I think this is dangerous territory for Cheney et al. There is no good explanation for this, other than being drunk or stupid. Anti-gun people are going to hate the whole thing. Gun people like me are going to hate that he was such a complete idiot.
I think, as other have pointed out, that this is a microcosm of the whole administration:
1. Try to play tough, with a gun, or an army.
2. Fail to follow well-established rules, guidelines, and past experience (either out of ignorance or willful disregard, or both).
3. Get someone hurt or killed.
4. Try to keep the story under wraps for as long as possible.
5. When the story does come out, spin it so that there was no possible way the administration did anything wrong.
6. Blame someone else, where possible, blame the victim.
7. Make anyone who has a problem with it look like an un-American pussy.
That says it all for me.
Must get back to the short story I'm working on.