John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


The Rule of Threes

Posted on April 18, 2013

Why do these things always happen in threes?

First, the Boston attacks at the conclusion of the Marathon.

Then, the ricin letter sent to Senator Wicker.

Finally, the explosion in Waco.

What the Hell is going on here?

There is no connection between the three.   The crackpot in Mississippi had nothing to do with the Boston Massacre, and I doubt whatever happened in Waco had any connection to either event.

But that is not how our mind processes it.

We see three adverse events and we immediately assume they are connected.  And in a cosmic sense, maybe they are.

It’s kind of like when an old celebrity dies.  Almost immediately, two others kick off of equal or near-equal fame.

Of course, they might not be as equally famous, but in our minds, we make them so.

That is called the rule of threes.

When I was in grade school, my composition teacher told us always to have three supporting points for whatever our main point is.

So, at an early age, the rule of threes is drilled into us.

The Senate killed the Gun bill yesterday.  Will they similarly kill the immigration bill and some other high-profile bill that I can’t think of to make their own rule of three.

Some Democrats tried to make the case that because of the bombs in Boston, we should now move forward to pass gun laws.  The theory?  That because Americans feel more insecure that somehow they would support more gun control.

I actually think the more insecure people feel, the more they want their guns to protect themselves.

We live in an age of panic.

People are panicked about everything:  Teen killers, inflation, the Federal Reserve, Obamacare, bombs, sinkholes, Lindsey Lohan, the next generation of the Avian flu.

It is awfully hard to make the case to some Americans that the best way to make them feel secure is to take away their guns, even if you aren’t actually doing anything to take away their guns.

Jonathan Papelbon, the Phillies relief pitcher (and coincidently a proud member of my rotisserie baseball team) just accused Obama of trying to take away everybody’s guns.

Now, Papelbon might be wrong, but his comments should not be discounted as the ravings of a mad-man.  He is quite sane.  Otherwise, he wouldn’t be a relief pitcher for the Phillies.  Ummm, check that.  Well, he’s sane enough, and broadly represents a cross-section of the country.

If the Phillies’s top closer thinks that Obama is trying to take guns away from the American people, just imagine what they think in Alabama?

In any event, these latest explosive events make it awfully hard to legislate until the smoke clears.

My suggestion is that the Congress immediately adjourn and try again once we find out more about what happened.