"Arms-bearing Americans are rarely wrong"


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Preacherman
February 14, 2006, 05:23 PM
From the Telegraph, London (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml;jsessionid=1HC5SRT2CATN1QFIQMFCFFWAVCBQYIV0?xml=/opinion/2006/02/14/do1402.xml&sSheet=/opinion/2006/02/14/ixopinion.html):

Arms-bearing Americans are rarely wrong

By Stephen Robinson

(Filed: 14/02/2006)

If you have never gone hunting in Texas, you may find it odd that the man shot in the face by Vice-President Dick Cheney at the weekend was adjudged to be the guilty party.

Katharine Armstrong, the hostess of the hunting weekend, was clear in her own mind that Harry Whittington, a 78-year-old lawyer now resting comfortably in his hospital bed, was the author of his own misfortune.

On Saturday evening, Harry broke free from a group of friends to retrieve a downed quail, and then - according to Ms Armstrong - strode back without observing the proper southern protocol of noisily announcing himself to the rest of the group.

When another quail was flushed, Mr Cheney, "an excellent, conscientious shot", according to Ms Armstrong, swung to his right, fired, and Harry "got peppered pretty good".

According to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Harry is doing fine in hospital, though we do not have his reaction in his own words.

British readers will cluck with disapproval at this breezy exoneration of a former US Defence Secretary for his responsibility in such an ugly outbreak of friendly fire.

The sort of person on this side of the Atlantic who deplores America's "gun culture" will almost certainly despise Mr Cheney's politics, and wish to see him carted off by a Texas sheriff and charged with reckless endangerment. But as one who, during seven years of living in America, occasionally went duck shooting - or huntin', as I learnt to call it - I confess that I loudly cheer the Vice-President's speedy exculpation.

In Britain, the man with the gun is always at fault. Our culture and our law enforcement agencies deplore gun ownership; rural police forces persecute owners, treating them as freaks.

Viscount Whitelaw, a blameless and splendid man, never recovered from a simple error on the moor when his shotgun accidentally discharged, winging a beater and spraying an old friend in the bottom.

It could have happened to anyone, but poor old Willie was forced to give up the sport he loved, such was the tabloids' glee at his misfortune.

Our world-beating Olympic shooters must practise abroad because of the post-Dunblane handgun ban - a ban ignored by gangsters on the streets of our larger cities, whose criminal antics have driven an exponential rise in gun crime since the legislation was passed.

This could never happen in America, where gun ownership is not just constitutionally protected, but is part of a great levelling exercise. In many of the southern states, the first day of the hunting season is a school holiday, so that fathers can take their sons out with rifle, shotgun, and paramilitary fatigues.

Hunting is an affirmation of the frontier spirit of the nation. More, it is a celebration of democratic participation - not, as is the case over here, an exclusive club for social climbers in plus fours.

Pretty much every road sign in Texas, Arkansas and Virginia is peppered with holes, testimony to the relentless zeal of southern men honing their marksmanship skills in the close season.

When I moved to America, I acquired my first and only gun - a pump-action 12-bore, which I kept under the sofa in my Washington home and which I would bring out to appal namby-pamby visitors from England.

It was a beauty. As the man in the gun shop told me, it had an extra large stock so that - in theory - it could double as a paddle as I made my way across the bayou in pursuit of duck or goose.

The first time I was taken duck hunting, my hosts and I chanced on half a dozen ducks paddling genially across a lake. Before I could begin to consider the implications, my comrades had unleashed a volley of covering fire, turning the lake into a cauldron of shot and feather.

When I questioned the protocol of shooting birds that were not actually flying, I was kindly put in my place. They all taste the same, I was informed, especially if you have drunk enough bourbon while feathering them.

In America, you do all the gruesome stuff involving feathers and innards yourself, and you would never even think of handing over the menial work to a gamekeeper or beater.

