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Why make a big deal out of Cheney's hunting accident?

Re: In wake of Cheney shooting, blame game, Feb. 14.

I could not believe my eyes when I read this headline in the Tuesday St. Petersburg Times.

They're going to make a big deal about two men who didn't even use common sense in trying to bring down a defenseless bird? I say they should lick their wounds and get back to the business at hand. I'm sure the wounded man is being well taken care of. So enough already.

There's a war going on and nature has handed us a blow we don't seem to know how to handle. Our fuel is getting low. The economy is not the greatest, and half of the world seems to be mad at the other half.

So, please, don't let this agony take up any more of our valuable time, for goodness' sake. Please get back to minding the store.

Hartley Steeves, Tampa

Media self-importance on display

Re: Vice President Quail, editorial, Feb. 15.

This editorial about the Dick Cheney accident typifies the grossly exaggerated sense of self-importance possessed by the mainstream media in this country. The vice president is involved in a hunting accident on private property with a private individual and the media go berserk because they were not informed in the manner in which they, and they alone, demand.

The Times editorial astoundingly attempted to connect Hurricane Katrina, the war in Iraq and Medicaid prescription benefits to the Cheney accident. Such obsessive hatred of the Bush administration borders on the pathological and displays a complete disconnect from reality.

Steven A. Royal, Tampa

Has he learned a lesson?

Vice President Dick Cheney can no longer be called a "chicken-hawk." He has shot another person. He said it was "one of the worst days of my life."

I'll bet it was. Now he knows what it is like to be in Iraq. Maybe he has learned a lesson. Probably not.

Kevin Jensen, Clearwater

Too much about too little

Re: Dick Cheney coverage, Feb. 15.

On one day we have an editorial and two op-ed pieces on an accidental shooting. If the man was shot because he failed to make good on a promised campaign contribution, it would warrant this type of attention. I guess Harry Reid's lame responses about his ties to a "disgraced lobbyist" weren't worthy of a response by the Times editorial staff.

One of the brilliant journalists in Wednesday's paper felt Dick Cheney should hold Harry Whittington's hand until he got out of the hospital. The other drew a parallel between an accidental shooting and a drunken senator's drowning of a young woman.

I'm anxiously awaiting the next installment from the editorial staff of the Times. Shower me with your wisdom, or that of your dream date, Maureen Dowd.

James Potter, Tarpon Springs

Reminiscent of war policy

Am I the only one to see the parallel between the Cheney hunting incident and the war in Iraq?

The shoot first, discover the consequences later, mentality? What kind of leaders do we have?

Richard Weaver, South Pasadena

Just as well he got those deferments

Re: Aiming for quail, Cheney shoots fellow hunter, Feb. 13.

It used to upset me that the vice president dodged the draft during the Vietnam War with five student deferments. In view of this headline, I guess we didn't need him there after all.

Gerald Barnes, sergeant major, U.S. Army (retired),

Zephyrhills

Reporters behaving childishly

Watching the reporters' childish antics, one would have thought that Dick Cheney had been shot. Now that would have been worthy of such coverage, as he is first in succession should tragedy befall the president. But Cheney's involvement in a not terribly uncommon type of hunting accident is more akin to having bopped someone in the head with an errant drive on the golf course.

Personally, as a physician, and given Cheney's medical history, I'd be more concerned if the administration withheld the news that Cheney hadn't had a good bowel movement for three days. The ensuing strain would put him at increased risk for another heart attack.

Gary P. Posner, M.D., Tampa

Compassion was missing

I found it very sad that the St. Petersburg Times used the power of the press to condemn the vice president rather than show remorse over what must be a terrible experience for any man to face.

I think that those who contributed to these articles are nothing but a bunch of fools who have never faced the sadness of somehow hurting something you care for.

Dick Cheney has more class under his fingernails than this group of writers.

Guy Nash, St. Petersburg

Consider the birds' view

What brave men Vice President Dick Cheney and his friend Harry Whittington must be. It takes a lot of courage to use a 28-gauge shotgun to shoot these tiny, peaceful birds.

I am sure Whittington must have been in a lot of pain. I wonder if he and Cheney ever wondered how these little birds felt.

This episode wasn't even revealed until more than 24 hours after it took place. This is par for the course for this very secretive administration.

During his first campaign for president, George W. Bush was in Texas shooting doves. I guess you could say that these men "are birds of a feather."

Marilyn Woolman, Belleair

The question of gun control

After Dick Cheney's hunting incident, I now understand why Republicans are so vehemently opposed to gun control legislation. Heck, if they can't even control their own guns, how would we expect them to control everyone else's?

Jim Santamour, St. Petersburg

Not a close comparison

Re: A dangerous arrogance of power, Feb. 15.

Did I read this right? Dick Cheney's accidental shooting of a man and failure to report it to the press until the next day reminds David Ignatius of "Sen. Edward Kennedy's delay in informing Massachusetts authorities about his role in the fatal automobile accident at Chappaquiddick in 1969"?

If Cheney had left the man out there to die and then not reported it to the authorities until the next day, then that would have reminded me of Chappaquiddick. Had that happened, he could have consulted Kennedy on how a rich, powerful and arrogant man could get away with such a crime.

John Moyer, Clearwater

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