Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Wacko Pro-Gun Conspiracy Theories About The Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre

UPDATE: There is now an entire blog devoted to wacko pro-gun conspiracy theories, called, aptly enough, "Pro-Gun Conspiracy Theories!" :

I’ve commented before about the wacko conspiracy theories hatched by pro-gun extremists, who, in their fevered gun-fetish minds, want to blame anything and anyone other than lax gun laws for the daily carnage of gun violence visited upon America.  HERE is a list of some of those conspiracy theories.

For instance, they felt that the Aurora theater shooting was somehow staged by the government.

Well, here they go again!  This time, a variety of conspiracy theories are revolving around the horrifying Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre of 20 children and 7 adults by lone gunman Adam Lanza, in Newtown, Connecticut.

One conspiracy theory suggests that President Obama is somehow behind the shooting, and that it was done to disarm Americans and put in place a totalitarian government.  Naturally, the pro-conspiracy theory website,, is pushing this one.  According to the host, Alex Jones:

This man does not care about children he cares about disarming the American people to bring in a totalitarian government.
His “proof” is the suggestion that Obama has ordered drone attacks that have cost the lives of some children in other countries.  See the rambling video HERE.

A second conspiracy theory is that there were actually multiple shooters at the school.  The really gross part of this conspiracy theory is that those who suggest it are also saying that the police, media, and even the grieving parents are somehow complicit in the plot, covering up evidence of the other shooters and even faking their grief for the cameras, either purposely or as the result of brainwashing.  Says Alex Jones from about Robbie Parker, the grieving father of a slain 6-year old:

It appears that members of the media or government have given him a card and are telling him what to say as they steer reaction to this event, so this needs to be looked into.

And in another article, Jones says of the father:

You can watch Parker huffing and puffing and pushing himself into what he thinks is a tragic and grief-stricken state of mind. He does it so badly you wonder why no one in the room calls him on it. It’s beyond strange. Yet reporters later talked about Parker “struggling through tears and suffering to make a heartfelt statement…” The reporters are just as deranged as Parker is.

So who were these supposed other shooters working for?  According to a third conspiracy theory, the shooters were actually a “death squad” from Israel!  According to one anti-Semitic commentator, Mike Harris (editor of Veterans Today, former Republican candidate for governor of Arizona, and GOP campaign finance chairman), Israel had a death squad kill those children because of America’s pro-Palestinian stance, or something.  He suggested these “death squads” were also responsible for the Gabby Giffords’ shooting in Tucson, the Aurora movie theater shooting, and the Norway mass shooting.  He goes on to blame “Jewish Senators” for wanting to take away guns from Americans, too, just for good measure. Here's a quote:
Racist commentator Mike Harris blames the Newtown shooting
on "death squads" from Israel

This is exactly what Israel did in Norway; the political party that voted sanctions against Israel was retaliated against by a “lone gunman” who killed 77 children. This is what Israel always does, they go after the children. It is what they do in Gaza every day. It is what was done in Norway. It is what happened at Sandy Hook. Nobody buys the “lone gunman” story anymore, not with the Gabby Giffords’ shooting, not with the Aurora “Batman” shooting, certainly not with Breveik, and certainly not in Connecticut.

He also suggests that the shooter, Adam Lanza, was really a “patsy” for the shooting.

A fourth conspiracy theory suggests that there is a connection between the Aurora theater massacre, the Newtown school massacre, and even the naming of Hurricane Sandy, because of a couple very brief scenes in the “Batman: The Dark Knight Rises” movie. 

The brief mention of "Sandy Hook" on a map
in "Batman: The Dark Knight Rises"
These brief scenes include the words “Sandy Hook” on a map of Gotham City used in the movie, and the statement “Drop me off in Old Town” (which supposedly conversely refers to Newtown).  These momentary mentions are supposedly used to “brainwash” the viewers into committing the Sandy Hook massacre.  And who is behind this “brainwashing”?  Why, the “Illuminati”, of course (anytime you see the word Illuminati, it’s safe to say that the user is a wacko conspiracy theorist).  Said one conspiracy theorist: 

I was denying to myself that this shooting was staged by the deep state and the Illuminati just like the last one in the movie theatre in Colorado. But not anymore. It’s impossible to deny now. These are huge red flags. The filmmakers of The Dark Knight Rises must answer why they dropped these hints in their film. Is this a sick game their playing with the public? Are they dropping hints to themselves?

A fifth conspiracy theory suggests that no assault weapon was actually used, only handguns, and that the assertion by "liberal media" that a Bushmaster assault rifle was used is just an attempt to demonize assault weapons for the sake of banning them.

The problem arose from early, erroneous reports, minutes after the shooting hit the media, that the shooter had handguns and that the assault rifle was found in the car, instead of with the body of the shooter. This error was corrected within a day, but it nonetheless persists among conspiracy theorist, in part because of continued errors by media (such as an MSNBC report, which was also later corrected).

