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Wednesday, February 27, 2013
WND Dials Back False Claim About Veterans And Guns, Doesn't Tell Readers (And Still Got It Wrong)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Feb. 22 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh began (as reposted at The Waking Giant):

The Obama administration has launched into a campaign that threatens the Second Amendment rights of American military veterans, sending out letters that say their competency to handle their own affairs is being reviewed, and if determined by government bureaucrats to be unable to handle their affairs, they would be barred from having any weapons.

Just one problem: It's not true that the Obama administration is engaging in a sweeping campaign to disarm veterans. What Unruh is overheatedly referring to is a standard practice by the Department of Veterans Affairs -- in place since the mid-1990s -- to inform veterans deemed too incompetent to handle their affairs that they are prohibited from owning firearms.

Further, the letter cited in the WND article is taken almost directly from the VA handbook’s sample Notice of a Proposed Rating of Incompetency.

Because Unruh has no evidence that  the Obama administration has changed longstanding procedures for determining the incompetency of a veteran, the lead paragraph of his article was changed to something slightly more representative of reality:

In an apparent threat to Second Amendment rights, some American military veterans have received a letter from the Veterans Administration warning that their competency to handle their own affairs is under review, and if determined by government bureaucrats to be “incompetent,” they would be barred from possessing weapons.

It's still inaccurate, because Unruh offers no evidence that VA incompetency procedures have changed in any way to make it more of a "threat to Second Amendment rights" than it may have been before. Nevertheless, WND failed to tell its readers about this significant change -- a longstanding dishonest practice at WND.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:20 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 8:21 AM EST

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