Monday, February 13, 2006

I'm Done Laughing

Yeah I had my fun at Cheney & Co's expense along with everyone else, but after reading this, I'm no longer laughing...

Monday's hunting trip to Pennsylvania by Vice President Dick Cheney in which he reportedly shot more than 70 stocked pheasants and an unknown number of mallard ducks at an exclusive private club places a spotlight on an increasingly popular and deplorable form of hunting, in which birds are pen-reared and released to be shot in large numbers by patrons. The ethics of these hunts are called into question by rank-and-file sportsmen, who hunt animals in their native habitat and do not shoot confined or pen-raised animals that cannot escape.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported today that 500 farm-raised pheasants were released yesterday morning at the Rolling Rock Club in Ligonier Township for the benefit of Cheney's 10-person hunting party. The group killed at least 417 of the birds, illustrating the unsporting nature of canned hunts. The party also shot an unknown number of captive mallards in the afternoon.

I’m not a hunter, and never will be, but my wife’s grandfather and uncles duck-hunt and I suppose that’s fine for them. But what Cheney does is the equivelent to shooting fish in a barrel. That’s not hunting—that’s skeet shooting with living targets. And I'm not the only one who thinks so...
"This wasn't a hunting ground. It was an open-air abattoir, and the vice president should be ashamed to have patronized this operation and then slaughtered so many animals," states Wayne Pacelle, a senior vice president of The Humane Society of the United States. "If the Vice President and his friends wanted to sharpen their shooting skills, they could have shot skeet or clay, not resorted to the slaughter of more than 400 creatures planted right in front of them as animated targets."

Does one get bored after shooting their 30th pheasant? The 40th? 60th?

That’s a callous disregard for life that speaks of sociopathy. That’s not a kid killing or torturing animals that’s the supposed moral leadership of the country gunning down living birds for shits and giggles.

A serious question: When somebody can suit up for the day and kill fifty to a hundred of anything—where does one draw a line? Birds only? Or would Cheney and pals shoot deer in a corral? Big game in a zoo? It’s the stuff of science fiction—but these are the kind of maniacs that would be hunting people if they could.

I don't think it's a stretch to say that it's no wonder these fucking cavemen can send people off to war without a second thought. Pro-fucking-Life my ass. It's all about personal gratification and nothing else. Nobody that would spend a weekend mindlessly slaughtering animals for fun (not even sport) should be entrusted with life and death decisions about anything. There is something fundamentally wrong with a person like that.

And as far as the guy he shot, if this was one of those expeditions and he was a party to it, any sympathy for him just flew out the window. Every one of them should receive a nice “peppering” of birdshot.

A 78 year old asshole is every bit as deserving as a cage-raised quail.

UPDATE: Posted a varition of this as a diary at Kos, and it got over 250 comments. In case you're interested...

Also, more at pharyngula:
Blowing away a horde of pen-raised animals, released in front of you to scurry into your gunsights, is not a sport. It's disgusting bloody-mindedness, a lazy, cowardly, vicious sort of abuse.

They say that torturing and killing helpless animals is one of the signs of a sadistic sociopath. Somehow, it's fitting that our vice-president is the kind of guy who takes glee in unfeeling butchery.

firedoglake has several excellent posts on the whole thing. just go and scroll...


Otto Man said...

You knew it was only a matter of time before Cheney wanted to hunt the most dangerous quarry of them all -- man.

Smitty said...

This is the same chicken-shit behavior that kept W and Cheney out of Vietnam. Big, tough-talking macho guys with enough fortitude, savvy, woodland skills and outdoorsmanship to stalk caged animals and kill them by the truckload. What scares me the most is that I really belive this is how they thought the Iraq war would be for our troops. Like shooting caged birds. This ranch hunt is exactly their idea of the conduct of war. They are building off of the only true experience they have of carrying guns; of rich-guy hunting trips to fenced hunting ranches. Imagine their surprise...and total lack of coordination or planning...when the "caged birds" in Iraq figured out how to blow up our trucks and HumVees.

Any real hunter knows the planning, skills and most of all the true compassion for nature and your quarry that it takes to do this right. These guys are just sick.

S.W. Anderson said...

The practice is disgusting and so are the people who do it. There's no sport to it.

I'm not opposed to all hunting, although I'm as chickenhearted about critters as they come. I realize deer herds can overgrow their habitat and end up starving, etc. Where they're hunted for food, not just for the killing, I have no problem with it. Still, I fail to see the sport of using a BAR, Uzi or such to mow them down from a blind. There's no port in that, either.

Smitty's observation about their tinfoil-hat macho is spot on.

These people would be pitiable if they weren't so arrogantly full of themselves.

sideshow bob said...

Remember all those people who openly mocked John Kerry for "acting like he was a real hunter" just before the '04 election?

They seem very quiet about all of this.

greg kise said...

The white house blamed the victim (of course).

The White House blamed the 78-year-old man whom Vice President Dick Cheney shot during a weekend quail hunting trip in Texas for the incident, as officials struggled Monday to explain why they waited nearly 24 hours before making the news public.

White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan tried to absolve Cheney of blame for shooting wealthy Austin lawyer Harry Whittington, saying that hunting "protocol was not followed by Mr. Whittington when it came to notifying others that he was there. And so, you know, unfortunately, these types of hunting accidents happen from time to time."

Damn victims always getting in the line of fire of otherwise "honorable" men.

Otto Man said...

i'm waiting for Cheney to explain the delay in reporting this to authorities and the press by claiming he had "other priorities."