Americans are amazed to hear of the weird layers of etiquette imposed on the act of shooting your supper in this country. When George Bush Snr, a handy quail hunter in his home terrain of Texas, found himself at one of the stiffer sorts of driven shoots in Europe a few years ago, he fluffed every shot.

He told his hosts that he was thrown because European game birds are driven towards the guns, while Texas quail are shot flying away.

But my guess is that the protocol got to him. Mr Bush was thinking supper, yet knew his hosts were worrying about the angle at which he carried his gun, or the cut of his tweeds, or whether he swung his barrel too much to the left or right, or that he might be regarded - horror of horrors! - as greedy.

No wonder Mr Bush couldn't perform at his best, and no doubt he would have been much happier shooting in Texas, where everything is more relaxed and you don't fear the cold stare of disapproval for having the temerity to pick up a shotgun.

And where it is always wise to remember, to adapt the preferred slogan of America's all-powerful National Rifle Association, that guns do not kill people; vice-presidents do.

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El Tejon
February 14, 2006, 05:37 PM
Isn't the first day of deer season a holiday in Pennsylvania, which if I recall, is not in the South?

A shotgun? In Washington D.C.?

Henry Bowman
February 14, 2006, 05:43 PM
Harry broke free from a group of friends Had he been held hostage? :scrutiny:

JohnBT
February 14, 2006, 05:48 PM
We don't need no stinking holiday, we just take the whole week off. :)


"Pretty much every road sign in Texas, Arkansas and Virginia is peppered with holes"

Liar!!! Kids these days can't shoot as good as they used to... ;)

John

Zundfolge
February 14, 2006, 05:48 PM
The first time I was taken duck hunting, my hosts and I chanced on half a dozen ducks paddling genially across a lake. Before I could begin to consider the implications, my comrades had unleashed a volley of covering fire, turning the lake into a cauldron of shot and feather.

When I questioned the protocol of shooting birds that were not actually flying, I was kindly put in my place. They all taste the same, I was informed, especially if you have drunk enough bourbon while feathering them.

:scrutiny:

Maybe its different in different parts of the country, but in Kansas where I grew up you ONLY shot ducks on the wing, it was a matter of both law and etiquette. I assume its the same here in Colorado.

A shotgun? In Washington D.C.?
I assumed he meant Washington State.

Thefabulousfink
February 14, 2006, 05:55 PM
That has got to be the most backhanded and convoluted article that I have ever read. It is like he is having a circular argument with himself.:eek:

engineer151515
February 14, 2006, 06:08 PM
Since the Brits advocate "rolling into a ball" as a self defense measure from assaults, I take their criticism of gun wielding Americans to be opinions of the un-informed.

Kodiaz
February 14, 2006, 06:23 PM
Man I think this guy's article is for RKBA and not against. You have to remember the Brits use the language awkwardly. (This ought to bring some heat from our Brit brothers :neener: )

engineer151515
February 14, 2006, 06:44 PM
Man I think this guy's article is for RKBA and not against. You have to remember the Brits use the language awkwardly. (This ought to bring some heat from our Brit brothers :neener: )

If you are right .. I've indeed mispoken.

It would cheer me greatly to see the Brits become the "We shall defend our island whatever the cost may be; we shall fight on beaches, landing grounds, in fields, in streets and on the hills..." that they once were, not so long ago.

:)

joab
February 14, 2006, 07:12 PM
Arms-bearing Americans are rarely wrongIn many of the southern states, the first day of the hunting season is a school holiday, so that fathers can take their sons out with rifle, shotgun, and paramilitary fatiguesPretty much every road sign in Texas, Arkansas and Virginia is peppered with holes, testimony to the relentless zeal of southern men honing their marksmanship skills in the close season.
The first time I was taken duck hunting, my hosts and I chanced on half a dozen ducks paddling genially across a lake. Before I could begin to consider the implications, my comrades had unleashed a volley of covering fire, turning the lake into a cauldron of shot and feather.

