that’s too bad. I really loved him in the Rockford Files.
You asked how many pellets are in the shells. Using #7 1/2 shot, the Winchester load for a 28 gauge has 1 oz. of shot. That’s about 345 pellets to the oz.
Using #8 shot, we’re looking about 405 pellets to the oz.
As a good, card carrying liberal hunter, goodness knows I’m no Cheney fan. But I think any honest person has to ask hard questions about this long delay in getting out the information that the VP has shot someone.
Are there any law enfocement personnel following this? What is y’alls take on the time lag?
Once again DougJ owns the thread. To quote Garth & Wayne:
“we’re not worthy! we’re not worthy”!
Oops! Forgot to include the Winchester URL. Here it is.
Hi nice post on Cheney, I got here on a blog search… I have also posted on this topic, if you want to check it out: http://www.debaterelatepontificate.blogspot.com
No, I’m not even sure how you would spoof that site.
Faux News — thanks!
One more reason to stall informing the press and stop the police from investigating would be to doctor any evidence. With all the witnesses, except for maybe the guy shot, being friends of the accused, you don’t have to worry about what they are going to say.
Obviously the rifle and pellets used by the VP could point at how far away Whittington was when he was shot. So for all I know they could have used the 18 hours to pick the best combination to support their story.
I’m going to trust them as much as the report about the VP not being intoxicated at the time of the shooting.
And if not, that’s never stopped him before.
So true, KI. That idiot is still trying to pimp the Abramoff story, believe it or not. He’s yet to meet a teapot that didn’t contain a tempest.
HA HA HA!
Marshall’s blog is like Cheney’s shotgun: Spray wide enough and you’re bound to hit something eventually.
Cheney got a gun
Cheney got a gun
His whole world’s come undone
From lookin’ straight at the sun
What did this daddy do
What has he a put you through
Cheney got a gun
Cheney got a gun
His dog day just begun
Now McClellan’s on the run
Tell me now it’s untrue
What did this daddy do
I think in order for it to qualify as a parody, you need to change more than 3-4 words.
The police report says he was using 7 1/2 shot.
Considering how fast the buckshot are moving, you will get a fairly tight grouping at 30 yards, enough to cover a man’s body at least. For example, to get a grouping that is a circle with radius of 2 feet at 30 yards, the angle at which the shot disperse from the barrel must be about 2.5 degrees, not unrealistic for a shotgun.
Melchior Sternfels von Fuchshaim
StupidityRules: “Obviously the rifle and pellets …”
Obviously, stupidity rules.
18 months later, and this “story” is already in the newspaper morgues.
You Bush/Cheney haters ought to be ashamed of yourselves, but we know that you are all “hip” and therefore “post-shame”.
Shame is so..over. Guilt is so…over. Honesty is so…over. Honor is so….over. Courage is so….over.
And for you metros, manliness is …so over.
Please go tend to your beauty regimens. The cucumber slices await placement on your eyes…