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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Wait a sec... so Cheney WAS drunk?!

From my first post about Vice President Cheney shooting a fellow hunter a few days ago:
Part of me is wondering if alcoholic beverages were involved in this thing...
I'll admit that it was a joke. A bad one at that. And then it comes out in an interview today that Cheney really was under the influence of alcohol:
Cheney on TV: Takes Blame for Shooting But 'Unapologetic' About Aftermath, Admits Drinking One Beer at Lunch
By Joe Strupp and Greg Mitchell

Published: February 15, 2006 3:45 PM ET

NEW YORK In an exclusive interview with Fox News' Brit Hume this afternoon, Vice President Dick Cheney took full responsibility for shooting his hunting companion, who has until now been pictured as the guilty party. The interview will not air in full until 6 p.m., but according to Hume, in summarizing the contents, the vice president remained "totally unapologetic" about the long lag in reporting the shooting to the public -- and also said that he had consumed one beer at lunch that day...

This is going to be made out that they were just "good old boys" out having a good time. But really, what kind of "responsible" person is it who would bring alcohol into a situation involving firearms? The military and commercial airliners have what's called the "16 hour rule", which forbids operating aircraft within sixteen hours of imbibing alcoholic beverages. It only makes sense that hunters in the field - or anyone else involved in a potentially dangerous activity - should voluntarily enforce that rule on themselves if they insist on having their beer. That's not a condemnation of anyone who does drink alcohol. That's definitely not a slam against those who enjoy the pastime of hunting. It's just common sense, especially when considering the safety of others.

Just ask yourself this: would you feel safe around someone armed with a shotgun mere hours after he had drank a beer?


Anonymous said...

Cheney of course knew all about the 16 hour rule from his time in the military. Oh wait ...

Anonymous said...

Speaking as a pilot and a gun owner, yes I would (and did) feel safe around someone armed with a shotgun hours after he had a beer.

The 16 hour rule is not a fair comparison to Cheney's incident. There are MANY more variables that have to be considered in piloting an airplane than in handling a shotgun in the woods (being trained in the safe handling of a gun takes only a couple of hours. Being trained in the safe handling of an aircraft takes months to years, depending on the type of aircraft) For example, the high altitude alone can have a terrible effect on some people who have imbibed alcohol shortly before takeoff. (It's one thing to allow the passengers to have their alcohol. After all, they are not the ones piloting the plane) I have had strange and scary incidents in which passengers went crazy after takeoff, and it would turn out that they had one or two alcoholic beverages, and it didnt mix well with the altitude. High altitude is something hunters on the ground do not have to worry about.

And I think it is unfair to infer that Cheney was drunk. He had only one beer. In many states, one beer is not enough to declare someone legally drunk. People are still allowed to drive after having one beer. Three beers? No, but one beer, yes.

Chris Knight said...

Thanks for the comments "anonymous pilot". I think you make a lot of good points especially re: altitude having an effect. But I'm the kind of guy who's seen the effects that something like even a small amount of cold medicine can do to a person (long story short: I almost saw a guy lose his hand 'cuz another guy was doped up on a *tiny* amount of allergy medication), so ANY thing that could possibly impair judgement is something I'm wary of.