When I questioned the protocol of shooting birds that were not actually flying, I was kindly put in my place. They all taste the same, I was informed, especially if you have drunk enough bourbon while feathering them.
Am I the only one that sees this as either a series of backhanded insults or the ramblings of an uninformed asshat

If he posted this crap here we would be calling him out as a troll

Cosmoline
February 14, 2006, 07:15 PM
If Cheney swung around and shot a man on his six, then yes he most certainly was at fault. I'm not inclined to exclupate him as easily as some of the spin doctors.

G36-UK
February 14, 2006, 07:18 PM
This guy does seem for RKBA, making him yet another of the minority.

Kodiaz is right, we do kind of confuse everyone with words, though it seems more of an English thing.

Think I should see if he wants to look over here?

RealGun
February 14, 2006, 07:21 PM
In many of the southern states, the first day of the hunting season is a school holiday, so that fathers can take their sons out with rifle, shotgun, and paramilitary fatigues.

SC hunters wear camo because wild turkeys can see color. Even the guns are camo. Turkey hunting is a big deal here. Deer hunters just put bright orange vests over their turkey gear.

Nightcrawler
February 14, 2006, 07:56 PM
The references to alcohol may seem insulting to some, but let's be honest.

Is it not true? For how many, and for how many generations, has "deer camp" also been "beer camp"?

Around here, you certainly have the road signs full of bullet holes.

The english gentleman is correct, though. None of this means the end of the world, though I'm sure the very thought of it would leave many aghast.

For the record, though, consumption of chemcials that affect your reflexes and judgement while handling firearms is a VERY bad idea.

carlrodd
February 14, 2006, 08:05 PM
he's definitely trying to write for RKBA. he took quite a few jabs at brit authorities there.

Kim
February 14, 2006, 08:23 PM
Bullet holes in road signs is rural grafftii. We just don't have any art museums that will show the stuff with the great "Eurekia" some do urban grafftii to celebrate the culture. As for alcohol and hunting and firearms. It depends on how much alcohol. For libertarians you guys sometimes get a wee bit on the holier than thou soapbox. Or maybe you can not drink without getting tooooooo tipsy.:cool:

Zundfolge
February 14, 2006, 08:30 PM
Am I the only one that sees this as either a series of backhanded insults or the ramblings of an uninformed asshat

If he posted this crap here we would be calling him out as a troll

I think you are misinterpreting a pro-RKBA piece by a Brit.


Two things to keep in mind about the British, 1) a penchant for understatement (that statement right there is an understatement), 2) the backhanded complement is a part of daily speech.

They truly are a very passive aggressive society.

Don't be so offended. For a Brit that's about as close as you're going to get to a "From my cold dead hands!" speech.

KriegHund
February 14, 2006, 08:31 PM
I cant tell if its satire or not.

StephenT
February 14, 2006, 08:36 PM
The title is a bit deceiving. At first, based on that title, I assumed it would be another anti article mocking our armed American society. But, it's very much pro-gun. I like the last sentence in particular: "guns do not kill people; vice-presidents do."

Stauble
February 14, 2006, 08:49 PM
i think this guy is definetly RKBA.
some of it may seem a bit insulting to us, but he is a brit afterall (no offence intened, some of them have strange ways of complementing us)
the way he refers to it as "huntin" he seems to be fondly remebering his days in America.
Also lets not forget he is writing for a British audiance, not us

Kodiaz
February 14, 2006, 08:56 PM
Listen watch Snatch and Lock,Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. The first time they don't make a whole bunch of sense. I watch Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels now and it leaves me in stitches every time now.


"Shotguns,,, as in guns that fire shots?"


Dry humor. It takes getting used to.

joab
February 14, 2006, 09:04 PM
My problem wasn't so much with the alcohol at base camp as it was with the implication that poaching is considered acceptable in American and the para military comment.
I've lived in the south all my life and don't consider a shot up street sign to be all that common or know many people that think it is acceptable target practice.

