VP Cheney Accidentally Shoots Hunting Partner

Vice President Cheney shot a senior citizen during a hunting trip today.

Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot and injured a man during a weekend quail hunting trip in Texas, his spokeswoman said Sunday. Harry Whittington, 78, was “alert and doing fine” after Cheney sprayed him with shotgun pellets on Saturday while the two were hunting at the Armstrong Ranch in south Texas, said property owner Katharine Armstrong.

Armstrong said Whittington was mostly injured on his right side, with the pellets hitting his cheek, neck and chest, and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. Whittington was in stable condition Sunday, said Yvonne Wheeler, spokeswoman for the Christus Spohn Health System.

Cheney’s spokeswoman, Lea Anne McBride, said the vice president was with Whittington, a lawyer from Austin, Texas, and his wife at the hospital on Sunday afternoon.

Possible punch lines:

  • Dick Cheney, doing his part to end the Social Security crisis.
  • Blast it. Bad intelligence, again!
  • Effing trial lawyers!

Add yours below.

Update: Rick Brookhiser: “I earnestly hope that the man Cheney shot was not the prophet Mohammed.”

Meanwhile, a minor kerfuffle is emerging over the fact that the White House did not hold a news conference. Greg Mitchell:

The more than 18-hour delay in news emerging that the Vice President of the United States had shot a man, sending him to an intensive care unit with his wounds, grew even more curious late Sunday. E&P has learned that the official confirmation of the shooting came about only after a local reporter in Corpus Christi, Texas, received a tip from the owner of the property where the shooting occured and called Vice President Cheney’s office for confirmation.

The confirmation was made but there was no indication whether the Vice President’s office, the White House, or anyone else intended to announce the shooting if the reporter, Jaime Powell of the Corpus Christ Caller-Times, had not received word from the ranch owner.

Perhaps the Whittingtons wanted time to call family members and determine the nature of the injury. One can’t imagine that the White House thought they would avoid having this incident kept secret by an entire hospital staff.

Update (2/14): Comments off. See Whittington Suffers Heart Attack from Cheney Shooting for continued coverage.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Mark Jaquith says:

    Of course, the really entertaining part will be how the rabid left will take this story and… shoot themselves in the foot with it.

  2. koashfjhaf says:

    Possible punch lines:

    Yes, lets make light of the fact that someone has been hospitalized as a result of Cheney’s carelessness.

  3. Herb says:



  4. G A PHILLIPS says:

    Sh-t happens, I live in Wisconsin it happens here all the time. I hope the old guys ok, but it was probably only bird shot, it depends on how close he was. lucky they weren’t deer hunting, or like the muslims, bus or resturant hunting.

  5. Alan says:

    Yeh, sh-t happens, but it was clearly Chaney’s fault. In all my years of hunting, I’ve never so much as raised my gun, much less placed my finger inside the trigger guard, unless I was able to visually account for all the members of my hunting party.

  6. Rodney Dill says:

    Yes, lets make light of the fact that someone has been hospitalized as a result of CheneyÂ’s carelessness.
    As opposed to holding a political pep rally if he’d actually died.

  7. koashfjhaf says:


    Whatever. There is someone in an intensive care unit at this hour due to Cheney’s recklessness.

    It’s too bad he “had other priorities in the 60s than military service.” Had he not dodged ‘Nam, he might have learned something about firearm safety.

    Let’s hope Dick takes George along on his next hunting trip.

    With this episode, we really have Cheney acting as Aaron Burr redux. Let’s hope Cheney meets the charges as Burr.

  8. Brian says:

    Jesus, koashfjhaf. Your comment is so inappropriate. It’s possible Cheney was being a little careless, but freak accidents do happen. This was an ACCIDENT! And your comments about George and Aaron Burr are way out of line. It’s idiots like you that give the rest of us liberals a bad name. My disagreements with conservatives are political, not personal.

  9. koashfjhaf says:

    Sh-t happens, I live in Wisconsin it happens here all the time.

    G.A. Phillips, I don’t know how you define “all the time,” but in 2003 in Wisconsin the incident rate per 100,000 hunters was around 3. The rate is similar in Texas.

    Hunting accidents are EXTREMELY rare. It is even more rare that the shooter mistakes the victim for game–as Cheney did (assuming that the account given in the papers is true). This only happened in 7% of all hunting accidents in 2004 in Texas.

