A Texas Republican on Monday said President Obama’s gun control campaign is a fraud based on fake messages over Twitter.
Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) accused Obama of trying to make support for his position look stronger than it really is by flooding Twitter with messages from people who don’t exist. . . .
Stockman said that in response to Obama’s call for people to tweet their congressman in support of gun control legislation, he received just 16 tweets. But he said all of these messages were identical, and that a closer look at them revealed that only six were from real people.
“The other 10 are fake, computer-generated spambots,” his office said in a press release.
This should come as no surprise, and indeed both sides of any given issue probably use very similar tools. In recent years political wonks and info-junkies have coined the term “astroturf” to denote just such a fake grass-roots operation. There are plenty of genuine grass-roots operations about; the NRA is one such, financed by its members who annually vote on the organizations’ leadership and by-laws.
But gun control is the hot issue right now, inflaming passion on both sides of the issue; I do not exclude myself. As a shooter and hunter the issue obviously affects me personally, but it is in my role as taxpayer that the “controversy” over gun control irritates me the most; this is an issue in which profoundly ignorant demagogues seek to blame tools for the actions of users, and advocate policies that have never, ever been successful in reducing crime. They are wasting their time and our money, and it’s intolerable.
What’s worse, these policies would leave the law-abiding disarmed by passing laws the criminal element will ignore; this deprives millions of Americans of the best and most effective means of self-defense, one that is used thousands, maybe millions of times a year.
Legislative bodies everywhere should consider applying the Stupid Test to proposed initiatives; most of their proposals wouldn’t pass.