If this is a complimentary piece I'd hate to read his take on something he doesn't like.

But I guess if it isn't a series of thinly veiled satirical insults then I'd have to go with the uniformed asshat theory

Mad Chemist
February 14, 2006, 09:13 PM
Know your target and what lies beyond it.
Is that so hard to understand.:banghead:
Mr. Cheney broke the rules and someone was injured as a result. Fortunately it wasn't fatal.
What the hell does British politics have to do with the gun safety rules? Talk about a non-sequiter.
Oh, wait! Anti-gun leftists hate Cheney? Omygod! When did this start happening?:rolleyes:
Political background has muddied the waters.

VP Cheney did not know what lay beyond his target.
He fired anyway.
He shot his hunting partner.
VP Cheney was careless at that moment and now he looks like a dumbass for it.


JH

GunnySkox
February 14, 2006, 09:16 PM
I found that article highly enjoyable. I think the reason some of "us" are having trouble with it is that he really can't be "up front" about being pro-RKBA with a mostly urban british audience as he could with, say, a less-urban american audience. He has to crack wise, be circumspect with his support for our hobby/rights, lest he alienate his readers, he has to slip it in under the radar, make it seem like time and thoughts long past, accompany it with a thin layer of derision to make his thumbs up for firearms more tenable to an audience who'd probably soil themselves if they got a glimpse of my gun collection (all three of them), let alone some of the other folks' here.

He's an RKBA ninja, and he's funny. :D

~GnSx

Kodiaz
February 14, 2006, 09:16 PM
Imagine yourself in his shoes and who he is writing to. That piece is in a UK paper they probably think we live in some super free society and shooting up road signs is standard target practice.

I'll put it to you this way. How many misconcepcions does the average nongun owning American have about guns. The bullet proof couch is a good example. Now imagine if all you know about gunowning Americans are in John Wayne films. There aren't any non police gunowners on friends, Seinfeld, the Oc or any other non police related show. I'm sure if I was to wind up in England and mentioned I had a pistol rifle and shotgun. The poor British guy would be shocked and thinking, "They never show short fat cowboys in the movies"

Dave Markowitz
February 14, 2006, 09:21 PM
Isn't the first day of deer season a holiday in Pennsylvania, which if I recall, is not in the South?

Most of rural PA pretty much closes down the Monday following Thanksgiving (first day of buck season). That's the one day when PA fields one of the top three or so standing armies in the world -- about a million armed men. :D

A shotgun? In Washington D.C.?

This may have been awhile ago, but even now you can own a shotgun or rifle in D.C. You must keep it locked up when not in use but AFAIK you can possess one. No handguns, though.

geekWithA.45
February 14, 2006, 09:34 PM
They truly are a very passive aggressive society.

Passive aggression is a tactic used by the powerless against the powerful, the tactic of the truculent child.

Many folks carry it over into adulthood. When I took note of my own passive aggression in my late teens and early 20's, I recognized it as a holdover from my own powerlessness of youth.

I then realized that every act of passive aggression was a lost opportunity for the joys of open aggression. :evil:


I think we have to interpret this article in light of the VERY different style of hunting they do over there. Hunting is a ritualized thing, involving specific suits cut from certain cloths, and a cast of thousands operating in synchrony so m'lud could cap off a few rounds with a minimum of bother, and a maximum of style.

An American style hunter who showed up at one of those things in a ghillie suit and a mossy oak patterned pump would be mistaken for a terrorist and shot at.

Standing Wolf
February 14, 2006, 10:14 PM
In Britain, the man with the gun is always at fault. Our culture and our law enforcement agencies deplore gun ownership; rural police forces persecute owners, treating them as freaks.

So it seems.

Janitor
February 14, 2006, 10:21 PM
I agree with GunnySkox, et al. We need to quite trying to read this as though it were written by an American for American's.

