It seems like every week or two, some new internet myth makes the rounds, and I get swamped with forwarded e-mails from readers who want me to be aware of the latest threat to life as we know it. Not to mention the same old crap that gets recycled over and over again, because somebody new gets a forward and passes it on to everybody on their e-mail list, who in turn passes it on to everybody on their e-mail lists.
In the last two weeks I have received a dozen e-mails with a warning by an unidentified self-proclaimed Vietnam vet and retired police officer who said he went to a routine appointment at the Veterans Administration (VA) clinic, and was asked if he was stressed, did he feel threatened, or did he ever feel like he wanted to harm somebody. Supposedly, the VA nurse informed this person that if he had answered yes to any of those questions, his answers would have been forwarded to the Department of Homeland Security, which would then have pulled his concealed weapons permit.
The e-mail ends with the warning that “they are going after the vets first. Other gun people, like retired law enforcement will be next.” It’s all part of Obama’s great scheme to disarm the American public.
Who thinks this crap up? I mean really, who has the time to just sit around concocting such nonsense, and why do they do it?
Just for the record, there is no truth to this. I just had my annual checkup at the VA hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, and was not asked any questions like this. In fact, because I had already received this e-mail several times, I asked the nurse who did my intake interview about it, and she had never heard of these “required” questions she was supposed to ask. I also have talked to three other veterans who have recently been to three different VA hospitals and clinics, and none were asked any of these questions.
So relax, gun owners. Big Brother isn’t going to snatch your shooting irons away this week, and probably not next week either.
Actually, this isn’t an entirely new myth, it’s a refurbished and recycled one. A couple of years ago, just about the time President Obama was inaugurated, the story was that police officers were supposed to ask anybody they stopped for traffic tickets the same questions, because the President-elect had issued an order to do so. Never mind that a President-elect cannot issue orders to anybody, and that no President can order state or local law enforcement to do anything, people were calling it the start of the “Obama gun grab.”
Another nonsense myth along the same lines that is being circulated, is that you will be required to list every firearm you own on your 2010 income tax return. Again, this is all part of the “Obama gun grab.”
Again I ask, who thinks this crap up? And why do people just blindly forward every nonsensical thing that appears in their e-mail? In takes less than a minute to go to www.snopes.com and check out the validity of one of these wild tales. And just because somebody types “I checked this out on Snopes” at the top of an e-mail doesn’t mean that they really did.
Computers and the internet have revolutionized the world. Unfortunately, I believe they are also responsible for a large part of the dumbing down of society. Folks, every once in a while, turn the damn computer off, go outside and look upward. Trust me, the sky is not falling!
Tags: Big Brother, concealed weapons permit, conspiracy theory, Department of Homeland Security, disarm the American public, e-mail, gun control, gun owners, gun ownership, internet myth, Obama gun grab, police officers, President Obama, retired police officer, self-defense, VA hospital, Veterans Administration clinic, Vietnam vet