By in Random

Knee-Jerk Reactions Are Rarely the Solution

If your hand is too close to a fire or a heavy object is hurtling through the air toward you, then a quick reaction is both necessary and likely the solution to the problem. Now if your hand is too close to a fire because someone is doing his best to burn you with a blow torch, or the heavy object hurtling toward you is only one of many, then a simple move away will only solve the immediate issue and not the real problem.

When tragedies occur, whether on a personal or national level, humans have a tendency to think first of an immediate solution. In the fear, shock and anger that follow accidents or malicious acts, the need to figure out how to prevent another such occurrence provides a salve for these uncomfortable feelings. So often, though, those ideas contrived in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy are as woefully inadequate as placing a bandaid on a hemorrhage.

Perhaps the true danger of knee-jerk reactions is that we may accept them as true solutions to a bigger problem. We become comforted and comfortable with the ease of unpleasant thoughts and emotions. The bigger picture doesn't come into view.

The all-too-frequent issue of mass shootings in the United States comes to mind as an issue. Politicians and talking heads can't wait to issue sound-byte ready ideas to put an end to these tragedies. On the surface, some of the solutions sound good and after a time the outrage and hysteria passes. Our minds move on to the next awful thing, having subconsciously accepted that the situation has been handled.

It isn't that easy -- and it won't be that quick. The combination of the underlying factors in each situation demands that a well-thought-out and executed plan for the future on many fronts is the only way that such issues can be successfully handled. It's difficult as an individual and as a nation to accept that time, money and effort will be required to repair what is damaged -- from laws to systems of communication to individuals.

I propose each of us begin to look not at knee-jerk solutions, but keep an ear open for those who have ideas that will develop changes over time.


Image Credit » by johnhain

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markgraham wrote on October 5, 2015, 3:40 PM

Knee jerk reactions are what makes the news and the reporters jump at them and they make them bigger. I am really not like watching any news in any form anymore even though the news makes for good writing fodder.

WordChazer wrote on October 5, 2015, 5:00 PM

A couple of days ago I read a really good discussion on why Obama's gun law plans wouldn't hold up with the current Congressional mix. I hadn't realised it was as complicated as that in the States. All the way from over here in the UK, I'm pro-concealed carry, but only because I know there are people who use before they think and I'd like to have the chance to defend myself before they took me down, if they didn't mind. Plus, in the case of burglars, wt actual h are they doing on MY property without MY express permission already?!

wolfgirl569 wrote on October 5, 2015, 7:13 PM

That makes great news tho so that is what you are going to hear. Not something that will work. Every thing is supposed to be instant any more anyways

Feisty56 wrote on October 5, 2015, 10:03 PM

Yes, the "news" isn't really that any more, is it? I realize there have always been news moguls with a bend one way or another, but these days bias is so blatant.

Feisty56 wrote on October 5, 2015, 10:10 PM

I'll admit I don't know any specifics when it come so to gun control and laws governing guns, so I don't offer an opinion. morilla is a member that has a good grasp of the details.

I don't own a gun because I choose not to, but I believe that people have the right to defend themselves and their homes.

Feisty56 wrote on October 5, 2015, 10:11 PM

It's unfortunate that because most people's lives are so busy just trying to live that often there isn't time to do more than hear or read headlines and brief snippets of information.

morilla wrote on October 5, 2015, 10:59 PM

There's some real question as to whether his plans would hold up Constitutionally as well, even among pro-gun control supporters. (Bear in mind that what you can do to one such right, you can do to the others.) The Supreme Court finally recognized the right protected by the 2nd Amendment as an individual right in 2008 and incorporated it to the states in 2010. Though some pro-gun control supporters disagree with that, it would be the only one of the Bill of Rights which would been declared a collective right and not required to be recognized by the individual states were that the case.

The reason behind the 2008 case was that D.C. had passed laws which in essence and in fact had required gun owners to keep their firearms locked up at all times and even made it illegal to carry an assembled firearm from one room of the house to another. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has refused to take up any "gun cases" since 2010 to not only clarify the parsimony of the lower courts on the 2008 and 2010 decisions, but other partisan efforts to restrict guns. Part of the reason, I'm sure, is that there is some concern that the 'balance of the court' is now 'too liberal;' i.e., too pro-gun control, despite all the historical and legal precedent against it. Even if gun owners were to win the case overall, a small part of any decision can have far-reaching consequences down the road and since some form of 'compromise' would be required, the concern would be over what that compromise would be.