    It will be interesting to see if Cheney actually cooperates with the local and state investigation of the shooting.

  10. LJD says:

    You don’t have to worry about things like this with Democrats. Kerry would have just walked into the woods with an empty shotgun, then had Theresa’s ‘servants prepare a few nice dead birds to sling over his shoulder for a carefully timed photo-op.

  11. Rodney Dill says:

    I’m sure more will come out, but it doesn’t seem that Cheney mistook Harry for game, but was ‘locked’ on to the quail, that passed in Harry’s direction. Some reports were that Harry had rejoined the group announced, but I’d have to see more confirmation of that to put much weight in it. all humor aside, even if Harry had had made any hunting error, the bulk of the mistake is Cheney’s and I don’t see himself or anyone else trying to paint it otherwise as yet.

    (If anyone’s keeping track, Ted Kennedy has still killed more people than Cheney’s gun)

  12. Rodney Dill says:

    Update: Rick Brookhiser: “I earnestly hope that the man Cheney shot was not the prophet Mohammed.”
    (I could post on caption contests for years and not come up with anything that funny. Some would probably claim I’ve already proven it)

  13. DC Loser says:

    Can Dick take Dubya along on his next hunting trip?

  14. sgtfluffy says:

    “Can Dick take Dubya along on his next hunting trip?”
    Only if you join them

  15. Herb says:


    Wow, you are really out there. I bet you and Ken are related and have joined together to make one of Ken’s famous trips to the far side of Pluto.

    I have always wondered where guys like you come from and. have over the years, concluded that hate, discontent, self frustration and low mental capacity is the driving forces behind you. Oh, well, I guess we just have to put up with your crap and give careful considedation to your extremists regtoric.

  16. Rodney Dill says:

    rejoined the group announced,
    should read
    rejoined the group unannounced,
    in my comment above.

  17. DL says:

    I love the headlines that refer to the “victim” as being in stable condition -isn’t that what they called Terri Schaivo’s condition?

    How devious the scribes from the left.

  18. DL says:

    Damn those bible reading conservatives like Cheney -he must have meditated on the verse about getting rid of all the lawyers.

  19. G A PHILLIPS says:

    Koashfjhaf, I’ve been hit with bird shot while hunting, how about you, and the stats you give sound about right for deer hunting alone. Dang’ I grew up having bb-gun and pellet gun fights with my friends, how about you. Most times said shot dude would get a pair of tweezers and some bandaids. Gee, I’ve had treblehooks sunk into my body while fishing that caused larger wounds then a little bird shot, like I said sh-t happens all the time, and all that matters is how close you are and what kind of ammo. Oh and DC Loser, I don’t hunt any more but I would love to take you fishing. And for all the rest of you donkey lovers “all the time” is a figure of speech sometimes, learn to speak American or get ready for some verbal violence!

  20. DC Loser says:

    GA – lighten up, bud. If I’m ever in your neck of the woods again I’ll take you up on the fishing offer for real. Ice fishing too if the season’s right. I’ll even spring for the liquid refreshments. But you gotta chill out.

  21. G A PHILLIPS says:

    DC Loser, I was just mess-in, I’ll take you fishing if you really want to go, I have a couple of friends with charter type boats, for the great Mich-a-goon. If your ever around Wisconsin in the summer let me know in a post. So sorry if I seem a little harsh some times, most of the time I’m just trying to be funny as I get my point across. Forgive me.

  22. yetanotherjohn says:

    I think the clock is ticking before Whittington is linked to Earle and this becomes a dirty harry case of shooting and then torturing as part of getting Delay free. When Earle has gotten maximum exposure, he’ll probably fold his case like he did with Hutchinson and then you will see this incident come back as the conspiracy theorist’s lynch pin.

    On another note, imagine the poor secret service guys who have to protect Cheney while he is hunting with other guys carrying guns. How hard would it be for one of the other hunters to re-load with a deer slug and have an “accident”.

  23. jimbo says:

    Maybe, just maybe, this will give Bush the excuse he needs, there is also the authorization to leak confidential info for political purposes for another reason, to dump Cheney. And then, oh happy day, he could put Condi in as VP so she can get a head start on her 2008 campaign.

  24. Eneils Bailey says:

    The delay in reporting, it is no big deal. I remember when Clinton’s gun went off, hitting Monica in the back of the throat. It took months for us to find out about that. Sometimes, gun accidents are tough to swallow for the left.

