On Facebook this morning, I ran across this quotation attributed to Adolf Hitler:
1935 will go down in History! For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient and the world will follow our lead to the future!
The fact that there’s no reliable record of Hitler ever having said any such thing hasn’t prevented the widespread circulation of this bogus quotation.
Some people seem not to understand that one of the reasons God created Google was to make it easier for us to disprove nonsense. It took me less than a minute, for example, to use Google to disprove that false Hitler quotation.
And the most interesting thing about my quickie research on this matter is that I found the refutation of the Hitler quotation on a pro-gun Web site (HERE). I don’t agree with the overall objective of the guys who run this site, but I like the fact that they warn against people on their side of the gun debate using false quotations.
The site has a whole section devoted to bogus quotes attributed to the nation’s Founding Fathers. One example is this passage alleged to have been written by George Washington:
Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence. The church, the plow, the prairie wagon, and citizen’s firearms are indelibly related.
From the moment the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to ensure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable.
Every corner of this land knows firearms, and more than 99 99/100 percent of them by their silence indicate they are in safe and sane hands.
The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference; they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.
When firearms go, all goes; we need them every hour.
And there’s this one attributed to Thomas Jefferson:
The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
Nor did James Madison actually say this:
The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state shall not be questioned.
The moral of the story is that you do your cause no great service when you try to peddle bogus quotations. We live in the age of Google, which makes it easy to refute such fictions.