Wednesday, February 15, 2006

One more Cheney Shooting Bit... can accidentally injure somebody, especially if you're acting in a reckless manner, and still get in trouble for it, right?

Folks who've braved being in a car with me, for example, know that I sometimes like to drive above the poster speed limits. Now, if I'd wiped out doing something like that and hurt somebody, you all might not be too shocked if I faced some sort of criminal penalty for doing so.

That principle either doesn't apply to hunters or Vice Presidents, it seems.

CNN and other outlets report local authorities saying that Cheney would only be subject to a criminal investigation if the lawyer he shot actually dies.

Sure, it was an accident and not Cheney following Shakespeare's advice about tort reform, but I wager that every day, ordinary Americans who are neither hunters or Vice Presidents accidentally injure their fellow Americans and face criminal prosecution for it. I'm not even necessarily suggesting jail time or anything of the sort, but a blemish on the record, a fine, community service -- people with intentions as innocent as Cheney had (actually, people with more innocent intentions, as they're usually not out to kill poor little birds in pens) suffer consequences for accidents all of the time, even if nobody's killed and even if the victim doesn't want to press charges.

Some Texas judge with an eye towards preserving the second ammendment should demand an investigation and if it turns out that Cheney acted like an idiot, the Veep should be sentenced to a hefty fine (to be paid in Halliburton stock) and 1,000 hours of community service, teaching gun safety to the children attending the schools that our nation is building in Baghdad.


At 9:31 PM , Blogger Jon E. said...

Yeah, I wondered about this. I didn't say anything because I haven't heard anybody who knows hunting say that this meets the legal standard for reckless endandgerment (or whatever the specific charge would be).

I guess the idea is that if you're part of a hunting party, you go in knowing that people blasting away at birds with scattershot (what a sporting endeavor) might accidentally shoot you. Still, I think you're right. It seems like anybody who shoots a guy wearing an orange vest standing right in front of him might just have done something dumb and wrong.


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