No matter how gruesome a tragedy is, there’s always some jerk ready to claim that it didn’t happen, or that it was all a government plot. The Holocaust, 9/11, the Sandy Hook massacre, the Boston Marathon bombing…there’s no catastrophe too enormous for paranoid conspiracy theorists to wrap into their twisted dark fantasies. If the actual facts of the case don’t support their pre-formed conclusion, they will distort or fabricate new facts with a shameless ease that can only come from a total disregard for both reality and other people’s emotions.
Correcting these individuals is next to hopeless: they are thoroughly invested in their fantasies and will steadfastly refuse to see reality. Confronted with evidence that denies their position, the paranoid conspiracy theorist throws up the same comfortable and impenetrable shield: anybody who adopts a more mainstream point of view is among the uneducated sheeple. They manage to insult not only the memories of the people who died in these tragic events, but also the intelligence of anybody who doesn’t rush to blame the government / Illuminati / freemasons / Jews / etc.
Ask me about shady goings-on in the government, and I’ll tell you that I’m sure the government has its share of dirty secrets (*cough* NSA spying *cough*), but that doesn’t mean every disaster is somehow the work of Uncle Sam. And if you point to a specific tragedy as proof of a government conspiracy, you’d better have some damn compelling evidence. So without further ado, let’s examine the “evidence” suggesting that the Sandy Hook massacre was in fact a government-perpetrated hoax, and while we’re at it, let’s discuss the assumptions that one must make in order to swallow this evidence.
To this day, no parent or witness has shed one tear on camera. They attempt to cry but no tears ever show.
The Response: Ever? So you’ve watched every parent and witness interview that has ever been filmed? I sincerely doubt that, or you would have seen many mourners who cried freely. Here’s what Hunter Stuart, writing in Huffington Post, says about this particular “truther” claim:
Of course, there were plenty of tears shed in Newtown. One of the most widely-circulated photos of the event shows the sister of Victoria Soto, the first-grade teacher who died in the shooting, as she sobs into her phone on Dec. 14. ABC News interviewed Krista Rekos with her husband Richard, the parents of a 6-year-old girl who died that day. During the interview, Rekos broke into tears as cameras were rolling. Gene Rosen also cried on camera while telling his story to the Associated Press. Robbie Parker, a parent of a slain first-grader who has also been accused of being an actor, also broke down on camera while speaking at a press conference the day after the shooting. Even President Barack Obama cried.
The Assumption: I know enough psychology to determine the proper amount of public grief that should be expressed by people I’ve never met who are experiencing a tragedy I’ve never experienced. If I don’t count the correct number of tears during a two-minute interview with a parent or witness, then it’s all fake! Still photos that show people not crying are definitive proof that those people never cried. If anybody did cry, they were obviously paid actors who know how to make themselves cry on cue. In other words, it doesn’t matter whether I saw people crying or not: it’s fake!
Parents and family appeared just hours and within a few days on t.v. shows and interviews, nice and cleaned up ready to talk about their slain kids and siblings.
The Response: Which is it: did parents and family appear just hours after the shooting, or within a few days? Oh no, a minor inconsistency! YOU MUST BE LYING!
The Assumption: Everyone deals with grief in the same way. People who have experienced tragedy are incapable of taking showers or putting on nice clothes and makeup to hide the dark circles under their red eyes. Also, television crews should shove cameras in the faces of disheveled emotional wrecks who are virtually unintelligible through their heaving sobs, instead of people who are able to pull themselves together, despite their tremendous pain, for a few minutes to talk to the press.
Children eyewitness testimony contradict the official story that a mass shooting even took place
The Response: With no disrespect to the children who survived the Sandy Hook massacre, many psychologists dispute the validity of eyewitness testimony. High-stress situations like a mass shooting are particularly likely to blur the memories of eyewitnesses, according to Saul McLeod writing in Simply Psychology, so it is neither surprising nor damning that some children’s eyewitness testimony contradicts the official version of events. In fact, I would be much more suspicious if everybody’s story was the same: that would smack of rehearsal.
The Assumption: People’s memories are perfect, especially those of children, and especially in life-threatening situations. If anybody’s story varies from the official record, then that person must be lying which means the whole thing is fake!
Cameras at entrance of the school would show if there was a shooter or not, but they will not release it.
The Response: I can only assume that a “truther” traveled back in time to the morning of December 14, 2012, to assess the location and operational status of security cameras near the front entrance of Sandy Hook Elementary School, because that seems like the only foolproof way to determine what those cameras could or couldn’t see. Let’s be serious: investigators are under no obligation to release the footage for public scrutiny. There are numerous reasons to withhold the footage, not the least of which include the privacy of and respect for Principal Dawn Hochsprung and school psychologist Mary Sherlach, both of whom were murdered within seconds of Adam Lanza violently forcing his way into the school.
Besides, even if officials did release the footage showing Lanza forcing his way into the school and shooting his second and third victims (his first was his mother, Nancy Lanza), Sandy Hook “truthers” would simply claim that the video was faked.
The Assumption: There is only one possible reason why the CCTV footage has not been released, and that’s because the shooting did not happen as it has been reported in the media. Even if footage is released clearly showing Adam Lanza shooting Dawn Hochsprung and Mary Sherlach in cold blood, it will obviously be faked video filmed later using doubles; ergo, the Sandy Hook shooting was fake regardless of whether video is released or not.
Only handguns were found at the school next to Adam Lanza, no Assault Rifle was even used.
The Response: “Truthers” probably get this false nugget from the predictable confusion that surrounded the shooting in the first few days. Following the shooting spree, law enforcement officials rushed to secure the crime scene and to determine what happened, while the press scrambled to provide up-to-the-second coverage of the unfolding disaster; of course mistakes were inevitable. One of those mistakes involved the number and kind of weapons used by Lanza during his attack.
Original reports indicated that Lanza had carried four handguns into the school, and that a Bushmaster XM-15 (an AR-15-type assault rifle) was found in the trunk of his car. In fact, his primary weapon – the one he used while inside the school – was the Bushmaster. The weapon found in the trunk of his car was a shotgun. Lanza also carried two handguns into the school. So the “truther” version is a mixture of fact and misinformation from various points in the investigation: Lanza did have four guns, but he only carried three of them into the school, one of which was an assault rifle. “Truthers” cling to this confused narrative, even months after it was officially cleared up, despite the fact that it makes them look woefully out of touch.
The Assumption: The government wants to demonize assault rifles, so they invented the involvement of the Bushmaster XM-15 out of whole cloth, then paid off or coerced numerous law enforcement officials and private citizens to support their narrative. Oh, and remember all those times I questioned whether the shooting even happened or if Lanza was there? Ignore that: there was absolutely a shooting, and he was totally there, but he didn’t use an assault rifle. It’s okay if I make conflicting statements, because I’m telling the truth! Please don’t take my guns away!
The sick irony of the Sandy Hook “truther” movement is that they are doing exactly what they accuse the government of doing – whether intentionally or not, they are using inconsistent facts, half-truths, and outright lies to piece together a narrative that pushes a political agenda. While some “truthers” may simply be incapable of accepting harsh realities, I suspect that most of these jerks are motivated by a fear of stricter gun control laws. Why else would you pour salt on the wounds of the families of twenty-seven innocent victims?
Bad “truther”. Bad.