  25. Olrnf says:

    Why hasn’t Pam Willeford spoken about the incident yet?

  26. CGHill says:

    Is there any truth to the rumor that Senator Leahy has been added to the guest list for the next excursion?

  27. Herb says:


    Your comment made my day, I haven’t seen anything this funny in years.

  28. ken says:

    So Cheney shoots someone, but the guy lives. That is not as bad as Laura Bush actually killing her boyfriend.

    Conservatives are a reckless, callous crowd.

  29. ICallMasICM says:

    ‘That is not as bad as Laura Bush actually killing her boyfriend.’

    As long as you’re using stupid non sequiters it’s nowhere near as bad as Ted Kennedy killing an aide and then covering it up and lying about it for 36+ years. I guess since you’re relying on idiotic generalizations we could say that all Dems are immoral, lying killers but we’re not going to do that.

  30. ken says:

    ‘That is not as bad as Laura Bush actually killing her boyfriend.’

    Well it isn’t.

  31. Anderson says:

    That is not as bad as Laura Bush actually killing her boyfriend

    The wrong boyfriend, at that ….

    Typical White House arrogance & all that, and I’ll have a stroke if Cheney actually says “hey, my bad entirely” …

    … but a pretty minor story nonetheless.

  32. Christopher says:

    “Can Dick take Dubya along on his next hunting trip?”

    Hey, DC Loser: I’ve forwarded your comments to the Secret Service. I’m sure they will be interested.

  33. DC Loser says:

    Christopher, be my guest. Since when is it a crime for the prez and the veep to go hunting together? 😛

  34. G A PHILLIPS says:

    Anderson, I’m sure you have stroke every time one of you libs attempts to make a scandal out of nothing. You must have a gun on one of your arms, be careful with it.

  35. J Venegas says:

    Will someone tell me the importance of this story?

  36. Rodney Dill says:

    A local radio station played a bunch of questions that were asked of Scott McClellan. Listening to those stupid questions was funnier than most of the comments above. (except maybe for Eneils)

  37. Alan says:

    As a leader and role model, its very disappointing that the Vice President did not immediately accept responsibility for the accident and explain what he should have done differently. This would have been a good lesson for young hunters about gun safety. Instead, the lesson he appears to be spreading is to avoid responsibility, cover up and mislead. It is very disappointing that the Vice President cannot accept responsibility for his own actions.

  38. McGehee says:

    Sorry, Rodney — but the only thing funnier about this to me, than the jokes here, is how the libs are stretching and contorting and tut-tutting over the fact Cheney didn’t call a nationwide televised press conference to confess to the accident before the freaking ambulance had arrived.

    Jeez, some people.

  39. Mike says:

    I am currently listening to the White House Press Corps grill the press secretary. Quite amusing. Line of questioning kinda goes – Why didn’t we know this first? Why didn’t you call us and tell us? Frankly, I would set up a response cell witht he phone numbers to all the press reporters’ phone numbers. And then start calling them hourly to report that the President and Vice President are sleeping soundly, eating dinner (complete with menu), has no current health problems – as the press is always concerned about Mr. Cheney’s health – and all other issues through-out the day and into the wee hours of the morning.

  40. G A PHILLIPS says:

    J.V. its not the story, its what the donkey people are trying to make out of it.

  41. Anderson says:

    Anderson, IÂ’m sure you have stroke every time one of you libs attempts to make a scandal out of nothing. You must have a gun on one of your arms, be careful with it.

    GA, I said it was a pretty minor story. What did you think that meant, exactly?

    I have a .357 in my glove compartment, if that’s responsive to the rest of your comment.

  42. Derrick says:

    Trying to make out of it. The man just had a heart attack. Do you realize that at his age, with the injuries he has suffered, and now the heart attack that Dick Cheney might have given this guy a death sentence. The Vice-President would have actually killed a man. That my friends is not a minor story.

  43. Anderson says:

    Just think, it could’ve been Scalia.

  44. Rodney Dill says:

    I can’t remember all the questions McGehee, but they went from, “When did you first realize you’d shot someone?” to “Did the VP tender his resignaton, or do you think he should in this situation?”
    On the local station, WCSX in Detroit they couldn’t get over how stupid the press corps sounded.