On 2 January 2019, one day before Congress returned to session with Democrat Nancy Pelosi newly reinstalled as Speaker of the House, social media users shared posts claiming Rep. Pelosi was offering to fund President Trump’s border wall in exchange for a full ban on gun ownership in the United States.
The posts linked to an article from the BeBest.website which stated, in part:
As the new Congress prepares to take control tomorrow, presumptive Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a final legislative offer to President Trump this morning : the border wall will be funded and built – in exchange for passing a bill banning the ownership and use of all firearms in the United States by private citizens. Pelosi’s edict sent shockwaves through Washington.
Pelosi noted that Fema and U.N. troops, already mobile from Operation Jade Helm, are ready to begin house-by-house confiscation, and sites in the Nevada desert and Utah plains have been readied for mass weapon meltdowns and burials. Liberal gun legislation activists like David Hogg and Taylor Swift have expressed overwhelming support for the ban.
To put the story in a broader context, the federal government was then in the twelfth day of a shutdown over a budget stalemate in which the funding of Trump’s border wall was the main point of contention. With a new Democratic Party majority controlling the House, all eyes were on Speaker Pelosi to come up with a way out of the impasse.
As should be obvious to anyone with even the most basic understanding of American politics and the U.S. Constitution, Pelosi’s offer, if real, wasn’t just a non-starter — it was an absurdity. Federal legislation banning gun ownership by private citizens in the United States would meet such resistance it would never make it to the President’s desk. If it somehow did and the President (against all expectations) signed it into law, the Supreme Court would strike it down as unconstitutional.
But the reality is that Pelosi made no such offer. The source of the story, BeBest.website, is part of a network of websites and social media accounts (America’s Last Line of Defense, or LLOD) that publishes fictional, politically divisive content under the rubric of “satire.”
A disclaimer on all LLOD sites, including BeBest.website, states the following:
Everything on this website is fiction. It is not a lie and it is not fake news because it is not real. If you believe that it is real, you should have your head examined. Any similarities between this site’s pure fantasy and actual people, places, and events are purely coincidental and all images should be considered altered and satirical.
Gunnington, Fallis. “Pelosi’s Final Offer: ‘We’ll Build the Wall for Full Gun Ban.'”
BeBest.website. 2 January 2019.