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Truth, Lies, and Red Tape
Wednesday, January 27, 2010 • Posted January 27, 2010

When Algore invented the internet, he made a few mistakes. This is not necessarily a surprise, coming from a guy who can, with a straight face, claim there is more snow and ice these days because of global warming. Still, it’s irritating.

One of the really big, honking mistakes Algore made is that there is really no easy way to tell if something you find on the internet is true or not. Any gooberhead with a computer and ten bucks can start a website, and put any old thing he wants to on there, and people, being basically pretty gullible, will believe it’s true. This causes confusion, obviously, and the problem is compounded by the fact that just about every gooberhead in America now has access to email.

No doubt you have received some correspondence perpetuating some pretty ridiculous stories. For instance, there is an email going around that the ACLU has filed a suit to remove military cross-shaped headstones from all government cemeteries in America. There is another one claiming the ACLU is trying to stop military chaplains from praying in Jesus’ name, and to end all praying in the military.

None of those rumors is true. The ACLU is a strange bunch, and has pulled some extremely anti-American sounding stunts lately, but not everything you hear about them is true just because it’s bad. But then, it seems you never hear anything good about the ACLU, so I guess that tells you something.

All these untrue email rumors, or erumors, are a pain, but generally not for me. I just do what everyone else does when I get them – I hit delete and forget about them. But there are some going around lately that have caused me to have to hit delete a lot more often than usual, so I figured I should address them.

One particularly persistent erumor of late is the one that claims congress is either considering, or has already passed, legislation that will require every American to list all the guns they own on their next income tax return. It also usually says fingerprints will be required, and that the government is going to charge a $50 tax per firearm.

This is definitely NOT true. There is no such legislation before our lawmakers, so you can stop forwarding those emails to me, prefaced by your personal notes that say things like, "I thought you should know about this," or "What are we going to do about this?" or "When you head out for D.C. to straighten out those knuckleheads, drop by and pick me up." I am not going to D.C. to straighten out the knuckleheads, because I’m in favor of secession.

Now, there WAS a bill introduced in the senate to require all guns to be registered, back in 2000, and it would have created some other stupid problems for gun owners, but it didn’t pass. It was SB2099, the Handgun Safety and Registration Act. And I fully expect it to come up again, probably soon, so keep a weather eye out.

Another recent erumor said that our beloved government was going to stop selling its once-fired brass to private ammunition manufacturers, because it was planning to sell all of it to China as scrap. That one turned out to be true. If it had happened it would have drastically increased the cost of ammo all over America (yes, even more than has actually been the case lately), not only for private citizens but also for law enforcement officers. Luckily there were enough complaints that the government changed its beady little mind about that one. So you can stop forwarding it, too.

The micro-stamping thing, I’m ashamed to say, has not gone away. During October, the Governator of California, that paragon of waffletude, signed into effect a law that all guns sold in the state would have to be engraved in two places with the gun’s make, model, and serial number. One of the places had to be the firing pin, so that the information would be imprinted on the fired case primer as the gun was discharged. The law was supposed to go into effect this year but, as you can imagine, there are problems. Most of these, according to California, involve patents. The main problem, according to me, is that the idea won’t work. Even if it did, all crooks would have to do would be to pick up their brass. But it’s a non-issue. If I lived in California (shudder) I would buy my guns somewhere else, anyway.

There are plenty of other erumors making the rounds, including the one that says our president, BO, has signed a deal with the U.N. to agree to ban private ownership of firearms. I haven’t been able to get to the bottom of that one yet, but I sincerely doubt the possibility of anything being imposed on the American people that has not first gone through our own legislature. Not that that’s much comfort.

The bottom line is that anything you learn from the internet is suspect, and should be checked out thoroughly before forwarding. Try or one of the other such sites to confirm wild claims.

And if you find out something is indeed true, and provably unconstitutional, go to D.C. and straighten out the knuckleheads for the rest of us . . .

Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist and public speaker who will be happy to go and help with the knuckleheads, unless Texas does the right thing and secedes. Write to him at PO Box 1600, Mason, Tx 76856 or

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