by Chris Haire
You know, if it wasn't for knee-jerk reactions, journalistic jerk-offs like myself wouldn't have diddly to write about.
And nothing inspires an ill-conceived reaction like a national tragedy, in this case the recent shooting in Tuscon.
In the hours, if not the minutes after Jared Lee Loughner opened fire outside of an Arizona supermarket, bloggers and tweeters quickly spread word about an old Sarah Palin ad. You've seen the ad. I don't need to tell you about it.
This in turn inspired others to make the unsubstantiated claim that Palin, the Tea Party, and their often angry rhetoric somehow inspired Loughner to commit murder.
In response to this, the Palin camp removed the ad, which then led to even more blog posts, tweets, and reports.
Days later, after it was clear that Loughner was most likely mentally ill and a perhaps of a leftist political bent, Palin felt compelled to address the erroneous claims, releasing a disastrous video statement.
The video was not only self-serving and narcissistic, but it kicked off a new shitstorm for the former Alaskan governor, all because Palin had used the term "blood libel," a term which has an anti-Semitic origin, a fact unknown to this reporter and quite likely Sarah herself. Not surprisingly, the media pounced on this unforeseen little tidbit, discussing it ad nauseam.
And so the knee-jerk circle jerk continues.
Of course, we here in the Palmetto State aren't immune to knee-jerk reactions.
According to a new Post and Courier report, state Rep. Chip Limehouse will introduce a bill requiring college officials to inform police whenever "a student is kicked out of college or leaves voluntarily, because he or she has made threats or been identified as having behavioral issues."
The P&C notes that Limehouse believes the bill will help save lives.
Hmm. I wonder what Limehouse expects the police to do with this information?
Does he expect the police to follow the student around town 24 hours a day, week after week? Or does he expect the police to take the information and file it away, never to be seen again?
Of course, the failure of this bill to do anything except create more paperwork is not going to stop Limehouse from introducing it or his pals in the General Assembly from passing it.
After all, who wants to be the guy that makes the world a safer place for the Jared Lee Loughners of the world?