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I don’t know how long Lawrence Henry has hunted, or if he has ever done any bird hunting outside his “road hunting” adventures; but I have been doing it a little over 50 years. In many group hunting situations it is not all that unusual to get “peppered” with light loads; and I don’t care how experienced the hunters are. Once, on a dove hunt I got dusted twice, and on the second occasion I threatened to return fire!p>I am sure the VP regrets the incident, and I am also sure that the peppered hunter shares a little of the blame for placing himself in the line of fire. In short LH, back off a little. You sure as hell weren’t there; and I question your second-guessing. br> — JK br> Blue Springs, Missouri /p> p> I have been hunting for over 40 years and I have never heard anything like Lawrence Henry’s quote, “That means that, when hunting birds, you should always carry your gun with the muzzle pointed downrange… and up,” which you published today in his column. If you are taught and practice proper gun handling and safety, you hunt with the muzzle pointed down toward the ground and away from other hunters, with the safety always on until you are ready to shoot. It is not uncommon practice to shoot a shotgun with the barrel nearly level with the ground or pointed at an upward angle if the bird has been flushed and is headed away from you. He also appears to assume that the gentleman hit by the pellets was close to where the Vice President was standing when the Vice President fired the shot. In fact the gentleman could have been a substantial distance away from the Vice President and the pellets could have been on their downward flight as their energy and velocity was dissipated. br> — Patrick R. Spooner, P.E. br> Windham, New Hampshire /p>
Mr. Henry begins his article by listing possible questions concerning the shooting accident. He ends up by chastising Vice President Cheney for violating what is indeed a cardinal rule of hunting: know what you are shooting at and what is beyond the target. He does not refer to the story as has been told, specifically that Mr. Whittington had rejoined the party without announcing his presence.
From my experience of field hunting rabbits and birds (without dogs) in a line of hunters, each hunter has a responsibility to know where the hunter is on either side. Each hunter also has a responsibility maintain their place relative to the other hunters and not move into the line of fire. A hunter shooting at a bird or rabbit on the move expects to have a certain field of fire based on these premises. It is no different from target shooting at the range. The “range safety officer” checks that the range if safe, declares the range is hot, and give permission to fire. This applies equally to a group of fifty military personnel or a group of two in the backyard. If another person knows you are shooting and wanders onto the range without notification, that person is liable to be shot. Not deserving to be shot, but it is a mistake to move into the line of fire. The inherent danger of upland bird or rabbit hunting versus deer hunting or target shooting is that the bird or rabbit is on the move, rapidly on the move.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?