Saturday, August 05, 2006

Andrew Sullivan and the Trilateral Commission

Or maybe not. But good gravy Andrew. You link to this guy?
The link goes to a youtube nerdrant "proof" that Sullivan says:

The persuasive claim of the video: Harry Whittington was shot at close range, between 15 and 18 feet, not the 90 claimed by Dick Cheney and the Secret Service

Here's the thing. Dick Cheney never claimed it was 90 feet. The secret service never claimed it was 90 feet. I'll put that another way: Dick Cheney never claimed it was 90 feet. The secret service never claimed it was 90 feet. Never mind that someone guessing that distance outdoors could be off by 30 feet just because guessing distances isn't something most of us do every day. The secret service never guessed. Dick Cheney never guessed. They accurately never guessed.

This video "proof" came out when the attempted murder shooting was still big news and I searched at the time for "cheney, whittington, 30 or 90, feet or yards" etc. and I found then, and I find now, only one account of that distance. Pamela Willeford was at the scene and she guessed 90 feet. Could she have guessed wrong? Sure she could have. What does it matter? Say it was 50 feet; what does that matter? Do you not feel safe living in a country where the vice president would dare go hunting with a woman who cannot accurately estimate distances? "By God, I was going to vote for Bush, but any man who would pick a vice president who would knowingly include in his hunting party someone who is this inadequate at judging outdoor distances....." As the ancient nomadic Xianyu tribesmen used to say, "Sheesh."

And never mind that others disagree on the ballistics; this is a guy shooting chickens and watermelons in the desert to prove what, exactly? Andrew Sullivan, you've gone into this fray half-cocked. Good thing it's a nonfray. And at least you've got Alex's homepage now, in case you ever need Star Trek trivia or views on that whole "Trekkie" vs "Trekker" imbroglio.


Darth Versluys said...

Christ but I love your site.

I am sooo picky about bloggers, but you I've added to the roster. Good do, man. Good do.

Party_of_Odd said...

As someone who's hunted for 35 of my 45 years, 90 feet sounds a lot shorter when you call it 30 yards, still within the effective range (barely) of a 28ga shotgun--assuming the target is a quail or rabbit, not a lawyer! I haven't bothered to follow the link (since it appears to be a link to idiotville), but I can say this about being peppered with a 28ga: I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end even at twice that distance!

Party_of_Odd said...

Sorry, but I had to add a couple of extra points. Regarding distance, an experienced shotgunner can generally judge the distance to a winged target fairly well by remembering one simple rule: our visual acuity for color--at the detail needed to resolve colors on a bird--runs out at about 45 yards. By coincidence, this is about the distance that a shotgun crosses from "effective" range to "extreme" range. If you can't pick out color details on your target, it's probably out of range.

Secondly: great site, great blog. Keep up the good work.

lumberjack said...

You guys-Thanks for the kind words.

Hey, did you notice? I wrote, "Andrew Sullivan, you've gone into this fray half-cocked." [not that there's anything wrong with that]

That really was an accident. Honest. But now that it's out there, I think I'm going to try to work it into every post. Well, into a few other posts at least.