Fact Check

Is the Military Drawing Up Plans for Nationwide Gun Confiscations?

As usual. satire is mistaken for reality when it reflects something the reading audience fears will be happening.

Published Feb 26, 2018

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The military has secretly drawn up plans to round up large numbers of privately-owned firearms from American gun owners.

On 10 January 2013, the Duffel Blog web site published an article reporting that a high-ranking U.S. military official had revealed plans to execute the confiscation of privately-owned firearms from Americans:

WASHINGTON, DC – A senior U.S. general has confirmed that the military has secretly drawn up plans to round up large numbers of privately-owned firearms from American gun owners.

Gen. James M. Scott of the U.S. Air Force confirmed that the Pentagon received a series of formal directives from the White House between November 7 and December 13 to begin plans for a massive nationwide operation to confiscate guns using a series of federal databases compiled over the last few decades.

Scott spoke with Duffel Blog reporters in a parking garage in northern Virginia.

Scott also confirmed that a certain four-star general who heads the U.S. Transportation Command was intimately involved in the planning. General Scott would not reveal the general’s name out of concerns for his safety.

The plan, known in the military as Operation PREAKNESS, combines a series of tactics developed for house sweeps and room clearing in Iraq and Afghanistan, which Scott admitted had been used as test-runs for the U.S.

This article enjoyed another spurt of popularity five years later, in the wake of a February 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, when Duffel Blog reposted it to social media:

Of course, none of this Watergate-themed reporting was true, as it originated with Duffel Blog, a site long known for its news-like spoofing of all things military-related. The site's disclaimer makes its satirical nature clear:

Duffel Blog is a parody of a news organization, and all content it publishes is satirical in nature. No content should be regarded as truthful, and no reference of an individual, company, or military unit seeks to inflict malice or emotional harm. All characters, groups, and military units appearing in these works are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, or actual military units and companies is purely coincidental.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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