We are steeped in politics.
At least that is how it seems and I'm not just talking about today's inauguration. No, I'm talking about something brought to my attention in class last week.
Apparently, there is a contingent of the population that believes that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut last December...was a hoax.
That's right. It's a conspiracy. It's all a plot. We're being tricked by politicians, the mainstream media, and probably even the Kardashians. We're all getting hoodwinked, bamboozled. The shooting was a staged event, probably in the same way certain people allege the Moon landing was done. And to what end, I asked? Simple.
So that Obama can confiscate all the guns in the nation.
Deep breath in. It is difficult for me to discuss such a concept maturely and intelligently, when all I want to do is find the people who started such ridiculousness and take a baseball bat to their heads. I won't, of course. That's part of living in a society with free speech. Sometimes, you're going to be offended.
Whose idea is this? Well, it seems that the lead proponent of this conspiracy theory is actually a tenured professor at Florida Atlantic University named James Tracey. Anderson Cooper called Tracey out on CNN and Tracey then claimed that Cooper "meant him harm." No, Tracey. You're being held accountable for what you say. As a professor myself, the same thing would happen to me and in a high profile situation such as this and I'm certain my college's administration would have words with me. But I digress.
There was also nifty little video posted to YouTube that presented the "evidence" of the case. The video's creator used "Estranged" by Guns N Roses for a music bed. I like GN'R as much as the next guy, but it doesn't do much for the intellectual credibility of your argument.
What evidence do the so-called "Sandy Hook Truthers" offer for their claim? For one, they point to the additional two people who were arrested at the school on the morning of the shooting. That is true and I wondered about it myself from the initial reports of that day. As one might imagine, an incident such as that shooting is a truly chaotic time and even the best civil authorities have difficulty keeping things under control and getting straight stories out.
One of the handcuffed individuals was a parent of a child in the school who was handcuffed as per police SOP in securing the scene. The other individual found in the woods was an off-duty police officer from another town coming to offer assistance. Again, SOP stated that this man be handcuffed until his credentials could be verified. Skeptics Lair does a good job of debunking this and the many other ludicrous "truther" claims.
So what else they got? Well, the inception dates of the memorial pages for a few of the victims are said to be listed as being days before the actual shooting. Ok, well, dates on Google, Facebook, et. al. aren't always accurate and reflective of the true date. I've had that happen to me several times. What else? Oh the dress worn by one of the young victims is the same as that worn by the victim's sister in a photo with President Obama after the shooting. Sooo....ok. Children can't share clothes?
Best...or perhaps worst...of all, it has been alleged that actors were hired to portray the grieving parents. "Truthers" allege that the families weren't grieving enough, not crying enough, or otherwise not behaving in the "right way" for someone who just lost a child. The parents did not conform to the consensus opinion of how someone "should act" distraught. Sigh. I can't even dignify that with a response.
Let us, as I told my students, apply Occam's Razor. Here is a conversation I had with said students:
If there were no shooting victims, then where are the kids?
"Hiding somewhere, like on an island," was the response.
And what is the buy-in for the families?
"Millions of dollars. Look at all the money that's been raised for them since the shooting. That's how 'they' the government are paying for it."
Ok...and the parents are on board with this, hiding their children out for life?
"Wouldn't YOU do it if you were paid millions of dollars?"
Uh, no I wouldn't, but moving on. How many people would a "hoax" like this involve?
"Hundreds. Maybe thousands."
And you're going to get them to all keep quiet?
The whole stupid thing falls apart under its own illogical weight. Yes, yes, I know I've written often about my belief that our government is...at least to one extent or another...concealing contact with either alien or at least non-human entities. One could argue that something like that could never be kept secret given how many people it would involve. To that I say, you're right.
After all, we're talking about it now, aren't we? How good of a secret could it be? Additionally, you would be correct in arguing that nothing has been proven. Burden of proof lies with the claimant and so far the evidence is not conclusive.
Sandy Hook "truthers" could take a lesson from that axiom. Theirs is the burden of proof. Thus far, they've offered nothing. Period. No, Obama is not trying to take all the guns in your precious arsenal and then commence his "evil Muslim socialist plan" to become nefarious overlord of 'Murica. Go back to your bunkers oh jubilarians of paranoia and cook your beans.
But then I guess I'm just a fool of the mainstream media. Curse me for my ill-informed views.
Let me go put on a foil hat and tune in to Alex Jones.
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