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"Arms-bearing Americans are rarely wrong"

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Preacherman, Feb 14, 2006.

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  1. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    From the Telegraph, London (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/...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.
     
  2. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    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.?
     
  3. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

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    Had he been held hostage? :scrutiny:
     
  4. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    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
     
  5. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    :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.

    I assumed he meant Washington State.
     
  6. Thefabulousfink

    Thefabulousfink Member

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    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:
     
  7. engineer151515

    engineer151515 Member

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    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.
     
  8. Kodiaz

    Kodiaz member

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    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: )
     
  9. engineer151515

    engineer151515 Member

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    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.

    :)
     
  10. joab

    joab Member

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    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
     
  11. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    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.
     
  12. G36-UK

    G36-UK Member

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    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?
     
  13. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    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.
     
  14. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    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.
     
  15. carlrodd

    carlrodd Member

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    he's definitely trying to write for RKBA. he took quite a few jabs at brit authorities there.
     
  16. Kim

    Kim Member

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    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:
     
  17. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    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.
     
  18. KriegHund

    KriegHund Member

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    I cant tell if its satire or not.
     
  19. StephenT

    StephenT Member

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    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."
     
  20. Stauble

    Stauble Member

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    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
     
  21. Kodiaz

    Kodiaz member

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    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.
     
  22. joab

    joab Member

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    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
     
  23. Mad Chemist

    Mad Chemist Member

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    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
     
  24. GunnySkox

    GunnySkox Member

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    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
     
  25. Kodiaz

    Kodiaz member

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    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"
     
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