Much has been made of the Bush doctrine, his decision to treat any country that harbors terrorists as the equivalent of terrorists. Less has been said about the Cheney doctrine, his proclamation that the US will respond to even a 1% probability of WMD in the same way that we'd respond to the certainty of WMD.
In this context, it makes perfect sense that Cheney would shoot a lawyer. Given that they were hunting together, Cheney could reasonably conclude that there was a high probability (I'm not particularly good with numbers, but probably considerably higher than 1%) that his friend was armed. Cheney merely responded as made sense to him.
I think that we Americans should set aside a week each year in which we all practice the Cheney doctrine in our own lives. If you think that there is even a 1% chance that someone has a gun (keep in mind that 40% of Americans report a gun in the home), respond as if they did. If you're a pacifist, hide indoors, locked in the cellar. If you are a no-nonsense kind of guy, just shoot the suspects you encounter throughout the day. (And here, unable to offer the vice president's advice on the matter, I can only point to his example: merely clip your suspect or leave him with the equivalent of a "flesh wound;" there is no reason to turn this personal observation of the Cheney doctrine into a blood bath.) If you're not sure what you are, just scurry frantically, dashing from behind the cover of cars, post office boxes, buildings and grocery store aisles as you furtively go about your daily work and errands.
Regardless of who you are, the most essential thing is to let the terror wash over you, shutting down your frontal lobes and letting the reptilian brain take over. Just keep in mind that a 1% chance of bad things happening is the same as absolute certainty that bad things will happen. Car wrecks, cancer, and, yes, even gun shot wounds are to be greatly feared during this week, seen as inevitable unless you take forceful action. While this may be the mental health equivalent of buying lottery tickets to fund retirement, it is recommended for at least two reasons. One, only this kind of fight or flight response will keep you safe throughout Cheney Doctrine Observation Week. Two, the reptilian brain is rarely disconcerted by the policies of the Bush administration.