Feature

The rise of Sandy Hook ‘truthers’

A sickening new conspiracy theory is now spreading across the Internet.

David WeigelSlate.com

A sickening new conspiracy theory is now spreading across the Internet, said David Weigel. Gun enthusiasts have spawned a “truther” movement that insists the shooting of 26 people at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., was an elaborate conspiracy staged by the government, to set the stage for the mass disarming of the American people. More than 10 million people have now watched a YouTube video purporting to show evidence that the murdered children’s parents and the witnesses are actors, and that some of the murdered children are still alive. It may seem unhinged, but “gun massacre trutherism” isn’t new—it also dribbled out after both the Aurora and Virginia Tech shootings. The paranoia at the heart of this movement is fueled by the National Rifle Association, whose executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, boosted gun sales over the past year by warning of a “massive Obama conspiracy” to “destroy the Second Amendment” after the election. When a gun massacre occurred, followed by Obama’s sweeping gun-control proposal, it fed into the NRA’s darkest fears. Now its extremist core is peddling “a full-on conspiracy theory.” 

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