We’ve fielded several inquires over the past 24 hours where people have reported hearing stories like this one, where disreputable web sites are claiming that government agencies are engaged in heavily armed raids to confiscate firearms from gun owners (no, I’m not sending them any traffic with a link).

It is happening. The State of Connecticut is going to the homes of registered firearms owners and confiscating guns. I watch and read various news services daily and this was news to me. In fact I spent the last two days trying to find a source to collaborate what I am saying now. I found none.

The story as follows… Several days ago I got into contact with a friend who lives in Connecticut and been on the edge of his seat waiting to see what happens. We talk maybe once or twice a week, so it was not odd to call and not hear back immediately. Well the reason why I had trouble contacting him was because he was arrested by the ATF who came to his house to confiscate his firearms. Not only did they take the banned items but the legal firearms as well. During the search he was arrested for his anger at having jack booted thugs deprive him of his American rights to bear arms. After spending two days in jail, he was immediately gag ordered not to talk about it.

The media also has been gag ordered, and this is bigger than just this. People are having emails and instant messages deleted before they arrive to their destination. People just like you.

This is, to put it mildly, complete and utter crap.

It is conspiracy theorizing of the highest order, meant to inflame those same diseased souls who refuse to believe that “fire can’t melt steel,” that “chemtrails” are poisoning the air, and who think that Adam Lanza didn’t use an AR-15 in Sandy Hook Elementary School.*

How to spot bogus stories

False stories like the one above typically have common “tells” that expose them as false.

  • Lack of Specific Details. False stories are purposefully full of vague details that no one can verify. Specific people are never identified with enough detail to be confirmed, and actions without a specific date, specific location, or at a specific time.
  • Consider the Source. There is no sanity check required to buy a URL and build a web site. If you see fringe web sites promoting a story of world-shattering importance and no one else is covering it, then the story is most likely false.
  • “Special Knowledge.” The writer—typically anonymous with no larger body of work, since they don’t want their personal credibility destroyed—claims to be conveying special knowledge that they, and only they, have been able to”expose.” In this instance, the fabricator claims that even email and instant messenger communications are being selectively censored on the fly… and yet, somehow their web site is allowed to post, unmolested.
  • The Miracle of Exclusivity. Our world modern is super-connected via web sites, text messages, viral video, instance messaging, and an explosion of mainstream and alternative news outlets. Nothing of any media value which can be exploited for clicks and eyeballs is off limits for those interested in pushing “click-bait,” turning eyeballs into advertising dollars. With everyone having cheap and reliable video recording, multi-mega-pixel photography, and instant publication capability in the palm of their hands, real news spreads instantaneously, and will be carried by dozens of reputable news outlets within minutes of events occurring.

Very disreputable people know that they can make money by playing upon the fears of others, and they will create bogus stories to drive traffic to disreputable sites, hoping to turn a profit from the advertising that (typically) blankets the page.

Keep the basic rule of thumb in mind that if something looks too good to be true, and no one credible is willing to discuss it, then it is almost certainly false.

Rest assured that if government raids do start occurring in Connecticut or any other state, viral video will be online within minutes, and dozens of credible news sites will be covering the story before the people targeted even warm up their handcuffs.

* The firearm recovered in Adam Lanza’s car was a Saiga 12-gauge semi-automatic based upon the Kalashnikov action, which is painfully clear to anyone that has the basic ability to tell the difference between AR-15 and an AK-pattern firearms, and 12-gauge high-brass shells from .223 cartridges).