That Cheney YouTube
Some expert opinions on this:
I am not a ballistics expert but what was said on the video makes sense, even if you account for the differences in chokes, etc. The presenter's spin was that there was a "cover-up" for some nefarious reason. Most likely the reason was embarrassment rather than a cover-up, but he has a point that Cheney took advantage of his position to make sure that the least nasty report would come out. He shot Mr. Whittingon due to stupidity and lack of common sense, but that does not make him a felon. I have been the physician for the US Shooting team and am still a writer for Shotgun Sports Magazine so I do have some practical experience. The kind of penetration noted in the police and medical reports does indicate a closer shot.
Another hunter weighs in:
Anyone experienced shotgunner/hunter could see that the story was weird from the beginning. The original story said Whittington was hit by as many as 250 pellets. A 28 gauge only has 250 pellets (a 12 gauge has 450 by comparison). It is inconceivable that at thirty yards he could had been hit by more than a third or fourth of the pellets. Second, when I accidentally shot a hunting guide at about 12-15 yards, my victim only had deep skin penetration of the pellets, almost all removable by tweezers and scalpels. Whittington was shot at very close range to have the level of penetration that was reported.
Here's the one piece of data that might affect this assessment:
"One thing to remember: the only thing that is consistent about shotguns is that very few things are consistent. Identical guns with the same degree of choke and using the same shell may not pattern the same. The same load between various brands of shells can pattern differently. Patterns will change when changing from hard to soft shot. Patterns can change when anything in the shell changes such as different wads, powders or primers. What I am trying to get across is that when you change anything such as brands, shot size, or components you will need to check the pattern as it could have changed, sometimes by an extreme amount."
Another reader argues that we cannot know from the data we have:
I'm no fan of Cheney and I think the responsibility for what happened rests squarely on his shoulders, but I think it is reasonable to believe that he shot Whittington at 30 yards.
It is also reasonable to think that he shot him at half that range, too. But I don't think there is any way to establish this given the variables and the unknowns.
Just fleshing this out. I feel bad giving Jones any air now I know who he is. But I see no problem with hashing this out some more.