Monday, February 23, 2015

There is only one truth

I hate to have to bring this up, but the mass slayings at that elementary school in Newtown, CT, did in fact occur, in December 2012.  99.75% of us know this, and I'm sure at least that many of us deplore the whole incident and wish it did not happen.

But, happen it did. And compounding the shame of it is the sad reality that a certain few gozzleheads among us choose to believe the bizarre notions and conspiracy theories promulgated by the supreme gozzleheads among us.  One of these theories is that the children and teachers were not really killed, that they were actors taking part in a fake that was all part of a plan to take guns away from gun owners.  You know that thing on Amazon, when you order something, that says, "People who bought this also bought..."? Well, the people who believe that Adam Lanza didn't kill anyone in that school are the people who believe that the president was born in Nigeria and that 9/11 was staged by the U.S. government.

What happened here is that someone got hold of the Connecticut State Police crime statistics for Dec '12, and found there were no murders reported in that area. Whoa! Ho! There's the proof of chicanery afoot! Except that the State Police stats only reflect crimes handled by the State Police, and that murder spree was handled by town police, whose stats are reported elsewhere.

But here's what happened next: Chipper Jones, former third baseman for the Atlanta Braves, saw the crazy web page that circulates among the easily bamboozled, and grabbed his Twitterer, so he could tweet this out:

"So the FBI comes out and confirms that Sandy Hook was a hoax! Where is the outrage? What else are we being lied to about? Waco? JFK? Pff … "
Shortly after this, someone who actually reads a newspaper got Chipper off in a corner and explained how things really are.  To his credit, Jones apologized.  But it was a case in which saying one is sorry is not really enough, because it damages the survivors and families and friends of the victims, it hurts them to have it all dragged out again, and, of course, the world is full of people who only saw the original tweet and will forevermore prance around saying, "There was no murder in Newtown...Chipper Jones said so!"

“For more than two years now, my family and the other families of Sandy Hook have been dealing with conspiracy theorists,” Cristina Hassinger, 30, told the New York Daily News. Her mother was Dawn Hochsprung, principal of the elementary school, and a fatality in the shooting.

“They harass us, saying it was all a hoax. They accuse us of being in on the hoax a lot of the time. So it’s really so disappointing to see someone who is supposed to be an American role model come out and promote the Sandy Hook hoax theory.

“I know that he apologized, but it’s not enough. We were met with a brand new onslaught of Sandy Hook hoax harassment. When you're dealing with these people, and they see that blue check mark (a verified Twitter account) that’s on their side, it starts all over again ... It's unconscionable.”

If I were Chipper Jones, I would look around and see that the two tweets of apology he has sent are only a beginning for what he needs to do to make this thing right.

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