Dick Cheney's reluctance to reveal how his Armstrong Ranch idyll exploded into a bird-shot blunder triggered readers to pepper the V.P. with charges of sly unaccountability. But others insisted that the only misfire in the overblown affair was the press shooting itself in the foot
Vice President Dick Cheney decided that Katherine Armstrong, owner of the land on which he accidentally shot Harry Whittington, was the best person to tell the press about the event [Feb. 27]. Cheney handpicked someone who had potentially serious liability issues to give the story to the media even before the President was informed. The disclosure that Cheney and his friends were hunting from their cars without proper licenses adds a smarmy exclamation point to another display of his arrogance and shameful disregard for the law.
ED VECCHIO Huber Heights, Ohio
The most disturbing excuse for the delay in reporting the accident to the public was that Cheney had no press officer with him. Why couldn't he write his own statement about something supposedly so straightforward? How could relaying facts be beyond his ability? If only Cheney were committed to truth and transparency, and if only he were candid enough to face the public outside the comfort zone of Fox News. The media overreacted to the delay in reporting the shooting, but Cheney's excuses attest to his secretiveness.
WILLIAM A. MCCARTNEY Delaware, Ohio
Good grief! I can't believe the media could read so much into a simple hunting accident. The real story was how reporters went completely berserk, looking under every rock to find dirt. All the facts were in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times on Monday and the sheriff's statement released on Thursday. What fools you make of yourselves--although it was hilarious watching the circus.
MARVIN VOLZ Houston
Safety-conscious hunters learn that it is their responsibility to know where the rest of their party is before taking a shot.
BRIAN CARMINES Hilton Head Island, S.C.
If I, as a police officer, shot someone accidentally and did not talk to investigators for 14 or more hours, I guarantee that the police department would take away my badge. Cheney's decision not to publicly disclose the accident until it was convenient for him shows more of the same "We're above the law" attitude from Republicans, when what they should be is beyond reproach.
MAJA RAMIREZ CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT Chicago
Thousands of Vietnam veterans heaved a collective sigh of relief that sharpshooter Cheney received five draft deferments.
HARRY PALMER Marblehead, Mass.
It's puzzling to think that anyone could enjoy blasting away at quail. The quail's bobwhite whistle is one of the most beautiful sounds. Quail are farmers' friends, eating insects that are harmful to crops. These birds harm no one and take good care of their families.
SHERRILL DURBIN Mounds, Okla.
Dick Cheney is the poster boy for the "shoot first, think later" approach, whether it involves war, torture or just plain getting even.
JAMES B. MORIN Guasti, Calif.
It's amazing that the victim was the one who apologized, while the shooter said, "It's one of the worst days of my life." Couldn't Cheney have apologized for shooting his friend without making the statement all about himself?