Prague Twin

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Panic on the Hill

There was full blown panic on Capitol Hill yesterday as reports of gunfire emerged around 10:30 a.m. Fearing the worst, The Real Ugly American kept us updated on every new bit of inflamatory rumor that came along. Five hours of updates later, the all clear came. Then the really embarrassing news that Rep. Jim Saxton (R, New Jersey) thought he heard 6 to 10 shots. He didn't report that Rep. Saxton is a Republican. Maybe he was afraid it was classified.

At least the Real Ugly American had the integrity to report who had heard the "shots". Michelle Malkin on the other hand, who was also live-blogging updates, my favorite of which is..

12noon. First possible witness report...Jim Angle reporting that two women told police that they saw a man with a gun as they came out of Rayburn gym.

she reported the all clear, but didn't report that the person who had "heard shots", was in fact Rep. Jim Saxton (R, which stands for Republican, New Jersey).

I guess it is kind of embarrasing for the pundits.

What is really embarrasing, and what neither of these two reported was that it was construction noise that the honorabale gentleman from New Yersey actually heard.

At this point I just want to interject that while it was happening, I commented on this post at Dusty's blog with a really long name.

I suspected that this was all much ado about nothing, and as I was writing the comment, the all clear came. Here was the comment...

Sounds like hysteria to me. Someone thinks they saw someone with a gun, and there may have been a shot.

Sounds more like a board fell over in the parking lot, and an undercover got a little frisky and someone saw him. Oh [sic] some other such thing.

Imagine if they shut down the Iraqi parliament every time something like this happened.

I'm so glad I am not there right now. I'm not even getting a report in the hourly round up now. Oh wait, live blogging..... there it is.. "the all clear"

Yea, duh, didn't see that one comming.

As great as that moment was, imagine my utter glee when I found out that it was indeed construction noise. The Gun Toting Liberal has a scathing condemnation of Rep. Saxton and gental jabs for the other panic sticken like the Real Ugly American.

On the off chance that you are reading this Real Ugly American, our distinctly different reactions to this event underpin our distinctly different world view.

Has anyone ever read "The Boy Who Cried Wolf?"

UPDATE: Malkin is now bagging on Saxton. Good for her!


  • Hey there... Just thought I'd let you know you're linked @ club lefty.

    As many false alarms and needless increases to the terror alert level and what not there have been since 09/11, the next time something serious actually goes down we're really going to have a big mess. Because everyone will hear that there is an event happening and just continue on with their lives thinking its another false alarm.

    Besides, you cant really get to upset about a Republican politician mistaking an air hammer for a horrific terrorist attack. When do you suppose the last time is that one of them ever actually worked a job that included horsing around with an air hammer? To them that big loud banging noise must be terrifying. Lets just hope the next rightwing freakzoid who hears a skillsaw up close doesn't confuse that with the sound of a hijacked jet liner zeroing in right on their location!

    By Blogger bhfrik, at 12:31 AM  

  • Hey, I sure appreciate the links and the kind words! Thanks again for reading and blog ONNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    By Blogger Gun-Toting Liberal, at 5:39 AM  

  • bhfrik,

    Thanks for the link!

    I think you may be right if it is well into the future. This event demonstrates how quickly panic sets in now, but that could change if we get too many of these false alarms. I guess my point of the post is that we need to distinguish between a real danger, (i.e. the Capitol is on fire) and panic (i.e. "did you hear something?").

    Panic is exactly what the terrorists want us to do. I couldn't help to think that OBL was laughing his ass off the whole time. I didn't like that feeling.

    Friday's events are the exact result that they are looking for, and once again, we handed it to them with sugar on top.

    I'm not saying the police shouldn't check it out, but the rest of us need to learn to relax.


    You are an inspiration. Blog on, sir!

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 9:30 AM  

  • I got busy and just about missed out on the whole thing. Am I getting to laid back?

    God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

    By Blogger David Schantz, at 10:55 AM  

  • I missed the whole thing, too.

    What the people on Capitol Hill don't know about power tools could fill a law book, that is if the people who knew about power tools weren't too busy working to write 80+ page documents and mistakenly call them briefs.

    By Blogger Stephanie, at 11:08 AM  

  • bhfrik makes a great point about false alarms. That was the problem the administration had by raising the terror alert every time they needed to get the preznit's poll numbers up. Now when you hear there is a terror alert, you just kinda roll your eyes. That's what happened here in NY when Mayor Moneybags raised the terror alert before his own re-election in October. Most people I know just kinda shrugged and said, "Bloomberg's engaging in Bush-style politics." Of course, the next time the federal or municipal gov'ts have to raise the terror alert for a good reason, most people will be blase about it and say "I guess somebody needs to get their poll numbers up."

    By Blogger reality-based educator, at 5:04 PM  

  • David,

    Yes, you are supposed to be villigant at all times.


    See above.


    It is just like the boy who cried wolf. Here is the punchline...

    "Nobody believes a liar...even when he is telling the truth!"

    THAT doesn't sound like our illustrious leaders, does it?

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 5:56 PM  

  • Except for the FBI raid last Saturday I doubt this incident would have made airtime.
    It was more a case of the media feeding on the back of an existing interest.

    By Blogger Cartledge, at 10:27 PM  

  • I totally disagree, respectfully.

    Mysterious gunshots at the Capitol? This is a dream scenario for the first responders and the press. Absolute feeding frenzy waiting to happen.

    This is today's America.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 10:45 PM  

  • Speaking of what Members of Congress don't know: I was a reporter on Capitol Hill in the late 80s. My beat was criminal justice. I remember attending a hearing on assault weapons held by the Senate Judiciary Committee. One Senator queried the expert testifying, "but isn't it true that criminals hear the sound of someone readying an assault rifle and that alone makes them run?" My first thought was, cocking a shotgun makes a similar sound. Which is exactly what the witness proceeded to say.

    Now, I am not nor have I ever been a gun owner. But since crime and criminal justice was my beat, I took it upon myself to learn the subject area. Which is apparently more than members of the Senate Judiciary Committee felt compelled to do. And these are the people making some of our country's most important decisions.

    By Blogger Elizabeth, at 4:38 PM  

  • Bravo Elizabeth!


    Maybe before you claim to hear shots, you should at least know what the hell you are talking about.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 7:27 PM  

  • Do you think that the right wing pundits shielded Saxton and his party affiliation to save him and the Republicans from embarassment? Some nail guns use blank .22 shells to pump nails into masonry but they sound different to me. On the other hand, I hear gunfire wafting over my city all the time.

    By Blogger Roger Fraley, at 2:59 AM  

  • I think the right-wing pundits were really embarrased and just stopped reporting. The updates about Saxton didn't come untill much later. I heard it was a normal nail-gun.

    It took me years to get used to fire-crackers over here. Finally, when I hear that crack, I think "fire-cracker" before I think "gunfire".

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 7:29 AM  

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