This statement -
Our world-beating Olympic shooters must practise abroad because of the post-Dunblane handgun ban - a ban ignored by gangsters on the streets of our larger cities, whose criminal antics have driven an exponential rise in gun crime since the legislation was passed.
- doesn't read at all like the rantings of a raving anti to me.

In fact it doesn't even read like an "uninformed asshat" wrote it.

Maddock
February 14, 2006, 10:26 PM
Quote:
They truly are a very passive aggressive society.

Passive aggression is a tactic used by the powerless against the powerful, the tactic of the truculent child.

Many folks carry it over into adulthood. When I took note of my own passive aggression in my late teens and early 20's, I recognized it as a holdover from my own powerlessness of youth.

I then realized that every act of passive aggression was a lost opportunity for the joys of open aggression.

Thank you Geek - I needed that laugh.

Hawkmoon
February 14, 2006, 10:27 PM
If Cheney swung around and shot a man on his six, then yes he most certainly was at fault. I'm not inclined to exclupate him as easily as some of the spin doctors.
3, 6, 9 or 12 -- do the four rules of firearms handling get suspended when vice presidents go grouse hunting? Cheney did not make certain of his target and what was beyond it ... end of story.

I was amused by Mrs. (or is is Ms.?) Armstrong's other statement when the event was first reported, something to the effect that "These things happen -- I've been peppered pretty good myself." Aside from the horrible grammar, what stands out from that statement is that the Vice President runs in a social circle that not only tolerates, but actively condones negligent discharges.

JohnBT
February 14, 2006, 11:22 PM
I've been peppered pretty good too. Heck, I've even shot at a duck winging by in the swamp and peppered myself when the steel pellets bounced off a tree. Been showered too. Showered is what happens when shot rains down on you from a distance - like a dove field where the shooters are spread out.

Stuff happens.

What if the VP had backed his car over the guy's foot and put him in the hosptial? Would it have earned 5 minutes on the 11 o'clock news? Would the hate-mongers have descended spitting and slobbering and howling for... What are they howling for? Oh right, he had a g - u - n.

John

Zundfolge
February 14, 2006, 11:33 PM
I then realized that every act of passive aggression was a lost opportunity for the joys of open aggression. :evil:

geekWithA.45 wins the "Quote of the Month" award! :D

only1asterisk
February 14, 2006, 11:40 PM
Am I the only one that sees this as either a series of backhanded insults or the ramblings of an uninformed asshat

It is both.

David

HerrWolfe
February 15, 2006, 12:54 AM
If we cannot understand the post it is because everything posted is either biased for or biased against. The London post is un-biased, so obviously, we cannot read it, because we do not know the writers position. So sad.

neoncowboy
February 15, 2006, 02:12 AM
Arms-bearing Americans are rarely wrong


...well, I can really only speak for myself...but that sounds about right to me!
:D

The_Antibubba
February 15, 2006, 02:54 AM
Not really; firearms are just a very clear example between our two cultures. The piece is about the American sense of freedom, and democracy (small D). Note that the jabs at English hunting are about class snobbery-in America, all hunters are equal, and it isn't about etiquette, it's about meat and comraderie. English hunters don't get their hands dirty with cleaning their own kills. American stalk their prey, whereas Britons have the game animals driven towards them.

In other words, Americans are independent and take care of themselves, and joyously, at that. The English have others take care of them, both in the field and in the matter of self defense. The disconnect from reality is so great that British Olympians can't even practice with their firearms in-country.

And while he does poke fun at us at times, it's clear he also admires us greatly. It's unlikely he would be invited to a hunt at home, and he seemed to really enjoy the chance.

Double Naught Spy
February 15, 2006, 04:27 AM
Yep, Cheney at fault. I have no idea pertaining to the supposed southern practices that when approaching a group of hunters from behind that you make a bunch of noise so that they know you are there. I seem to recall such practices making the hunters up ahead mad because the idiot approaching from behind was not making the hunt any easier.

