Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Conspiring against you: Sandy Hook and the attributes of a conspiracy theory

So people really bought into this Sandy Hook conspiracy, didn't they?  They like to say things like Barack Obama staged this as a false flag operation to take away our guns.  There are obviously a lot of things wrong with this.

I don't want to repeat the fine work from The Blaze debunking most of these things.  They do a nice job of talking about the major points of the conspiracy theory video that went viral and to a certain extent, affected people who never saw the video.  The most obvious debunking of them all is when people claim the AR-15 was not used in the attack.  A lot of the people who claim this don't buy into the whole conspiracy theory just which guns were used. The Connecticut State Police Department realized this and posted this release. But I guess if you decide that you can't trust the government, you could decide for yourself based on the fact that a fucking shotgun gets pulled out of the trunk. I don't understand how people who say they're so nuts about guns don't realize what type of gun is being pulled out of a trunk.  Oh well. Not my problem.

So, which of the attributes of a conspiracy theory does this one have?  Obviously, historical precedent. Try to suffer through and read through a comments section after you google "debunking Sandy Hook conspiracy theory."  If a commenter doesn't try to mention how tragedies were all staged by the government, how Obama faked/forged his birth certificate, how the media is so terrible that they're covering things up, how the government is complicit in these type of attacks, etc. then they're not doing their job as commenters.  But Sandy Hook looks tame in comparison to 9/11. You know?

Skeptics and sheeple, another obvious one.  Questioning the official story makes you an enlightened individual but accepting what the media says, you're a sheep.   Just asking questions, the people who made the conspiracy theory video claim that they're just asking questions that people want to know.  The comments sections get ridiculous.  They ask things like why aren't we questioning the story when Sandy Hook was mentioned in Batman? Or where are the wounded children, I'm not saying I believe in the conspiracy theory, but where are they?!?!  Convenientinconvenient truths, once you point out that the AR-15 was used in the shooting, the conspiracy theory shifts from just Adam Lanza being the perpetrator to another shooter being involved.  It's typical of people to shift an argument once they realize that they lost.  It doesn't matter if the AR15 was used anymore, they'll say, when another shooter was involved. Eventually the shifts for almost all of them boil down to gun control. Connecticut had relatively strict gun control before the Sandy Hook shooting.  Because there was this school shooting, gun control doesn't work.  That's the eventual shift.

But a popular attribute used now is the academic credibility attribute.  "[An] example of this misuse of the mainstream media is the ascripiton of final, almost biblical authority, to immediate and necessarily provisional news reports of an incident if they happen to demonstrate the inconsistencies that the conspiracists are seeking."  Oh. You mean like showing the MSNBC clip where they talk about handguns being used.  Or the media reports of multiple shooters.  Chaos! Inconsistency! It must be a false flag operation! Oh. Another part of this attribute is to use technical jargon.  False flag is defined as follows:

false flag is any act of deception designed to make your opponent think you’re someone else. The term “false flag” originated with naval warfare, when a ship would run up a flag other than its designated battle ensign for the purposes of drawing an enemy ship closer. When the target got close enough, the deceiving ship would run up the real battle flag and open fire. This tactic has long been recognized as an acceptable use of deception, and has been used in numerous forms, by both naval and ground forces, for centuries. Both World Wars feature numerous uses of false flag strategies, from ships disguising themselves as other ships to soldiers wearing enemy uniforms.
It's misused by conspiracy theorists who like to claim things are false flags which hurts when real false flag operations are happening.  Some examples of real false flag operations include Operation Himmler, the Mukden Incident, and Operation Northwoods which never officially occurred. 
Is it misused this time? Well. There's no real debate over who caused the incident or how they did it.  The supposed measures that were supposed to be in place because of the shooting haven't happened or haven't been as strong as one would imagine.  In the incident of Sandy Hook, weren't we supposed to repeal the 2nd Amendment or have a strong gun ban by now?  Instead Barack Obama issued his executive orders which weren't that strong or invasive really.  I mean, does funding the CDC to research gun violence infringe on your 2nd Amendment rights?  Or fully funding the NICS?  Or gun safes?  Are these really taking away your 2nd Amendment rights?  Oh well. I guess they are. But the Senate bill about the Assault Weapons Ban is likely to be tamed according to almost all political reporters.  The Assault Weapons Ban was passed in 1994.  Was there a Sandy Hookesque tragedy then?  I certainly don't remember it.  The Assault Weapons Ban ended in 2004 because of the sunset provision.  The Assault Weapons Ban was attempted to be revived in 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2008.  Barack Obama pledged to make the Assault Weapons Ban permanent in 2008.  But clearly, Barack Obama was waiting to be re-elected in 2012 to have such a tragedy occur instead of during 2008-2010 when Democrats controlled the House and Senate.  Too bad Obamacare and trying to fix the economy, among other things were happening to complicate the issue of killing children or faking the tragic deaths of children to accomplish significant gun legislation. 

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