NRA official contacted Sandy Hook truther to discuss conspiracy theory on Parkland shooting: report

NRA official contacted Sandy Hook truther to discuss conspiracy theory on Parkland shooting: report
Image credit: Barry Stock

On Wednesday,  HuffPost reported that Mark Richardson, a National Rifle Association official and coordinator, got in touch with a noted Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist to speculate that the Parkland shooting in February 2018 may have been an inside job:

NRA officer Mark Richardson emailed Wolfgang Halbig, a noted harasser of parents of Sandy Hook Elementary School victims, to float a conspiracy theory about the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed last year.

"Just like [Sandy Hook], there is so much more to this story," Richardson said in an email dated Feb. 15, 2018 ― just one day after the Florida shooting. Twenty children and six adults were killed during the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. "[The Parkland shooter] was not alone." The email was sent from his official NRA email address.

Reached for comment by HuffPost, Richardson doubled down. "Since an individual who was prohibited from the school was aloud [sic] to pass through the front doors with a backpack containing a long gun, it is a legitimate question to ask if he had assistance concerning access to the school," he wrote. "No one else seems to be interested enough to even ask the question?"

Conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook shooting have persisted for years. Far-right InfoWars host Alex Jones claimed that the whole thing was staged by the government with child actors and no kids were harmed ― which ultimately led to a lawsuit against him by parents of the victims.

With the Parkland shooting, conspiracy theories have tended to focus more on the student activists like David Hogg and Emma González, who have led the March For Our Lives youth campaign to effect reform of our nation's gun laws. Hogg, in particular, has been the target of vicious smears, including claims that he wasn't actually at the shooting or was backed by Hungarian billionaire George Soros.

The NRA has long agitated to crush tougher gun control laws in this country. But for its officials to be directly engaged in trutherism about school shootings is a new low.

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