The medical examiner and the CT State Police have repeatedly said that all 26 victims died from repeated, close shots from the Bushmaster assault rifle, and that the only person shot with a handgun was the shooter, when he committed suicide.  Here is a report of which guns were found and where.

A sixth conspiracy theory, which goes along with the second one and the supposed "faking of tears" by grieving parents, suggests that at least one young victim, 6-year old Emilie Parker, wasn't actually killed in the attack and was seen sitting on the President's lap during a televised visit with her surviving family a couple days after the shooting.  This also suggests that the entire shooting was made up, by the President of course, to further an anti-gun agenda.  The supposed "evidence" is that a dress that Emilie has previously been seen to wear was also seen on the girl in that video, who also looks like Emilie.

An article points out what is obvious to most people, but missed by the conspiracy theorists:
The crux of the theory is a photograph of Parker’s sister sitting on President Obama’s lap when he visited with the victims’ families. The girl is wearing the same dress Emilie wore in a pre-shooting photograph of the family shared with media, so she must be Emilie, alive and well. “BAM! I cannot believe how idiot these people are [sic]… That’s her,” one YouTuber exclaims as he watches the two images superimposed on each other. (Apparently missed by these crack investigators is the possibility that the sister wore Emilie’s dress and that they look alike because they are sisters, after all.)
And if the President and media were trying to make Emilie seem dead, why, then, would they nationally televise her sitting on the President's lap a couple days later?

A seventh conspiracy theory, from the ever-extreme "Truth About Guns" blog, suggests that the shooter committed his acts as a means to "bring gun control to the fore, so as to punish his gun-loving mother" after he had killed her:

Is it possible that Lanza reckoned that killing little children en masse would be the final act that would bring gun-control to the fore — so as to punish his gun-loving mother?  Obviously, other acts of violence (while similarly awful) had not created the groundswell of anti-gun rhetoric that has come about as a result of this event.  If true, anti-gunners are playing right into the hands of a madman — though I doubt they’d care.

The author, "Rick F.", offers no evidence whatsoever, other than pure conjecture.  Even some of the traditionally pro-gun commenters on the page disagreed, for example:

I believe the writer’s lack of knowledge about psychology and total absurdity of his argument is providing exactly the image of what gun grabbers want to reproduce about us.

But a few agreed.  Said one of them:
I had said that if someone really wanted to create enough backlash to ban guns and it meant enough to them that they would martyr themselves, they would need to shoot up an elementary school or a day care. I would really hate to think that I was right, but we see where it’s going.
Another took it even further, building on conspiracy theory number 1, that Lanza was somehow programmed to kill, by our government:
I’ve been saying for a while that due to the speed with which the Left and the Antis jumped on the gun control bandwagon after Sandy Hook that Adam Lanza was a tool of those self-same groups, set up to ignite the gun control debate. Who knows, the conspiracy could even extend all the way to the highest levels of our government.

Another commenter took it further still, suggesting that those who advocate for gun regulation wouldn't have stopped the shooter even if they'd had a chance:
Hell, if gun grabbers knew what he was going to do beforehand they wouldn’t stop him. They would condone his actions. We are dealing with some disgusting people, do not put it past them to celebrate the death of anyone even children if it means furthering their agenda. Just look at how they praised Dorner.

Naturally, all of America is horrified at the deaths of 20 innocent children and 7 adults in Newtown.  The issue of gun violence weighs heavy on our souls.  Unfortunately, a few of these conspiracy theory nuts have trouble believing it can be as simple as guns getting into the wrong hands.  It happens all the time in America, and we don’t need “death squads,” obscure movie references, or government conspiracies to explain the obvious problem.

UPDATE (1/4/13):  James Fetzer is one of those who is pushing the conspiracy theory of "Israeli death squads" performing the killing at Sandy Hook Elementary.  He's also a long-time conspiracy theorist regarding the Kennedy assassination, 9/11, and other tragedies.  Here's a good article pointing out his extremism and distancing him from the University of Minnesota at Duluth, which he claims to represent with his conspiracy theories.

UPDATE (1/15/13):  According to one article, which debunked some of the wacko conspiracy theories, the theory of multiple shooters likely stems from early mistaken ID of the shooter, the initial handcuffing and questioning of an innocent bystander, and a father of one of the 6-year old students who tried to enter the scene after the shooting to find his daughter.

ADDENDUM (1/15/13):  Dave Leigh wrote a pretty good post at his blog, Ruminations, about the falacious arguments and conspiratorial "judo" of the pro-gun extremists, and how to counter them.

ADDENDUM (2/5/13): reviews some of these conspiracy theories, and gives them a rating of FALSE.

UPDATE (2/5/13):  Conspiracy theories five and six were added.

UPDATE (2/21/13):  Conspiracy theory seven was added.