Whatever happened to each shooter having their own quad to scan and shoot. For example, if there are only two shooters actually shooting but are with a group, the left shooter shoots from 12 o'clock over to 9:00. The right shooter shooter 12:00 over to 3:00. They don't shot in the other two quads that are behind them since that is where the rest of the group is.

If there is just two in the group and both shooting, then the one on the left covers the left side from 12:00 to 6:00 and the one on the right covers the right side from 12:00 to 6:00.

When each shooter only covers his/her own area, then nobody will be swinging through to the other person and hence should not be shooting any other persons.

Blaming the shooting on the victim is just plain wrong. Sure, he could have prevented said accident had he announced himself as he walked up, but he probably didn't have any reason to announce himself. He would not have been the only person behind the shooter(s). No doubt there were Secret Service folks providing escort security.

I am curious to know how far away the victim was when shot and what size shot hit him. From the sounds of things, had it been a defensive shooting, then Cheney would have done quite well by hitting the guy in the chest shoulders and head.

Peet
February 15, 2006, 09:46 AM
We (the British and Americans) are two countries separated by
a common language.
- George Bernard Shaw


I'd agree with neoncowboy, but the Mrs. tells me I'm wrong about being
right all the time...:neener:

P.

joab
February 15, 2006, 05:09 PM
Ok Bubba
I'll amend my opinion to non-insulting misinformed neophyte on certain aspects of the report

1KPerDay
February 15, 2006, 05:42 PM
That has got to be the most backhanded and convoluted article that I have ever read.
+1. Very deep British sarcasm. The author is mocking Cheney and American gun culture in general.

joab
February 15, 2006, 06:12 PM
The author is mocking Cheney and American gun culture in general.That's what I thought but Bubba and others say no
:confused:

Waitone
February 15, 2006, 06:41 PM
The dood is a Brit who lived in the US for a while. While here he partook of our sport called hunting. The article is a human interest story nothing more and nothing less. Come on people. Loosen up.

Bullet holes in signs is redneck grafitti. Those holes are created from a moving vehicle. The sport is not in hitting a sign, the sport is hitting a sign from a moving vehicle.

fantacmet
February 16, 2006, 12:45 AM
Let us not forget British comedy is some of the um, weirdest(?) out there, and not understood by alot of people. My IQ scores say I am above average inteligence, and I would like to think so, but some British humor escapes me(of course then again my sense of humor is often touted as being dry, witless, or just plain uninteligable but I digress), while some of it is easily understood and quite hilarious if still on the quirky side. :neener:

I have to say that alot of British humor is fairly in depth and complicated. It's their own flavor, and it works for them. Alot of our humor escapes them(as it does with the rest of the world, perhaps it's our humor that is dry and weird?), but hey, so the cookie crumbles.:p

Henceforth I think most of the precluding was humorous, if it came from a Brit. Then again with the Brits rabid gun control that makes our gun grabbers look as harmless as Barney(which strangely I don't find that harmless my kids will never watch him), one does have to wonder. :confused:

Rev. Michael

progunner1957
February 16, 2006, 01:14 AM
What if the VP had backed his car over the guy's foot and put him in the hosptial? Would it have earned 5 minutes on the 11 o'clock news? Would the hate-mongers have descended spitting and slobbering and howling for... What are they howling for? Oh right, he had a g - u - n.
The Demosocialist hate mongers would be screeching for his impeachment if Cheney had accidentally pi$$ed on the guy's shoe in a public restroom - one more Bush/Cheney hater's witch hunt (what a surprise). Such is to be expected since last week's manufactured scandal (domestic "spying") didn't pan out.

Cheney "F"ed up, he peppered his buddy, he apologized, he took full responsibility, and he feels like a schmuck. Let's let it go and move on with our lives, shall we? And while we're at it, let's remember that Ted Kennedy's car has killed more people than Dick Cheney's shotgun.:D :D

Demosocialist Bush/Cheney haters, I'm talking to you, too. Hang it up and start working on next week's "scandal."

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