Right now, the 2008 ruling declares the right of self-defense to be an "ancient right." In other words, Government cannot declare you do not have the right to defend yourself and the Supreme Court has ruled, on numerous occasions, that the police do not have the duty to protect the individual, just 'society.' Thus, you have the expression: When seconds count, the police are only minutes away. However, it is decided on a state-by-state basis as to whether you have any right to protect your property and that can get a bit complicated, even in states where you can.

At one time, it didn't used to be this complex. But, the anti-gun proponents have made an hash of the legal system and, in some cases, pro-gun pundits haven't helped. Add to the mix those who feel the rights of 'criminals' are more important than the rights of the law-abiding, things such as belief in rehabilitation, etc. and it gets messy and very parochial. However, just as the British tried to impose gun confiscation in America immediately prior to the Revolution, anti-gun supporters are finding it most difficult to overcome a natural right which precedes and is not subject to Government.

Paulie wrote on October 6, 2015, 2:26 AM

When I was teaching, i also found out that the knee-jerk reaction to school problems didn't really solve anything.

bestwriter wrote on October 6, 2015, 5:49 AM

The sad part is it strikes you and the rest of us but we have no power to change the situation and those in power do nothing.

Last Edited: October 6, 2015, 5:49 AM

LoudMan wrote on October 6, 2015, 11:41 AM

And,we need to also consider some of these shootings are psy-ops. I know. People call folks like me crazy. I'm used to it. I just see too much indicating it as a high possibility. Our government lies a lot.

LoudMan wrote on October 6, 2015, 4:38 PM

Even if I have no legal "permission" to defend myself or another, I'd still rather be tried by twelve than carried by six.

morilla wrote on October 7, 2015, 2:19 AM

Columnist Neal Knox highlighted the 'readiness' of legislation (ideal time to pass) and the, ahem, 'coincidences' with certain 'incidents' as far back as the late 80's or early 90's. (I became aware of him in that context about the time of Patrick Purdy.) He's been written off as a 'conspiracy theorist;' but, that's not what he was talking about. He simply highlighted inconsistencies and timing, with 'interesting' results.

It's documented that people such as Feinstein and Schumer have declared confiscation their ultimate goal and that background checks is the necessary, next step in achieving that goal. Obama's DOJ has put out a report declaring that for the laws he's proposed to work, confiscation would be necessary. That would require a registry; partly achievable through background checks. So, when people declare that "nobody is looking to take your guns," you can point to video, reports, articles, et al. and rightfully declare that such is exactly what they have been talking about all the way along. They simply understand that they can't do it "all" at once and have to incrementally get there.

The popular analogy being used currently is that gun rights is where a gun owner starts out with a full, chocolate cake. Gun control advocates come along and badger the owner for half the cake; calling him names, threatening laws and lawsuits if he doesn't 'compromise.' When he's left with half a cake, control advocates return, demanding half of what he has remaining, using the same tactics. It doesn't take long before he has no cake left and is left saying that he just wants his cake back. This is why many of the so-called, perniciously labeled "gun owning zealots" are now saying: "No more compromises."

morilla wrote on October 7, 2015, 2:23 AM

That's one of the dangers if the 2nd Amendment is 'compromised' or repealed. How long after that will it take before you no longer have the "right" to be tried by twelve and are simply sentenced by a judge or bureaucrat? Paranoia? Not really. It's already happening in more and more instances.

LoudMan wrote on October 7, 2015, 3:41 AM

I'll still defend myself or another. I really, truly don't care if I have any judge's "permission."

LoudMan wrote on October 7, 2015, 3:47 AM

Great cake analogy. I find it"funny" how conspiracy theorists like myself (remember, something doesn't move from "hypothesis" to "theory" until there's supportive evidence) are "written off" since the concept of powerful people, conspiring in secret, together, is such a wild and zany idea.

Anymore, I like it when I'm called crazy for believing powerful people conspire. It tells me who the idiots are.

Last Edited: October 7, 2015, 4:00 AM

LoudMan wrote on October 7, 2015, 3:49 AM

They're not even trying to deceive us, any more! It's not a secret any more! They're open about it!

LoudMan wrote on October 7, 2015, 3:58 AM

Bullshot. We have all the power! Go back to your rosaries now. Weakness and chickens*t is not needed in this discussion. Grownups are talking.

AliCanary wrote on October 8, 2015, 7:24 AM

I think it's human nature to react emotionally rather than logically. But of course with school shootings, it's not that we can't figure out good long-term solutions, it's that there are people who are literally working to BLOCK those solutions, and they have the money to make that happen.