By JIM BARON - As it turned out, there was no gunman. There was no gun. Nobody had even said the word gun until the panic had already started, for Peteâ€™s sake.
Nonetheless, the state university cancelled classes for the day. Students were in lockdown all across the campus for several hours. Frightened parents punched the numbers on their cell phones, frantically trying to contact their student offspring. The universityâ€™s website crashed from the sheer numbers of people trying to log on to find out what the heck was happening.
That liberal stooge of the unions, Gov. Lincoln Chafee, has done it again.
Paying the state labor movement back for getting him elected in 2010, Chafe has introduced a legislative package thatâ€¦ that uh,â€¦ that, wellâ€¦that is remarkably similar to the proposals put forward by that snarling, snorting enemy of all unions, Gov. Donald Carcieri, several years in a row.
If news coverage were the NFL, Channel 12 would have drawn two penalty flags last week for piling on.
Right after a Brown University poll the previous Thursday slammed both Gov. Lincoln Chafee and Congressman David Cicilline to the ground, Channel 12 pounced with everything they had â€” investigator Tim White, analyst Ted Nesi and pollster Joe Fleming â€” right on top of their already battered bodies. (The penalty flags are, of course, just metaphors, Channel 12 didnâ€™t do anything wrong. Those reporters did their job and did it well.)
Like the guy in Rudyard Kiplingâ€™s poem â€śIf,â€ť Congressman David Cicilline seems to be keeping his head while all about him are losing theirs and blaming it on him.
Cicilline told me over the weekend: â€śI am going to do the only thing I know how to do and that is work hard every single day to represent the constituents in my district and do things that I think will improve the lives of the people that I serve.â€ť