Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Don't Confuse Me With the Facts

Today I got one of those emails that someone is circulating that contains an urban legend. Here's the email:
Subject: Gun Control in Montana


Shooting in Butte, Montana

Shotgun preteen vs. illegal alien home Invaders.

Butte, Montana November 5, 2006 Two illegal aliens,

Ralphel Resindez, 23, and Enrico Garza, 26, probably believed
they would easily overpower home-alone 11 year old Patricia Harrington
after her father had left their two-story home.

It seems the two crooks never learned two things:
They were in Montana and
Patricia had been a clay shooting champion since she was nine.

Patricia was in her upstairs room when the two men broke through
the front door of the house. She quickly ran to her father's room and
grabbed his 12 gauge Mossberg 500 shotgun.

Resindez was the first to get up to the second floor only to be
the first to catch a near point blank blast of buckshot from the
11-year- old's knee crouch aim. He suffered fatal wounds to his abdomen
and genitals.

When Garza ran to the foot of the stairs, he took a blast to the
left shoulder and staggered out into the street where he bled to death
before medical help could arrive.

It was found out later that Resindez was armed with a stolen 45
caliber handgun he took from another home invasion robbery. That victim,
50-year-old David Burien, was not so lucky. He died from stab wounds to
the chest.

Ever wonder why good stuff never makes NBC, CBS, PBS, MSNBC,
CNN, or ABC news.... Now that is Gun Control

Thought for the day: Calling an illegal alien an "undocumented immigrant"

is like calling a drug dealer an "unlicensed pharmacist"

Montana definition of gun control "Being able to hit your Target!!!"
In response, I clicked "Reply to all" and sent this email:
This incident never happened. As usual, you can check it out yourself at Snopes is an organization that tracks down and verifies the validity of “urban legends.” This story is just that: an urban legend (or a rural one, considering there’s more rural than urban in Montana).

Also—be careful about what you circulate. This story is not only false but inflammatory, and plants the suggestion in people’s minds that all immigrants are illegal, and that they are all hell-bent on crime. That simply isn’t true. I wish I could introduce you to all of my Latino students who are immigrants from various Central and South American countries, all of whom are LEGAL immigrants, who all have after-school jobs, whose parents work two jobs each (usually doing manual labor that no one else wants to do), and who are great contributors to our community. They are highly offended by the perception that they are crime-ridden freeloaders, and so am I.

I challenge you to look around you and notice the hard work that these people do in our society, and get to know them as people. Don’t jump to the conclusion that they are illegal aliens simply because their skin is darker than yours and they may speak another language. There was a time in our great society when speaking more than one language made one cultured—I, for one, long for a return to THOSE values.
I am becoming more and more disturbed by this trend whereby people perpetuate their prejudices by emails that contain falsified information. There seem to be no rules or consequences anymore concerning verification of the facts before perpetuating possible untruths. People send these emails around and hide behind the Bill of Rights while they incite fear and paranoia. It's not pretty and I'm not going to be quiet about it anymore.

Every time I get one of these emails I "Reply to all" and tell them to go check it out at You'd be amazed at how frequently people STILL send these things to me even after I have pointed out that I am not interested in receiving them, and have shown them that the emails contain false information. One person actually responded to me one time by saying, "I don't care if it's not true. I agree with it!" Isn't that interesting--they might as well say, "I agree with a mean-spirited, slanderous email that falsifies the facts." Disturbing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

AMEN!!! I have been checking out snopes for years & have tried to train my friends/family to verify stories before wasting my time with no avail. I think I'll create my own urban legend about the horrors that have befallen someone who knowingly passed on false information! haha. keep up the good work :-)