It takes a real man to shoot trapped and caged animals for the pure fun of killing. Real men like former NRA Executive Director John Sigler who was photographed participating in a canned pigeon hunt at the Philadelphia Gun Club in Bensalem, PA in 2012. The caged pigeons, tossed into the air and shot by he-men, are not killed for food but "rather for the hunting equivalent of dog-fighting," says the Daily Kos . They are left "to die agonizingly over the course of hours and days," as disturbing videos show.
Live pigeon shoots like the one at the Philadelphia Gun Club thrive in Pennsylvania. District attorneys "regularly block attempts by humane officers to file cruelty charges for the inhumane treatment of wounded birds," reports the Philadelphia Inquirer because the club and hunt sponsors and fans are so well connected politically. Sigler, for example, is the head of the Delaware Republican Party.
Of course the poster child for thrill killing is former Vice President Dick Cheney. Cheney did not have to plead for an organ transplant to save his life like 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan; he received one last year, "because my heart had gotten so weak after six heart attacks and 30-some years of heart disease that it was, you know, it was at the end," he told the press. Of course many contend he never had a heart. But Cheney's reprieve thanks to someone who died has not given him new reverence for life. In fact, it has inspired him to indulge in his favorite pastime.
The Denver Post reports the Veep will participate in Wyoming's One Shot Antelope Hunt in September. The event is a duel between Wyoming and Colorado and "the team that kills the most antelope in the shortest time wins," says the Associated Press . Nice.
While some defend hunting as more honest than eating food from factory farm conditions, not Dick Cheney style hunting. The nation still laughs at how Cheney shot his companion, attorney Harry Whittington, in the face instead of shooting a quail in 2006. But Cheney's love of put-and-take or canned hunting is hardly funny. Even hunters agree it is as brave as hitting women and children.
In 2003, Cheney's hunting party killed 417 pheasants at the Rolling Rock Club in Ligonier Township, PA; Cheney personally killed 70 pheasants and an undisclosed number of ducks. Three years later, Cheney headed to Clove Valley Rod & Gun Club in a caravan of 15 sport utility vehicles--with an ambulance--at a local-taxpayer cost of $32,000. Nor was this Cheney's ﬁrst visit to the 4,000-acre club, which costs $150,000 a year to join and features a male-only clubhouse.
Gun-club staff would not divulge whether the Veep was shooting pheasants, ducks or the "Hungarian partridges," the club advertises, but a New York Daily News photographer snapped a photo of a Confederate ﬂag displayed in a Clove Valley Rod & Gun Club garage. What? Racism and gun extremism linked?
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