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Why do people think that if something is written, it must be true?

This happens especially on Facebook where people find a piece of text or a photo that aligns with their preconceived notions and then just pass it on.

To wit, a recent post by a college student about gun control:

***********
From: Ed Chenel, A police officer in Australia

Hi Yanks, I thought you all would like to see the real
figures from Down Under.

It has now been 12 months since gun owners in Australia were forced by a new law to
surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by our own
government, a program costing Australia taxpayers
more than $500 million dollars.

The first year results are now in:
Australia-wide, homicides are up 6.2 percent,
Australia-wide, assaults are up 9.6 percent;
Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent)!

In the state of Victoria.....
lone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent.(Note that
while the law-abiding citizens turned them in, the criminals did not
and criminals still possess their guns!)
While figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady
decrease in armed robbery with firearms, this has changed drastically upward in the past 12 months, since the criminals now are guaranteed that their prey is unarmed.There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins andassaults of the elderly, while the resident is at home.

Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public
safety has decreased, after such monumental effort and expense was expended in 'successfully ridding Australian society of guns....' You won't see this on the American evening news or hear your governor or members of the State Assembly disseminating this information.

The Australian experience speaks for itself. Guns in the
hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws affect only the law-abiding citizens.

Take note Americans, before it's too late!
Will you be one of the sheep to turn yours in?
WHY? You will need it.

FORWARD TO EVERYONE ON YOUR EMAIL LIST. [I DID]
DON'T BE A MEMBER OF THE SILENT MAJORITY.
BE ONE OF THE VOCAL MINORITY WHO WON 'T STAND FOR NONSENSE
*
*******

It took me all of three seconds to see that this was written years ago. The law was written in 1997--15 years ago, not 12 months--and so the facts and figures--if they were ever accurate--obviously need retooling.

But that doesn't stop people from passing on this crap in the name of "educating the public."

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Comment Preferences

  •  There's this thing called Snopes.com (3+ / 0-)

    which I copy into any reply thread.

    You'll find the Mad Max Aussie gun violence increase nonsense debunked there.

    This also works for any of the many fact-lite to fact-free facebook posts on politics that pollute the internet these days. (Japan wouldn't invade because of guns, Hitler took everyone's guns etc).

  •  I "Snoped" Facebook yesterday. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boudi08

    And the standard reaction?

    "Well just cuz Washington/Jefferson/Obama/Hitler/Charley Reese/Darkhorse Battalion didn't really say/do the things I'm claiming they did doesn't mean my point isn't valid!"

    Often followed by "you libtard/moonbat/commie, you!"

    "Your opponent can't talk when he has your fist in his mouth." - Bill Clinton

    by MethuenProgressive on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 12:16:36 PM PST

  •  the posts on facebook are sickening (0+ / 0-)

    I just hid a real friend until the next election,  so i don't wring her neck.  Then she called and we talked about how little she made at her new job.  The guy used her tips to make the wage up to 7 50 .  She got a little check and just figured out how everyone lost thier houses, etc.   By no means rich, she made good tips at a fish camp in Maine.  Of course she went in in the spring and came out in the fall.
       And then theres the ex boyfriend turned reformed catholic who posts all that crap.   Hid him too.    Facebook sucks

    Politics is a contact sport

    by boudi08 on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 05:34:16 PM PST

  •  Here is another on Facebook (0+ / 0-)

    “Geezer Bandit” January 4

    It appears to be copied out of What happens when governments disarm their citizens? by Carlo, whoever that is.

    Also posted on Facebook by Far Right of Left on Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 6:26pm

    And YouTube, and Yahoo Answers: What do you think is the reasoning behind Obama wanting to disarm citizens?

    I saw this in a letter to the editor of my local paper, The Republic, in Columbus, Indiana, and it has appeared in a number of other newspapers. It is on numerous Right wing Web sites: Breitbart, BeforeItsNews, FreedomWorks, LewRockwell, GalleryView, NStarZone, TheBlaze, TheRightOfWay, the MyGospelProject2 blog, Jesus-Is-Savior, and many more.

    Here is Carlo's complete post. I replied to The Republic, which might publish my letter tomorrew. I looked at accounts of the history in each case, and it's rubbish. There were no such disarmings. Some of the populations were peaceable rural populations that never had modern guns to begin with, and in most cases no guns at all. Some of the mass deaths were by starvation as in the Soviet Union and China. Some of the mass deaths were genocides carried out by well-armed civilian populations, as in Turkey and Guatemala. It is ludicrous to claim that Turkey, Nazi Germany, Guatemala, and others disarmed their populations so that they could then go and kill minorities.

    Here’s a history of what happens after governments have disarmed their citizens:

        1911 – Turkey disarmed it’s citizens, [nope] and between 1915 – 1917 they murdered 1.5 million Armenians.

        1929 – Russia disarmed it’s citizens, [nope] and between 1929 – 1953 they murdered 20 million Russians.

        1935 – China disarmed it’s citizens, [nope] and between 1948 – 1952 they murdered 20 million Chinese.

        1938 – Germany disarmed it’s citizens, [nope] and between 1939 – 1945 they murdered 16 million Jews.

        1956 – Cambodia disarmed it’s citizens, [nope] and between 1975 – 1977 they murdered 1 million Educated people.

        1964 – Guatamala disarmed it’s citizens, [nope] and between 1964 – 1981 they murdered 100,000 Mayan Indians.

        1970 – Uganda disarmed it’s citizens, [nope] and between 1971 – 1979 they murdered 300,000 Christians.

        [Editor: You can argue about the numbers, but the point here is that disarmed citizens are vulnerable, and that there are many historical examples of disarmed citizens being killed and oppressed by their own government. [nope] The excuse given by authorities that they need to take guns away from citizens in order to lower crime rates is not supported by facts. [nope] Even if a government does not turn on its own citizens after disarming them, people are less safe - because unarmed citizens are easy targets to criminals. [nope] Over and over again, it has been clearly shown that taking guns away from citizens does not lead to a decrease in crime but rather a dramatic increase. [nope]]

        Australia has disarmed it’s citizens, and a year later the homicide rate in the largest province is up 300%. [Nope. It continued to rise a little bit right after, as it had been doing for some time, and then started to move down.] The burglaries of seniors is “dramatically” up. [nope]

        I guess the criminals did not turn their weapons in. Only the innocent law abiding citizens turned in weapons.

        In US cities with the highest crime rates, taking guns away from the citizens has not lowered the homicide rate. [Given how easy it is to take guns across state lines, that is to be expected.] All it has done is to make it easier for criminals to operate. [nope]

        The 2nd amendment is not about duck hunting, or deer hunting. It is about having the ability and the right to defend oneself and your family. It doesn’t matter if that threat is a burglar, or the Federal Government. [LOL] A disarmed population is fair game for any president who may be aspiring to become a dictator. Having its citizens armed was the plain and simple intent of the founding fathers of our country. [Nope. It remains hotly debated among historians, legal experts, judges, lobbyists, and politicians.]

    America—We built that!

    by Mokurai on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 07:42:30 PM PST

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